A lot of products are rated on their quality or on their ability to bump us up a notch on the social number line. The latter is just a bunch of noise, and I do what I can to have the discipline to not fall for it, the former just says it will do the job it says it does. What I want are things that make my life less frustrating and they tell me they do. For example, I could have a robot to bathe me but then that’s something more that can break, but where the real frustration comes it is that that robot might need something refilled, something replaced. This is an interesting introspection I have had with living with a Roomba, the thing can feed itself but I have to change its diaper, and that does not make life easier when I primed for the vacuum process to be done automatically. However, when one vacuums with a traditional vacuum don’t we sometimes lead ourselves into a state of flow. Therefore, quite possibly a Roomba may not make life less frustrating, but it would just free up time that would be used in a meditative chore.
Lets have measures of products that make life less frustrating, say Cortisol levels that people have after they buy the product, and over time to see if disposing or moving something is a pain. Of course, mass catastrophes would noise out the stress of having to empty the Roomba, or the stress from using software in an undisciplined way. But in the end this may not be to practical unless it was a sort of citezen duty to swab your mouth every hour and document what you own and interact with, maybe then we would have a sample size that could send us a signal.
With reflection alone, however, we should be able to make better decisions on buying things that actually make life less frustrating, it would be nice if civil servants did too. Imagine this, would there be more utility delivered if we walked many hours through an every changing garden to work rather than the near dystopian looking highways that so many of us commute on. It takes more time, but in a better measure of utility (less frustration, more fulfillment, over blind economic activity which a whole lot is composed of the sale of things for compulsive behaviors) it works better.
Lets focus on what makes life less frustrating, and more fulfilling with a holistic view, because to many times I just see money spent on compulsions.