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comment by Floatbox
Floatbox  ·  2486 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

I would find it interesting if this article explored how a consuming culture is engineered. I'm not quite sure I buy that there is a Capital T They enforcing a cultural standard as a business strategy. My gut feeling is this culture emerged organically, contrary to this title.

That said, I agree that mindlessly consuming is spiritually unsatisfying and the forty-hour workweek ends up reinforcing in part those impulses.

Complexity  ·  2482 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would agree that certainly did emerge organically, just as some theorise that the entire cultural phenomenon of excess and parasitic proto-bourgeois classes emerged organically in the shift to a sedentary and agricultural society which required grain storage.

But certainly some things are designed. Like Gruen and Jerde designed, respectively, old-world ambling shopping environments and fast-paced, stimulating shopping environments based on the transfer of natural environments into architectural choices. The design is to elicit a reaction; in the case of those architectures, respectively a comfortable, reassured affinity with the environment or an excited, heightened engagement with it. Yet the goal in a retail environment is the same, to leverage a response in the shopper which will increase their spending.

In fact, contrary to the article, over time, working hours have decreased. Pre-WWII US work week was 60 hours (now avg. 33), Netherlands is aiming for 21. Of course the aim of any civilised organism is to reduce all 'necessary work' to zero and replace it with leisure. Any other goal is insanity, surely?

Agreed. The 'They' most people cite is just us with a different shirt on.