Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Dichotomy and Duality of Good and Evil in Human Nature as Exemplefied in the Amazon Wish List

Xkot mentioned to me that Penny Arcade, an online comic, has set up an Amazon Wish List to donate toys to a children's hospital. Is that not one of the better things people can do with an Amazon wish list?

And then I think about those infamous webcam girls and they way they use that same wish list.

Which, inevitably. sets me to thinking about myself and other webloggers I know and how THEY use a wishlist. Some people go past the wishlist altogether and just set up a donation button via Amazon. Some people link to their wishlists and use a "greed counter" or somesuch to mock their own acquisitiveness. At one time Ftrain had a rather searing mock "wishlist", but it seems to be gone now -- sacrificed, perhaps, to the realities of online publishing. Some people are quite frank about sharing their wishlists.

And none of them do I begrudge a single thing. I love perusing wishlists. It gives me things to ask about or talk about -- does this person like the same books, movies and music I do? Have they got weird or esoteric titles listed, or serious hobbies or collection fetishes? You can learn a lot about a person from their weblist.

It serves other purposes, too, aside those of making buying Christmas or birthday gifts easier. Sometimes, someone on the web does me a great service -- helping me with a software issue, hooking me up with something I want or need, listening to me whine about my life. Sometimes it's just that they consistently write things that move me, entertain me, and/or make me think about those things on which I need to think. And sometimes it's hard to say thank you in a meaningful way. Ah, but there's a wishlist and a (usually) inexpensive item on it that can be sent. There are no strings, no expectation of reciprocal action, no obligation. Plus, since I'm prejudiced toward buying things that I like, I figure it's one more thing about which to talk.

Yes, I have a wish list. I use it for family and friends, as a list of things I'm looking for or want to remember later. I usually buy the stuff on that list for myself (it's a rare year when my husband remembers I have it *gasp*). I edit it frequently as my interests and desires and piles of stuff change. It's my little online notebook.

No, I'm not linking to it here. Why? If you really, really want to see it, you know everything you need to know to find it :> And I'll know you were thinking about me, which is better than getting anything on it. Well, almost.

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