Pokemon Go takes money out of local communities and centralizes it to big corporations, and that’s what’s wrong with late capitalism, says Timothy B. Lee at Vox:
If you were looking to have fun with some friends 50 years ago, you might have gone to a bowling alley. Maybe you would have hung out at a diner or gone to the movies.
These were all activities that involved spending a certain amount of money in the local economy. That created opportunities for adults in your town to start and run small businesses. It also meant that a teenager who wanted to find a summer job could find one waiting tables or taking tickets at the movie theater.
You can spend money on Pokémon Go too. But the economics of the game are very different. When you spend money on items in the Pokémon Go world, it doesn’t go into the pocket of a local Pokémon entrepreneur — it goes into the pockets of the huge California- and Japan-based global companies that created Pokémon Go.
There are, of course, some good things about this. Pokémon Go can be a much more affordable hobby than going to a bowling alley or the movies. In fact, you don’t have to spend any money on it. And the explosion of options made possible by online platforms creates real value — the average teenager has vastly more options for games to play, movies to watch, and so forth than at any time in American history.
Every once in a while I like to try things I used to hate that other people love, just to see if I still hate those things.
This weekend: Flip-flops.
I’ve always thought flip-flops look delightfully comfortable on other people, but they’ve been uncomfortable for me. I like going sockless in warm weather, but because of my extremely flat feet, it’s hard for me to find sandals that are comfortable.
My extremely flat feet give me a splayed walk and stance. It’s the opposite of pigeon-toed; my feet point outward when I stand or walk. Whenever I tried flip-flops when I was younger, my heel would walk out of the shoe, which was missing the point of wearing shoes in the first place.
However, it occurred to me recently that the last time I tried flip-flops was well before I lost weight. After losing weight, my shoe size got narrower, as my feet had less weight to support. Perhaps I’d be able to wear flip-flops now?
I was at the drugstore yesterday running an errand and gambled on an $11 pair of flip-flops, knowing I might be throwing the money away. I might try them on, take two steps, think, “oh, these still don’t work,” and throw them in the giveaway pile within minutes of their coming in the house.
I tried them on when I got home, but I still wasn’t sure. My heel stayed in the right place, but the flip-flops felt funny to walk in, particularly having that stem between my toes. I put the flip-flops aside, resolving to give them a good trial on the first day that was warm enough to wear them, which I thought would be as much as a month to six weeks off.
I slept in this morning and by the time I rolled out of bed it was 79 degrees. Shorts and flip-flops weather! I slipped on the flip-flops this morning, and got used to them quickly.
So now I’m a flip-flop guy.