Thursday, November 09, 2006

Today's Ramble - 11/9/06

Today's Ramble has to do with the concept of desire. Consumer culture has helped most Americans develop a very strong desire muscle. The constant barrage of advertisements is designed to build this muscle to such as extent that it is impossible to avoid the impulse of buying. In fact, most people's desire muscle is much stronger than their will power muscle. Just take a look at the numbers associated with consumer credit and debt.

A recent study on inner desire has shown that 61% of respondents always have something in mind that they look forward to buying. The "wish lists" contained an average of 6.3 items and were heavily dominated by material possessions. In fact, consumable items outnumbered idealized ideas three to one. For every person dreaming about better health, for example, three were dreaming about that new car. The most interesting finding in this study is that wish lists did not vary by sex, education, income, or standard of living. To use Juliet Schor's words, "consumerism is an equal opportunity ideology".

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