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RE: When did Luxury become a bad word

CnoEvil wrote:

Ajani wrote:

1 cent. I love music and would hate to imagine my life without it, but I still see it as a luxury. 

In which case you see cost as having nothing to do with luxury, which I'm not sure I agree with.

Well, again this comes down to whether or not you agree with the dictionary's definition of "luxury" as "something desirable but not essential" or whether you consider that the true meaning of the word as we use it in the Western World in the year 2013 has changed.

As for cost, the portable headphone amp/dac combo I've got my eye on costs less than one months central heating oil for my house. I consider it to be a luxury because I don't need it despite the cost being minimal in the scheme of things. A 50p bar of chocolate is a luxury because you don't need it.

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RE: When did Luxury become a bad word

BigH wrote:

Ajani wrote:

When did Luxury become a BAD word??? 

 

Scrolling through the responses and the need to justify music, and by extenstion HiFi, as somehow being essential to daily survival, leads me to wonder why so many people don't want their hobby labeled as Luxury.

 

I thought a certain amount of luxury is what many (if not most) persons strive towards achieving. 

 

Not sure its a bad word, but anything that is in vast excess to what you need I find a bit gross and it does make feel a bit sick when spend vaste amounts on goods when theres plenty of people starving or dying in the world that could be helped with that money. Even if I was a millionaire I would not fly fly first class that to me is a waste of money.

Actually I don't like too much luxury its makes you soft and dependent on it and you don't appreciate after a while anyway. I would not stay in 5 star Hotels either.

 

Fair enough. The problem is determining when the spending becomes excessive.

 

You regard flying first class as excessive. But would you take a vacation? Someone who is really struggling might regard your vacation (even assuming an economy flight and 3 star hotel) as excess. 

 

I think the danger with labelling things excess is that we tend to point fingers at the guy who spends (and often earns) more than us. While labelling our own excesses as justifiable and necessities. 

 

To take it back to HiFi - We'll too often condemn the person with "more money than brains" who buys a $100K Naim Statement amp, but claim that our $3K setup is justifiable. We should try telling that to the homeless guy on the roadside and see if he thinks $3K for HiFi is justifiable.  

 

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RE: When did Luxury become a bad word

Ajani wrote:

BigH wrote:

Ajani wrote:

When did Luxury become a BAD word??? 

 

Scrolling through the responses and the need to justify music, and by extenstion HiFi, as somehow being essential to daily survival, leads me to wonder why so many people don't want their hobby labeled as Luxury.

 

I thought a certain amount of luxury is what many (if not most) persons strive towards achieving. 

 

Not sure its a bad word, but anything that is in vast excess to what you need I find a bit gross and it does make feel a bit sick when spend vaste amounts on goods when theres plenty of people starving or dying in the world that could be helped with that money. Even if I was a millionaire I would not fly fly first class that to me is a waste of money.

Actually I don't like too much luxury its makes you soft and dependent on it and you don't appreciate after a while anyway. I would not stay in 5 star Hotels either.

 

Fair enough. The problem is determining when the spending becomes excessive.

 

You regard flying first class as excessive. But would you take a vacation? Someone who is really struggling might regard your vacation (even assuming an economy flight and 3 star hotel) as excess. 

 

I think the danger with labelling things excess is that we tend to point fingers at the guy who spends (and often earns) more than us. While labelling our own excesses as justifiable and necessities. 

 

To take it back to HiFi - We'll too often condemn the person with "more money than brains" who buys a $100K Naim Statement amp, but claim that our $3K setup is justifiable. We should try telling that to the homeless guy on the roadside and see if he thinks $3K for HiFi is justifiable.  

 

Yes I do take the odd holiday have not been away for over 2 years but will be going again this year. I travel economy and stay in budget guesthouses usually about $7 a night, is this a luxury yes but its probably cheaper than a holiday in the UK, costs about $30 a day plus about £500 return flight, try doing that in UK for 3 weeks.

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

andrew_cawood wrote:

pauln wrote:

Should the definition of luxury change from place to place in an arbitrary fashion or should it be fixed so as to apply equally the world over? Or do we need another word?

I was going to leave this alone, but this is nonsense. Why does luxury have to have a fixed definition the world over? It's not a sacred word.

You accepted earlier that the perception of what is essential had changed, so why can't luxury be dependent on circumstance?

Take the word rich for example - is that fixed? A rich person in one country is not necessarily the same as one in another - or should there be a fixed value that applies to everyone, everywhere to define who is rich? It's just a word that helps people describe a concept in their world - wherever that might be. Language is just a tool for communication not some sacred, immovable entity. 

 

What I am trying to say is that the general perception of what is essential may have changed but what actually is essential hasn't. The way "luxury" is defined in the dictionary makes it an absolute word rather than a relative word such as "rich". If we start changing the meaning of words, surely they can no longer be used as tools for communication because people have different ideas about what those words mean - as we do now. That's why there are dictionaries which set down an accepted meaning for each and every word.

If you think that luxury means something else nowadays and in this country, take it up with the dictionary publishers, not me.

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

I don't personally regard my hifi as a luxury that a third world person would not necessarily covet - top of their list of luxuries might be freedom from fear: of poverty, ill health, violence. They might envy a retiree like me (the Spanish have a word for it: jubilado) the luxury of time.  An expensive hifi repays its outlay in jobs created world wide. 

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RE: When did Luxury become a bad word

pauln wrote:

Well, again this comes down to whether or not you agree with the dictionary's definition of "luxury" as "something desirable but not essential" or whether you consider that the true meaning of the word as we use it in the Western World in the year 2013 has changed.

There is more than one definition (from the Oxford Dictionary):

-  a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense

-  a pleasure obtained only rarely

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

marou wrote:

I don't personally regard my hifi as a luxury that a third world person would not necessarily covet - top of their list of luxuries might be freedom from fear: of poverty, ill health, violence. They might envy a retiree like me (the Spanish have a word for it: jubilado) the luxury of time.

 

You might be suprised at what we covet here in the third world. Always seem strange that labels like 1st and 3rd world have stuck around. I'd have thought such labels would have become politically incorrect by now.

 

marou wrote:
An expensive hifi repays its outlay in jobs created world wide.

 

That assumes that those jobs receive even semi-decent compensation. Even assuming a factory in China or elsewhere, odds are that the workers get paid peanuts and the vast majority of the profit from the expensive HiFi sale goes to someone who is already very well off. 

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

pauln wrote:

If we start changing the meaning of words, surely they can no longer be used as tools for communication because people have different ideas about what those words mean - as we do now. That's why there are dictionaries which set down an accepted meaning for each and every word.

Words are constantly changing and evolving......the one that immediately springs to mind is "gay"....but there are many more.

I apologize if I'm coming across as argumentative, as I really don't mean to..... it's just that I am enjoying the debate, and trying to justify my position (whether right or wrong).

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

CnoEvil wrote:

pauln wrote:

If we start changing the meaning of words, surely they can no longer be used as tools for communication because people have different ideas about what those words mean - as we do now. That's why there are dictionaries which set down an accepted meaning for each and every word.

Words are constantly changing and evolving......the one that immediately springs to mind is "gay"....but there are many more.

I apologize if I'm coming across as argumentative, as I really don't mean to..... it's just that I am enjoying the debate, and trying to justify my position (whether right or wrong).

Smile

OK, so your premise is that (up to what value?) hifi is not a luxury - it certainly is not an essential (for survival at least) so there must be some undefined area in between the two? What do we call that?

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

pauln wrote:

Smile

OK, so your premise is that (up to what value?) hifi is not a luxury - it certainly is not an essential (for survival at least) so there must be some undefined area in between the two? What do we call that?

Earlier on in the thread, I proposed £1k-£1.6k (all in with stands, rack and cables), as a modest "non-luxury system".....but I don't claim a monopoly on the answer here.

What this debate has shown, is that there isn't one simple black and white answer, only hunches and subjective opinion....so all very apt for a hifi related topic.  :shifty:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

pauln wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

pauln wrote:

If we start changing the meaning of words, surely they can no longer be used as tools for communication because people have different ideas about what those words mean - as we do now. That's why there are dictionaries which set down an accepted meaning for each and every word.

Words are constantly changing and evolving......the one that immediately springs to mind is "gay"....but there are many more.

I apologize if I'm coming across as argumentative, as I really don't mean to..... it's just that I am enjoying the debate, and trying to justify my position (whether right or wrong).

Smile

OK, so your premise is that (up to what value?) hifi is not a luxury - it certainly is not an essential (for survival at least) so there must be some undefined area in between the two? What do we call that?

There's no reason why there should be a word for that category in everyday speech. But economists call things in that band 'normal' or 'inferior' products (with no negative connotation).

:cheers:

Matt

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

The_Lhc wrote:

Happiness isn't the point, survival is the point, if you don't need it to survive (and you don't) then it's a luxury.

You don't need toilet paper to survive but would you consider that a luxury?

(I do agree with your point though Lhc)

Hi-Fi        AVI DM5

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

Here's a thought.

You're the only inhabitant on the planet. Would the company of one other be considered a luxury? Do we not need the company of others for our well-being? Not sure this actually adds anything to the debate Smile

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

Freddy58 wrote:

Here's a thought.

You're the only inhabitant on the planet. Would the company of one other be considered a luxury? Do we not need the company of others for our well-being? Not sure this actually adds anything to the debate Smile

If the two people left were the same sex, then there would be no more people....making the company of the opposite sex essential for survival of the species, and so not a luxury.  :shifty:  Wink

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Are HiFi products luxury items?

CnoEvil wrote:

Freddy58 wrote:

Here's a thought.

You're the only inhabitant on the planet. Would the company of one other be considered a luxury? Do we not need the company of others for our well-being? Not sure this actually adds anything to the debate Smile

If the two people left were the same sex, then there would be no more people....making the company of the opposite sex essential for survival of the species, and so not a luxury.  :shifty:  Wink

But surely, one doesn't need the company of another to survive?

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