consumer-culture

“Consumer culture can be broadly defined as a culture where social status, values, and activities are centered on the consumption of goods and services. In other words, in consumer culture, a large part of what you do, what you value and how you are defined revolves around your consumption of stuff.”
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❱❱ Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance and turned us into a nation of voyeurs

Catherine, a 58-year-old Florida snowbird who uses Blink cameras to watch her home in Minnesota and who requested to use only her first name, said the cameras have become so easy to turn on that many people don’t really think about what’s at stake. Parents who installed cameras in kids’ rooms, she said, might end up depriving them of the privacy they need to grow into independent adults.
“We’re all getting too paranoid. Everybody thinks they’re going to be the next victim. And it’s set into us this mentality that we have to watch everything and everybody,” she said. “They think, ‘If I put all these cameras up, I’ll be safe.’ Safe from what? … It’s only making them more afraid.”

Speaking of consumer culture developing, then praying upon, a stunted maturity…

❱❱ What It Takes to Grow Up, What It Means to Have Grown

Perhaps the most difficult beauty and the hardest-won glory of true adulthood is the refusal, vehement and counter-cultural and proud, to relinquish our inner magnolias as we grow older, declining to sacrifice them at the altar-register of a culture that continually robs us of our self-worth and tries to sell it back to us at the price of the latest product.

Maria Popova collects a bit of wisdom about growing up and it's relationship to consumer culture…

❱❱ Uber successfully recycled Koch propaganda from the 80s

Daniel Harvey for 20 Minutes into the Future…

The campaigns used simplistic narrative construction to frame their evidence-free arguments. As with with the failed effort in the 80s the claims were that deregulation would:

lead to the end of "evil cab cartels" and "corrupt regulators" and beholden city officials

unlock job opportunities for "entrepreneurial drivers"

Consumer culture is the ease at which corporations can make their customers feel heroic for spreading transparent propaganda, the purpose of which is to hide real exploitation.

If you swap corporations for people with power and customers for people without power, you get the culture of authoritarianism.

Real societal change doesn't happen without an acknowledgement of, and a taking of responsibility for, those difficult similarities and the holes they promise to fill.