My office is currently purchasing new computer equipment to replace the more outdated machines that currently populate our office. I was drafted to help in the process, and spent the majority of last week browsing for the cheapest deals on laptops and desktops. I had certain criteria that I had to meet for each computer, and a budget, but apart from that I had free reign over what laptops were purchased. Between the scrimping and saving, and virtual coupon cutting I found that the thing that was eating up the majority of my budget, for the least gain, was the Microsoft Office Software. $250 for the Microsoft Office Suite. Maybe for a business it really isn’t that much, but to me it seems kind of ridiculous. For the last decade or so, Microsoft Word has remained basically the same, apart from a few new font packs, except the price remains ludicrously high. Or so I feel anyways.
Like any good law-abiding citizen I turned my attention to the Microsoft alternative, Open Office, which runs quite smoothly on my old desktop at home. However when I tested it on some of the current machines at the office to see how it ran, it was incompatible with several programs simply because it wasn’t Microsoft Word. Not because it had a different functionality. Not because there was some deep seated problem with Open Office Software. It didn’t run simply because it was not from Microsoft. It seems to me that Microsoft has an unspoken Monopoly in the business world, with any office that wants to spare itself the headache of buying Microsoft Office entering into a new realm of compatibility nightmares.
Now as a good law-abiding citizen I would never condone piracy in any way shape or form, and did end up ordering the software. It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. With that being said, what do all of you think about piracy? If a company has a monopoly over a certain market, and charges unreasonable prices, does that make piracy justifiable? Or is that just an excuse people use to justify stealing?
I’ve been recently thinking about people’s motives for receiving plastic surgery. While it is true that many people seek the assistance of plastic surgeons for serious physical deformity, whether for burn repair or breast reconstruction after cancer, it seems like the vast majority of people seek out plastic surgeons for more superficial needs. Wiping away wrinkles and creases, smoothing down fat or taking it away all together, most people go in for non-invasive treatment to boost their self esteem and make them appear younger. It’s purely superficial and entirely for appearance sake, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. If a few dermal fillers is all it takes to make people more confident about themselves, then by all means they should go for it. It simply concerns me that this fairly recent trend of commercial plastic surgery, within the last two decades or so, is taking away from what people should be focused on to improve themselves.
Now I am a firm believer that a person has the right to do whatever they want with their body, so long as it does not harm or intentionally insult others. However, I do feel that in many cases plastic surgery is more of a short cut that lets people bypass better life choices in favor of looking good with less effort. People who are morbidly obese and receive liposuction and fat removal completely disregard the needs of their body in favor of improving it’s appearance, which does nothing to improve the state of their internal organs. Besides allowing people to mask their bodies’ problems, most non-invasive plastic surgery requires the injection of toxins and synthetic fat/carbohydrate combinations to fill out lines and wrinkles. The most common type of botox used by plastic surgeons around the country (Botulinum A Toxin) is not approved by the FDA for the removal of wrinkles and lines. Now, while the FDA is far from perfect, and my feelings for it are best saved for a different rant, its purpose is to care for the health and well being of the general populace. This entire organization can be bypassed by simply signing a consent form and the appropriate notices that come with it. It’s almost funny that an entire organization can be rendered useless by a single sheet of paper. I suppose my question is , is there a point where people should be denied plastic surgery for their well-being or should they simply be held accountable for their actions, by their own bodies?