I was too busy to make it to Birmingham’s Digital Britain Unconference yesterday, but one comment about the benefits of piracy in terms of information retrieval got me wondering: What ever happened to the virtue of deferred gratification?
The digital world (both legal and illegal) strives to feed our desire for instant gratification, but it will never satisfy us. Am I grateful that I can search for millions of different books on sites like amazon? Increasingly I am frustrated at having to wait a couple of days for delivery. The faster we are satisfied the faster we want to be satisfied. In twenty years time people will probably be complaining that they had to think of an object before it instantly appeared on their 3D printer; objects should appear before we think of them!
The move towards instant gratification is not a new thing, but as we defer gratification less and less you can’t help but wonder about the effect it will have on society. Criminals lacking the ability to defer gratification is not the same as saying that people who can’t defer gratification are criminals…instead we say the law is an ass.