This is posted by Spike
Economists make predictions about human behavior based on “rational choice theory,” which, in a nutshell, means that they assume that when faced with two options, a person will choose the one that he or she thinks will leave him or her better off.
So an interesting thing has happened since the last time I posted; Pixie has turned into a semi-rational human being. Watching her become more and more so is of great interest to me (in no small part because, knowing her mother as I do, I don’t know how much more rational she’ll get - she might have already made as much progress as she’s going to).
The most simple manifestation of this behavior is plain-old bribery. Here’s a typical conversation.
Me: Pixie, can I have a hug.
Me: Do you want some pudding?
Me: If you give me a hug I will give you some pudding.
Pixie: Sure, Dad.
This has worked 100% of the time so far. Even more disturbing, consider the following conversation.
Pixie: (seeing me eating some pudding): What's that?
Pixie: Daddy, I like you. I looooobe you. You my friend.
Me: Have some pudding, sweetie.
Yes, indeed, folks, she is becoming a rational human being before my eyes. There are other words for this. One of my college professors always talked about parents who wouldn’t bribe their kids for fear that they would turn them into “capitalistic mongers.” But honestly, isn’t it just a lesson they have to learn in life. I mean, if Pixie does something good and I tell her “you’re such a good girl” is that really so different than Pixie doing something good so that I will give her a cookie?
You might wonder where this is all going. Consider another conversation:
Hollywood: Spike, why don’t you ever post?
Me: My friend Jay told me my last post was terrible.
Hollywood: Oh, honey. I love it when you post. Will you do it because you love me?
Me: I’ll think about it.
Hollywood: Some marketing company offered me a free MP3 player, if I would write a review of it.
Hollywood: You can have it if you write the review.
Ladies and gentleman, I bring you the Insignia 4GB Video MP3 Player.
Aesthetically, its beautiful; sleek, black and shiny.
I am not a big fan of the spinning wheel, mainly because it is plastic and feels cheap. Other wise 10 out of 10 on looks. Pictures on the screen are really clear. I can’t imagine watching a movie on the tiny screen (although you certainly can watch movies on it), but it’s plenty good for showing pictures of, oh, say, your two-year-old.
My real complaint is with its functionality. It’s just not that easy to use. It is supposed to play on blue tooth devices, but I couldn’t figure out how. It has a folder for audio books, but I can’t figure out how to get stuff into it. I can’t figure out how to make playlists on it. I will probably figure it out eventually, but the mark of a good piece of electronics is that it is so easy to use you couldn’t possibly get it wrong. This device falls well short of that. I am sure that I will love it when I get it all figured out, but I don’t like having to invest 10 hours into learning how to use something that a few more hours of careful planning when they made the device would have obviated.
There you have it, folks. Sorry this post is neither witty, nor sarcastic, nor schmaltzy, nor funny. But rest assured, gentle reader: you won’t hear from me again until Hollywood makes me another offer I can’t refuse.