Looks like I placed in the twenties in both categories at Famicompo, but it was nice to not come in last and figure out a little more of what works and what doesn’t in those sorts of contests. (Those entries represent attempts 4-7 at programming the NES.)
There was a study I heard about a little while ago that got my attention…
In the generation of Americans that are currently in their younger 30’s (that is, mine), the average annual income of an individual is about $33,000 compared to our parents’ generation’s $41,000 (if I’m remembering this correctly.) The concern expressed in the news story is that my generation do not make more money at this age than our parents, of course, and since those amounts do not take inflation into account, you may be lead to think my generation live in abject poverty. The problem with that line of thinking though, is the difference between what $41,000 bought in the late 70’s and early 80’s, versus what $33,000 can get you today. Being poor isn’t what it used to be.
The original theme of this blog was to take my relative poverty and selfishly place it into a perspective: first, it is possible to be poor simply through bad luck alone. They say you create your own luck, but sometimes that just isn’t good enough, and that’s not a bad or wrong thing, and second, I admit openly and constantly that I live very comfortably despite being poor, which takes us back to the study.
Think about how much a TV would cost in the early 80’s, how big its cabinet was and how small its screen was relative to the wood, metal, and some plastic that contained it. Leaps of technology notwithstanding, it is powerful and cheap technology that has made life easy and beautiful for an income bracket that once had a very different kind of life. I’m thankful that computers are so cheap, and I should be.
The cost of living relative to the cost of luxury, if you describe it in the context of “I spend 25% of my money on fun” went way off balance sometime in the 90’s; it is very easy to have a pretty good time with very little money. There are concerns about the cost of living increasing, and it’s legitimate, but again, think about what size of the budget went to fun things in the 70’s and 80’s, and suddenly it’s not so bad when the price of milk and gas go up, as long as you are willing to rebudget for it.
There is a fear (if not paranoia) that people our age will not rebudget as the cost of living changes, causing an economic downspiral, and while that’s also a legitimate concern, I think the pessimism is quite wrong. If you, the reader, want to prove this wrong, please consider what you spend on things you do all the time, and think about what is expensive in your life. Even if you don’t know a way to reduce the expense, just think about how you can work around it and be flexible about the things you do.
I may write more on this a bit later.
See you next time.