Kevin Kelly’s wisdom

For the last couple of years Kevin Kelly has been marking his birthday with lists of pieces of wisdom he has accumulated over the years: 2022, 2021, 2020. As one reads through them, some will resonate, some won’t. I often say that I get all my best ideas in the shower, but I also get all my worst ideas in the shower as well. The hard bit is figuring out which is which.

In the light of a recent car rental, I can say that these two pieces of advice from his 2022 piece are in conflict:

• Getting cheated occasionally is the small price for trusting the best of everyone, because when you trust the best in others, they generally treat you best.

• Don’t purchase extra insurance if you are renting a car with a credit card.

All car rental companies will try to extract money from you with extra charges and inflated damage waiver insurance. You’re always better off buying such insurance separately. However, this is still no comfort when the company decides to charge your credit card for spurious damage after the fact. The sense of betrayal stings.

The lesson I feel I should have learned by now is: avoid unattended drop-offs, because they will try to take advantage of you whenever they can. Always take photographs of the car (or any other rental item for that matter) when you take receipt and when you return it.

This piece of Kelly’s advice from 2021 is also relevant:

• What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. At your funeral people will not recall what you did; they will only remember how you made them feel.

I’m more familiar with this cautionary formulation: “people remember how you made them feel long after they’ve forgotten what you actually said or did.”

Let’s say that car rental company Easirent is on my shit list.