new york times It’s weird how the most obvious things in our world often fly under our noses without us noticing. The things we are most used to, are weird for outsiders when they see our society. Lets look at three examples. First, the TV. Now the is a wonderful form of entertainment. But at what point did we get used to those advertisements that interrupt our show every 7 minutes? Imagine if there were no advertisements. TV would be like a continuous movie. Now, pretend that you’re the CEO who decides that every 7 minutes, the show that people watch shall be interrupted. Not interrupted for breaking news, but interrupted for advertisement. It doesn’t sound absurd until you think about what advertisements are. An advertisement tries to convince you that you should start to like something, such as chewing gum. “Those neurons in your brain, ‘Start firing!’. Let’s get Kyle to like chewing gum!” Imagine you lived in a world with no advertisements: would you ever allow your show to be interrupted every few minutes for someone to try to convince you that you should start liking something? I think it’s very strange. Second, the garbage can. As long as humans have existed, we’ve needed a place to dispose of our natural waste. Sewage is one of the most important infrastructure in any city. But the idea that we need a garbage can, or a landfill is absurd. Imagine you live in a world where whenever you purchased a product, you received only that product that you paid for. For example, if you paid for an apple, you got an apple. You didn’t get a sticker on the apple, or the plastic bag, or the receipt that tells you how much you paid for it. You only got the apple. Can you believe that our society has progressed to a point where items of value, such as plastic bags, are given to us for no charge so that we can toss them in the garbage? How did we adapt to a world where we get so many things for free: boxes, cups, containers, bags, newspapers, and now something that is so abundant that it hides under our noses. Three, the washroom. You should first understand that the washroom isn’t a cheap product. It requires fresh water, sewage, toilets and sinks, piping, a substantial amount space in a building, and human labour to keep it clean. All of these things are expensive. If you add everything up, think about how much it costs each time you walk inside the washroom. Yet everywhere we go, it is given away for free. No charge. Zero dollars. You walk into a building, and you expect there to be a washroom. Not one, but dozens. No thought required. It’s normal. How great would it be to live in a society where all our basic needs are provided for free? What does all the free giveaways mean for western society? I think we should be optimistic. I bet that the next thing given away for free will be food. Most places already offer water and coffee for free. Imagine walking into any building and seeing fresh bagels, bread, cookies, donuts, muffins, and other cheap food laid out in the foyer. Some places already do this: hotels, the entire film industry, and many corporate offices. What would happen if free food became as prevalent as free washrooms? I think it’s closer than we think, as long as socialists keep their hands off our food.