A recent poll noted that a number of items that used to be considered luxurey items we now consider to be necessary just to get along in the world.
Percent of adults polled who rate the following items as necessities:
Clothes washer 90%
Clothes dryer 83%
Home air conditioning 70%
TV set 64%
Car air conditioning 59%
Home computer 51%
Cell phone 49%
Cable/satellite TV 33%
High-speed Internet 29%
Flat-screen TV 5%
My own personal ranking of these items in order of necessity: 1)cell phone 2) Computer...preferably laptop 3)internet 4)car 5)air-conditioning
There's some leeway in there, as having laptop, I could leave my house and go to where there is an internet connection and airconditioning, but I might need a car to do that, so maybe I should flip 3 and 4. It gets pretty hot here--the summer I went without A.C. I could barely sleep at night after a while. But I think I would still put it last.
I think it was the guy in Snow Crash who lived in a public storage space, but had this very souped up online existence. I can relate to that.
For me, all forms of hi-tech washing fall far behind, which says something about my priorities though I admit I would be less cavalier about giving up public laundry facilities (which I travel to in my car) as if the choice were to send me back to the washboard, I can see how that would be more of a hardship.
What about you?