First World Problems

The meme gets a musical:

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Sheesh

    One of my all-time favorite MC Frontalot tracks is his take on this meme. “First World Problem” from his 2010 album Zero Day

  •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

    I hate this hashtag. It makes no sense and it is very insulting to people from the developed world.

    • Daniel Fincke

      I feel similarly, it’s insulting to everyone, even. But the people like it and I give the people what they like.

      I was going to express my ambivalence but didn’t really have the precise words so just let a silly video in its own right stand, without worrying about the politics of it.

    •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

      Well, I’m glad to hear that you have the same feelings I do! As a purveyor of public content, I appreciate that you must occasionally toss bread to the masses…

  • Rabidtreeweasel

    My issue with this meme is that it can be used to trivialize actual problems. It is intended to point out the absurdities of consumerism, but I’ve also heard it applied incorrectly to issues of feminism. There is also the fact that not everyone living in our first world nation is enjoying the lifestyle portrayed. Even so, I’ll admit I’ve used it in reference to things which often annoy me that with perspective are not that big a deal.

  • Ned Champlain

    The biggest First World Problem is becoming a Third World, so parody all you wish, its just ahead.

    • Steve Schuler

      Roger That, Ned!

      I think that we all have been extraordinarily privileged to have lived during an age of unprecedented and unsustainable affluence, particularly those of us fortunate enough to have been born into the first world. It would seem that we are now on the precipice of a ‘perfect storm’ of social calamity as we enter an era of ever diminishing energy resources coupled with an ever expanding human population. “Peak Oil” is not exactly a new concept having first been investigated and discussed by M. King Hubbert in the 1950′s and, unfortunately, currently associated by some with the overblown concerns of a lunatic fringe of survivalist types.

      Anyhow, for anyone interested in investigating a fairly clear-headed look at our current predicament, and the potential of sustainable energy resources capacity to meet the “energy gap” as we run out of oil, you might consider reading “Sustainable Energy-Without the Hot Air” by David MacKay a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. The 383 page book is available in html format for online reading and can be downloaded as a pdf document for free as well. If you are interested, you can check it out at:

  • Arny

    Funny video, of course!

    Well, obviously these guys are making fun of the meme. Looking at their other videos, there is some serious talent behind the whole channel, AVbyte. I think the meme itself is at once really quite hilarious and very, very sad.

    In any case, I’m glad to see YouTubers who are using talents usually only found on stage or in concert halls to entertain people in a fun and lighthearted manner. It’s not some rap, or something as silly as another “S*** People Say” video!

    I agree with Daniel, in that these guys got it right in the sense that they’re not taking themselves seriously at all in pointing out the triviality of most First World Problem tweets and posts.

  • Cory

    Who divided our world into first, second and third world… certainly not these guys! I am amazed at this innovative approach to poke fun at (most likely) their peers, who just lost perspective of what’s a problem and what is really not. Only with this kind of silliness you can reach a certain part of this generation and hopefully make them reflect on their priorities.
    If this innocent, very funny and creative music video helps to highlight the absurdity of this hashtag: well done!
    I checked out their channel and I find there is a lot of potential behind it! It seems it is a new channel and in their few videos they have already touched a variety of serious issues.