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The Slippery Slope of $30 USD

OSX Lion came out on Wednesday, and like everything else shiny and new, I wanted it—but first I wanted to see if it was any good. I asked my friends, posted on Twitter, and read reviews, and the results were all the same: “it’s only $30.”

Note the lack of positive sentiment; no “it seems pretty decent,” or “of course, the AirDrop addition alone is worth the upgrade,” just “it’s only $30.” Trusted sites like Gizmodo and Engadget said things like, “Lion is the wrong step into the future,” and “[it] hasn’t quite sealed the deal,” only to wrap up their reviews with suggestions to purchase, citing, “it’s just $29.”

This idea—that regardless of quality or actual worth, if the price is right, “who cares, buy it”—is a ridiculous one that could arguably explain everything from obesity, to why every time I’m outside the country and tell someone I’m from the US, they start gathering their friends and yelling at me.¹ I understand that value is relative, but that doesn’t mean that it’s intrinsic. People will eat shitty cheeseburgers that cost a dollar because “what do you expect, it’s a dollar.” But would they eat literal shit burgers? What if they were free? Based on prior logic, you can’t get a better deal than a free shitburger. (God, I hope this gets picked up by the AP and they quote me as comparing OSX Lion to a shitburger.)

It drives me insane that people would purchase something they know isn’t good, just because the price is. If everyone applied that logic, America would be broke. 

Oh fuck. 

Apparently that’s what everyone’s doing, because OSX Lion sold over one million copies on its first day. That’s $30 Million that Steve Jobs and Apple made, mostly due to buyer’s malaise. I’m incensed. I’m furious. I’m… probably going to buy it before the end of the day.

Have you seen AirDrop?!

¹ - In my experience, any time you’re in a bar anywhere outside of North America, if people find out you’re an American, a provisional UN Council is convened, right there, and lo and behold, guess who’s defending the Stars and Bars? Don’t worry, I get my Toby Keith on.

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