Assignment 4a: How to Decide if Something is Worth Buying
Occasionally, you’ll have to play a small-scale lottery with yourself where you are either the winner or loser.
Too often have you gotten something (book, TV show, CD, movie etc.) thinking that it would be amazing because the premise sounded amazing. You bought it and too late discovered that it is so completely horrible you want to invent a time machine to go back and slap yourself for even considering getting it, you impulsive idiot.
However, unlike the actual lottery, you have a choice. You have the ability to pre-emptively discover whether there is any chance of you actually liking that particular something.
Here is how to decide if something is worth buying.
How to Decide if Something is Worth Buying:
1. You must discover that it exists. This is a step you cannot really force— you have to just live your life and it comes into being when this happens.
There is a particular phenomenon that is usually found in this step which we will call the “Movie Trailer Principle.” The Movie Trailer Principle is the theory that you are initially going to be exposed to the best aspects that it has to offer in an effort to sway you into thinking it will be amazing. This can bee seen in comedy trailers where literally all the funny jokes are used to get you to go see the movie, but the actual movie is horrible in its entirety and the only good parts and punch lines were spoiled for you in the trailer… Like “Your Highness”… Man, that movie sucked. This happens more than people are willing to remember.
A more common occurance of this is that maybe you heard one song on the radio and foolishly thought that the entire album would be as amazing as that one song that was good enough to get onto the radio.
No. You are wrong. You are always wrong.
2. Ask around. Ask your friends if they liked it or if they have even heard of it. If they haven’t then you get to be a superior hipster about it. If they have, then you can ask them their genuine feelings about it. If you actually care about this person’s opinion you should take it into account when making your final choice.
3. You must research. Since the great and wonderful invention of the internet (all hail the overlord), infinite information is at your fingertips. All you have to do is find a site with reliable information and see what other people are saying about it or how it has been rated! There are so many great places to search for so many things!
Heck, most online stores have reviews for past shoppers literally on same page as the product in question.
And hey, if you discover that you’ll hate it, then you can use these sites to help you find something you will actually adore (
4. Decide. You have done your research, now you have to flip a coin and make your choice.
Except no, you dingbat, have you been paying attention at all? Make an educated decision now. The whole point of you reading this is so that you won’t leave it up to chance anymore. You need to either put that credit card away or try to remember the PIN number which you’ve forgotten.
If it is a book series, as a general rule you should borrow the first novel from the library and if you loved it then you can give yourself permission to buy the rest. Consider this scenario a lease with no down payment and an option to buy.
5. Live with your choice. Even though you put all that effort into it, you may not have liked it, but hey, nothing in life is for sure. Sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs to find the one who was put under a spell and is actually a human being (who now has a penchant for eating flies, but that’s another problem for another time). Even if it sucked, no one can say that you didn’t put yourself out there. Maybe next time it will be worth it.
Congratulations, you have made a choice. You may feel like you wasted your time but an alternate universe version of you who decided differently disagrees vehemently.
An alternate universe version of you is married to a personified Dr. Pepper.