Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
April 14, 2013 5:35 AM   Subscribe

There is a curious feeling of power you get when you drop a couple of twenties without a trace of critical thinking. "Here in the West, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business."

"The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce."

"The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is exercise. It's also the last thing I want to do after dinner or before bed or as soon as I wake, and that's really all the time I have on a weekday."

"We've been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing."
posted by paleyellowwithorange (57 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Somewhere, Adam Curtis is rolling his eyes
posted by fullerine at 5:53 AM on April 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


The premise seems a bit flawed given that, over the past couple of decades, businesses have been expanding their working week into those very same evening and weekend hours. It's pretty rare these days for an office worker to not bring home work throughout the week, or be on-call 24/7. thanks to the company-provided smartphone.

So, if the 40-hour workweek is such a boon to the interests of the corporation, why erode it by expanding it into this supposed leisure/consumption/spending time?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:54 AM on April 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


I initially thought and hoped it was going to be about the power of greased palms.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:55 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mod note: I added quotation marks.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:58 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I appreciate this author's point that we should cautious about purchasing shit we don't need, but equating marketing with mind control is hyperbole. Spending money unwisely is enjoyable not because corporations make us believe such, but for deeper, darker reasons. Marketers just help exploit that strange human instinct to say Fuck It and pull out the credit card. If you've ever seen videos of sheiks (or Drakes) dropping tens of thousands of 1 dollar bills on dancing girls, consider for a moment not how demeaning it is for the woman, but the feeling of suicidal freedom that must be surging through them as they heave fistfuls of crisp bills into the air.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:00 AM on April 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


This feels like it's missing a "wakeupsheeple" tag.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:02 AM on April 14, 2013 [15 favorites]


"I appreciate this author's point that we should cautious about purchasing shit we don't need, but equating marketing with mind control is hyperbole"
This post is just Gruen too far?
posted by fullerine at 6:08 AM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, we've now entered the bad pun phrase of the thread.
posted by goethean at 6:17 AM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, if the 40-hour workweek is such a boon to the interests of the corporation, why erode it by expanding it into this supposed leisure/consumption/spending time?

Tragedy of the Commons, I think. Accepting the premise that it's optimal for corporate society as a whole if everyone worked 40 hour weeks, one individual company can squeeze out just a little more profit by overworking their employees, so long as everyone else still has enough spare time for a consumer lifestyle. Then, once enough companies start doing that, the whole system suffers.
posted by Cironian at 6:19 AM on April 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Okay, we've now entered the bad pun phrase of the thread.

Otherwise known as "the thread."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:24 AM on April 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


Hard to read this after being un- or funemployed for five years. Sorry that the author feels like his spare time for backpacking is being eaten up by urges to wantonly spend all that "grow back" cash he has. My job went Poof! along with hundreds of others in my building in 2009 and so far nothing has "grown back" for me and thousands of others across the nation.

If corporations really want me to get back to that 40-hour work week, "spending spree on the weekend" lifestyle, it'd be nice if they'd want me to get back at all.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:28 AM on April 14, 2013 [29 favorites]


Somewhere, Vance Packard is dead.
posted by flechsig at 6:30 AM on April 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm working part-time right now because I have some cushion, but what I do is kind of highly-trained-monkey work that doesn't pay high enough for me to live off of working part-time in the long term. So, my job has flexible hours, but is not high enough paid to really be permanently viable with that flexibility. Looking for options with a high enough per-hour to survive on fewer weekly hours where part-time jobs are available... it's slim pickings. I don't have the spending habits that require a 40-hour week, but I need health insurance, you know?
posted by Sequence at 6:31 AM on April 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only feeling I get when I "drop" a couple of unnecessary twenty dollar bills on something I don't need but end up buying anyway is less of "power" and more of "well, that was stupid."
posted by Kitteh at 6:31 AM on April 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


I don't have the spending habits that require a 40-hour week, but I need health insurance, you know?

Honestly, the only "spending habits" of mine that require a 40-hour week are "rent" and "debt". I wish that I could blow money every weekend rather than saving for a few big things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on April 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Yeah, remember how those corporations fought and fought for the 40 hour week? The unions were all "but we want to work all the time!" and the bosses said "no, no, we need to limit your hours to 40 per week so that we can create leisure time, mwahahahahah!"
posted by yoink at 6:43 AM on April 14, 2013 [94 favorites]


What I’m doing isn’t unusual at all. Everyone else seems to do this.

Well, not everyone. My wife makes a reasonable income, not huge, but enough, and she spends VERY LITTLE beyond the obvious, reasonable food and housing costs. She will repurpose items until they are dust, nothing gets thrown away without a lot of thought, and she's driving a 24 year old car with 260,000 miles on it (that she bought used for cash when it was a year old). 95% of her clothes come from resale shops. She's lived like this for many, many years.

I have to admit that it took her years to get me onboard with this way of thinking/living, but I'm better at it now. I seldom eat out, eat very little pre-prepared food, have had my current car for 6 years (which is a record for me), and have actually experienced the release of the latest Apple product cycle (x2) without buying one. We also cut our housing size in half two years ago and that was a huge relief in terms of not wasting space/energy and not being able to fill up that other 1,000 square feet with STUFF.

I believe that living like that on a regular, thoughtful basis when it may not be necessary is more significant than being forced into it because you're backpacking and can only own 100 lbs for a year.
posted by HuronBob at 6:44 AM on April 14, 2013 [19 favorites]


There is pressure to consume right up to and beyond your financial means. When we moved to Canada last year, our realtor kept showing us houses outside our specified price range. We could afford them, but it would require a bigger commitment than we were prepared to make. Ithe "keeping up with the Joneses" factor is prevalent.
posted by arcticseal at 6:52 AM on April 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I actually do get that feeling of power-even exhilaration- from spending large. Especially tipping big. I grew up poor, (like, going-to-bed-hungry, moving-because-we're-skipping-out-on-rent, dad-sold-the-washing-machine-for-drug-money, other-peoples'-parents-buying-me-lunch poor), and being able to just throw down cash and get nice things like I can, as though I don't have to "afford" it, feels goooood. It makes me feel fucking free.* Like I finally have what everyone else has, like no one's taking pity on me, like that server who just got a 100% tip must think I'm pretty ok, must feel pretty good. It honestly makes me feel like king shit. (For me, "spending large" is a lot closer to the $100 mark than the $10,000 mark, but it's about the emotion, not the numbers- it's so much more than I can actually afford, it just feels large because I'm not scrimping and scraping for a change).

*until I get the credit card bill that explains how it is going to take me 50 years to pay off.
posted by windykites at 6:59 AM on April 14, 2013 [25 favorites]


So, if the 40-hour workweek is such a boon to the interests of the corporation, why erode it by expanding it into this supposed leisure/consumption/spending time?

Because the less spare time you have, the more you are willing to spend in order to make that spare time really memorable/relaxing/entertaining. At least, that's the author of the article's premise. The idea being that, right up until the point at which you have no free time at all, you will just keep on spending more to make the shorter periods of leisure more worthwhile.
posted by MUD at 7:01 AM on April 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle.

i'd fall off my chair laughing, but i'm too damn tired from the 52 hour work week i just put in

by the way, that's a LIGHT week for me

Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends.

some of us have a life because we DO something, not just spend money
posted by pyramid termite at 7:03 AM on April 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a shame that when Raptitude gets featured on the Blue, it's a 3-year-old post with dubious socioeconomic claims.

It's a good blog. Articles are longer than most self-help blogs, but David's someone who wrestles thoughtfully with how to live a happy, fulfilled life. If you like introspective ruminations, it's worth checking out some of the more recent articles.
posted by BrashTech at 7:05 AM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Part of an old school of classic Greek thinking was to only work as much as you needed to to live.

This line of thinking was talked about during the 1920-1940 Great Depression by the Technocracy movement. Part in response to the lack of work and part to the start of "labor saving" devices and wider scale electrification that existed at the time.

Post WWII as I understand the truth to be, the only difference between the 1st edition book called "Public Relations" and the 5th edition book by Edward Bernays called "Propaganda" was the title change.

So its not like this information is unknown and the backpacker in question has found it for the 1st time in all of Humanity.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:07 AM on April 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you like introspective ruminations, it's worth checking out some of the more recent articles.

Here's one I read just this minute; it's more recent than the one I posted above, but still a couple of years old: How to Walk Across a Parking Lot.

I discovered Raptitude a couple of hours ago.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:10 AM on April 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Cain would have more time if he stopped writing this stuff. The parking lot post might be deep thought for someone but it strikes me as the work with someone who really needs to think less, act more.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:15 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


it just feels large because I'm not scrimping and scraping for a change.

Right you are about that windy kites. There is a lot to be said for this. When you've been putting off forever, it's a nice feeling to not have to anymore. Avoiding small, not really important purchases - like dropping into the bar for a few drinks - becomes a way of life when money is tight. And man it is nice when you have enough extra coin to do it again.
posted by three blind mice at 7:15 AM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


it strikes me as the work with someone who really needs to think less, act more.

An interesting point; but I reckon what Cain is getting at is the idea of more fully merging thinking and acting. Some of us, yes, need to 'think less, act more'. But acting mindfully - now there's a behavior worth working on.

I probably think too much, but a lot of my thinking is unproductive or self-harming. It's worth my while to try harnessing my overactive mind to positive ends. Even if that means I end up making a big deal about walking across a parking lot, that's arguably a better outcome than a great deal of the nonsense self-talk I gravitate towards.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:21 AM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cain would have more time if he stopped writing this stuff.

More time for what?
posted by carsonb at 7:23 AM on April 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Here's one from December: How to sit in a chair and drink tea. Delightful!

I know there are people for whom this kind of thing is 'Well, duh.' I am not one of those people.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:27 AM on April 14, 2013


If the 40 hour workweek is a tool, why is it being eroded downwards, as well? It seems like many companies' ideal employee is one who works as a consistent, but not too time-consuming hobby while someone else covers the majority of their COL - pink collar positions have long been structured and compensated thusly. Part time jobs, contract positions, temp labor are the new norm for a lot of people, and they regularly end up with way more time than money on their hands.
posted by Selena777 at 7:28 AM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd agree that social competition has played an enormous part in keeping us overworked. Yet, we're perhaps running out of ways to conspicuously consume now though. Yes, you could blow hundreds of thousands renting a yacht, or millions buying one, but Ephemerisle or Junk Raft Armada sound way more fun. All the inexpensive products Made in China works just fine. There is no bar as fun as a good botellón, really none. etc.

We've much larger problem with unnecessary work however, including most management, police, finance, etc., which differs from organizational conspicuously consumption. At present, these unnecessary tasks are most easily tackled through a combination of automation and collaborative process, i.e. convince upper management to eliminate them. Every year, we've larger and larger companies flat management structures, for example.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:34 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If the 40 hour workweek is a tool, why is it being eroded downwards, as well?

Because benefits cost money. We have this expectation that people who work full time should have basic benefits, but those cost money. So if you draw this out, the most profitable spots on the graph are "almost, but not quite, full-time so no benefits" and "full-time plus enough unpaid overtime to cover the cost of the benefits". Dehumanizing people in either direction just adds so much shareholder value that we have to do it, right?
posted by mhoye at 7:36 AM on April 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


equating marketing with mind control is hyperbole

It's all over the net and easy to find. 4 hours long. The Century Of The Self. Watch it.
posted by hippybear at 7:48 AM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


More time for what?

Something something too much time on his hands something something.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:14 AM on April 14, 2013


Raptitude previously, previouslier.

Similar mixed receptions. :)
posted by BrashTech at 8:31 AM on April 14, 2013


That's why I'm a freelance musician. I can seek entertainment whenever the hell I want. Not that I'm dropping twenties all over the place-
posted by ReeMonster at 8:33 AM on April 14, 2013


I enjoyed the article, and I hope I think about it next time I'm tempted to buy some little empty luxury.

Having recently run the gauntlet of tech interviews, I have the impression that wanting to work only 40 hours/week will get you branded as lazy in some places. Asking specifically about work-life balance, I was told by several recruiters, "There are no required hours, but the average is around 60. It's fun!"
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:53 AM on April 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


The pressure to CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME isn't just the fault of marketing departments, it's the fault of everyone who buys into it and spreads it, though. We just came into a bit of money--not, like, next Donald Trump money, but "finally pay off some of the expenses we racked up bouncing around the country when I was getting laid off every six months--and the people we told instantly set about spending it for us. "YOU COULD BUY A NEW TV! OOOH YOU COULD GO TO DISNEY WORLD!" When we'd say something like "We have a perfectly functioning TV and we hate children and being outside in the heat with them so we're just going to use it to pay off some debts and save the rest", people would react like we were yanking down our pants and crapping all over their feet. It was visceral disgust.

That said, I do get the appeal of spending money without worrying about it. Paying off those debts means we don't have to spend as much time worrying about every dollar and it feels so nice to just buy things we need without worrying whether we're blowing our budget for the month.

Having recently run the gauntlet of tech interviews, I have the impression that wanting to work only 40 hours/week will get you branded as lazy in some places. Asking specifically about work-life balance, I was told by several recruiters, "There are no required hours, but the average is around 60. It's fun!"

This is completely true. I worked in a place where they went on and on about the importance of work-life balance during the interview and when I showed up on the first day they said, basically "Haha, hope you didn't believe all that work-life balance crap we said during the interview because 12 hour days are mandatory and if you leave before the CEO you may as well just not show up the next day."

Another place was just recently courting me and bragging about how everyone in the office works 90 hour weeks and it's a real competition to be last in the office and they work law firm hours and not only were they super gung-ho about it, they were horrendously offended when I said, "So why would I work twice as much for what I'm making now?" because obviously it was perfectly reasonable for me to take a job that works law firm hours without the biglaw paycheck to be part of their AWESOME HARD-CHARGING CORPORATE CULTURE.

We've turned work into machismo masochism, at least in tech.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:04 AM on April 14, 2013 [33 favorites]


I laughed when I read this article. The forty-hour workweek was a luxury people fought to wring out of their employers along with occupational safety, an end to child labor, and improved wages. Sure, be thoughtful in how you spend, upper middle class person, but the initial operating assumptions are classist as all get-out and undermined the point.
posted by immlass at 9:12 AM on April 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


When we moved to Canada last year, our realtor kept showing us houses outside our specified price range. We could afford them, but it would require a bigger commitment than we were prepared to make.

That's probably because there weren't any houses at your price point. (Right now, this is a specifically Canadian problem, but it probably applied to the U.S. up to 2007, when the real-estate bubble there burst.) In Toronto, for instance, there is essentially nothing for sale at 3× the median household income.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:23 AM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can we all agree that the author means ~40 and above hours? I'm sure everyone here has an example of working more than 40 hours a week, it's not uncommon. It's not just tech, it's not just law offices, it's everywhere. If you're on the clock, however, your boss wants you the hell out of there when your shift is over. More of the obvious...

Even all you frugal people out there, I bet, will start spending more here and there if you have cash to spare. Instead of making coffee at home, you buy a refill at the local shop, and take an extra 10 mins to get out of bed instead of rushing.

There is a big office park in the city where I live that is surrounded by moderately priced lunch restaurants. These restaurants are not easily accessible to residential areas because there aren't really any nearby, and the ones that are are across an interstate with no pedestrian access. The survival of these places is evidence of the author's point.

I went from being part time to a full time engineering student recently. It is amazing how much money I spend on minor conveniences -- expenditures I would have proudly avoided a couple of years ago. Mental energy is something I don't have a surplus of anymore, so sometimes it is a hell of a lot easier to pay for a sandwich and coffee that is more expensive than I would like and get right back to my homework.

I bought a new laptop when the hard drive in my other one started to make noise because the idea of spending 6 hours to do backups and flip hard drives seemed like an unpleasant waste of time when I could just transfer over to something without a cracked case and a fully operational battery...

It's easy to save money when you have to. Much harder when you don't.
posted by hellslinger at 9:38 AM on April 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Once you have kids the idea of disposable income becomes absurd, because you won't have any.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:00 AM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Once you have kids the idea of disposable income becomes absurd, because you won't have any.

Kids have no notion how much stuff costs you in terms of time, effort, and stress. All they know is all their friends (live and internet) have an X and they don't, or everybody they see on TV has an X and they don't, and all that's standing in their way is you saying no because reasons.
posted by jfuller at 10:23 AM on April 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


I tend cut them a little slack - they're kids, after all - and show a little leadership as a parent. It's a good chance to talk about budgeting and impulse control, two key attributes of successful adults. There's a lot of talk about how corporations and marketers somehow hack consumer behaviour, but, fundamentally we are all responsible for handing our money over at the cash register. It's insulting to think that we don't have agency, or that there is some mythical group of people dumber than we are that needs to be protected.

That said of course peer pressure is a huge issue. We live a low rent existence in an affluent community, so there is always the pressure to buy the kids the nice shoes, the iPod, the Minecraft subscription. Cell phones are right around the corner. But fundamentally, we all have choices about what to buy and what not to buy.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:42 AM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Even all you frugal people out there, I bet, will start spending more here and there if you have cash to spare. Instead of making coffee at home, you buy a refill at the local shop, and take an extra 10 mins to get out of bed instead of rushing.

Nope - I still make my own coffee in the morning and drink it before work, and then avail myself of the free coffee at the office, rather than sleep in an extra ten minutes. I also brown-bag it in the summer when I've got more things around the house that I can take to the office and eat cold, I walk or bike on the weekends in Brooklyn rather than taking a car or the subway, I rarely eat out, I shop almost exclusively on eBay for clothes and I do a good bulk of my clothes repair myself; I also make a lot of my own basic cleaning supplies and kitchen staples. And when I travel I stay in youth hostels, and most of my books are free via Paperbackswap. Yeah, occasionally I splurge on a mint frappucino once in a blue moon or whatever, but most of the time the money is going into either savings or debt paydown.

And that is by conscious choice, and a genuine not giving two farts about labels or having an "in" lifestyle. Also, it's because I didn't just grow up frugal - I grew up New England frugal.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:31 AM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's probably because there weren't any houses at your price point.

No. There were a bunch of houses at our price point, we found one we love once we'd trained the realtor to understand that we really didn't want a huge house in the suburbs. Now we walk to the shops and my commute to work is only 10 minutes. We traded size for convenience and a manageable mortgage. You don't have to buy into the lifestyle upgrade if you don't want to.
posted by arcticseal at 11:39 AM on April 14, 2013


> I tend cut them a little slack - they're kids, after all - and show a little leadership as a parent. It's a good
> chance to talk about budgeting and impulse control, two key attributes of successful adults.

Oh, aye to all that. It's a constant burr under the saddle, though, and I can't help but think it wouldn't be such an issue in a society that was less consume-consume-consume oriented.

OTOH it does not seem to me to be worse now than ever, having lived through one post-WWII childhood (mine) and then three more (stepson, teenaged in the 1980s; son, teenaged in the 1990s; daughter, teenaged in the 2000s). It frankly seems about the same as ever. The popularity of "keeping up with the Joneses" is credited to a comic strip by that name that started running in 1913. Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders was first published in 1957. (It's had many covers over the years. This one summarizes the contents best.)

Really the only big difference that jumps out at me is the price of some of the little toylike things you can expect a kid to ask you for today. My daughter hit the cell phone sweet spot--they existed, and I certainly wanted her to have one ("Have a good time tonight dear, be careful and call us if you need us. And please keep your ringer ON so we can find you if we have to. we promise not to have to unless it's life and death.") But they were all dumb phones. There were not yet any $600 smartphones to lust after.
posted by jfuller at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Been reading Debord's Society of the Spectacle (free from libcom.org - free downloads of anarchist & socialist e-books) and some Virilio, it's amazing how straight-forwardly, obviously true it all seems...
posted by maiamaia at 1:58 PM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorry, the site i was looking for on tumblr's gone. Still, sure it can be found easily - it was always 60p for a photocopy from the veteran anarchists of AKPress (scotland, if i remember correctly - saw them recently on the internet, lots of old friends pop up that way decades since you last saw them, if you're my age!)
posted by maiamaia at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2013


Also, yes, i spend aggressively on anything i want when i have work - i get sick of 'can't have this, can't have that' - what i'm talking about is food and busfares. I eat anything i want, i don't go 'marmalade's too expensive, no you can't have cannellini beans' etc when i'm employed. I hate having to eat always the same boring stuff. I am a huge indulgence-spender. You feel like you're kicking against the traces (part of horse harness connecting it to carriage, young persons) but really you're just locking yourself tighter in their prison.
posted by maiamaia at 2:07 PM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is the kind of pseudo-critical thinking that makes the system work even more efficiently.
posted by AlsoMike at 2:26 PM on April 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Now we walk to the shops and my commute to work is only 10 minutes. We traded size for convenience and a manageable mortgage. You don't have to buy into the lifestyle upgrade if you don't want to.

It's not buying into a lifestyle upgrade. The typical Canadian family cannot afford to buy the typical Canadian home. It's worse in the big cities.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:59 PM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I often wonder how people afford a home in Vancouver, but even places like Saskatoon and Regina seem to be experiencing housing bubbles.

In Victoria, I keep saying you need an annual household income of at least 80k (preferably 100k) to own a home and manage morgage payments etc.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:23 PM on April 14, 2013


More time for fun! He's not even 33, and he seems like he's in his 70s.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:00 PM on April 14, 2013


His general point about runaway consumerist excess is so obviously true as to be almost a cliché, but he undermines his point with some amateur socioeconomic theorizing. The 40 hour work is not part of the problem, but clever marketing combined without our natural insatiable desire for more is, made that much worse now that politics by design has become not much more than a means to accelerate the trend and keep us as permanent semi-slaves. That being said, I perfectly understand what he is saying, having gone through the full (although hardly rich at any point) cycle myself in the last ten years.
posted by blue shadows at 11:15 PM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since he's a surveyor, his income depends on anyone building ohmigod! malls, centers, stores, and so on. I'd take him more seriously in about 10 years.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:29 PM on April 14, 2013


Most of this is so old and accepted to be boring except where he's wrong - He still sees it as some kind of big conspiracy theory that was "designed, engineered, created etc.." when its not. The lives we live are not designed - they are evolved in the decentralised competitive realm of the market.
posted by mary8nne at 5:41 AM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


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