Buythagoras (noun): the name given to the process in which one figures out how far one’s budget must stretch in order to purchase something that one does not need in their life. It is a complex process involving weighing the importance of food, rent, utilities, and the other necessities of life against the utility of acquiring a new distraction with a high regret factor.
Buythagoras’s theorem states that “the shortest distance between you and what you do not need is regret.”¹ This theorem was developed by Buythagoras, a not-so-ancient philosopher and general liker of things who postulated it after purchasing a limited edition² 128GB Apple iPhone 6 Rose Gold Regret just months before the iPhone 7 was announced.
Figure 1 (below) illustrates this principle with the cost (y) axis showing the rising costs of an item and the need-want (x) axis plotting the need for a particular item. The Hype-O-Te-Noose (red line) shows the increasing bombardment and embedded nature of advertisements which drive up the demand and, therefore, the cost of any given item.
The LOL-range (yellow area) shows the realm of impossibility, a fictitious place in which the cost of an item and its place on the need-want axis coincide in a way that does not need an individual to shell out a mortgage for a molehill. The regret zone (white area above the Hype-O-Te-Noose) is the reality of almost any given purchase—this is where Buythagoras’s theorem holds true and where, strangely enough, the answer to any nagging thoughts or the slightest display of consumer inhibitions is always “You do not have to pay for it now.”
¹ Regret being that feeling one feels immediately after acquiring a greatly desired frill with all of the bells and whistles and realising that life really does not need that much bell, or all that whistle, either.
² Limited edition: to be available in scarce quantities. Initially.
³ A colour so rare it can only be seen by people with more wallet than wit. Strangely enough, these are also the people who, upon seeing the Emperor in his new clothes, hastily called their tailors to make them similar garments.