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February 2010
 
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Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 01:36 am
Capitalism: doesn't it make you (mentally) sick?

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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Re: competitive un-consumption

I don't think you need to subscribe to tabula rasa models of humanity to see that television takes something that might be a minor part of our psychological make-up -- envy, greed, want, insecurity, comparing our lives to the lives we see onscreen -- and reinforces and heightens it.

For instance, I didn't watch any TV today. I did, though, read a lot of articles on the internet, and I played a lot of Wii tennis. If I'd chosen to watch TV, I'd have been subjected to more normative and, I think, anxiety-creating messages about myself (for instance, compared with the people on TV I'm a pretty weird guy with a weird lifestyle, and I might have started to feel, well, weird about that). Instead, I feel rather good for having beaten my computer rivals at tennis, and read some articles that made me feel smart and informed. My mental health levels are better than they might otherwise be. (Watching The IT Crowd makes me happy, though.)


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: competitive un-consumption

Hey Nick,

There's no doubt some element of it out there, but to another degree, you have to be desirous / insecure enough to buy into that model. If there's anything I've learned in my life it is that the people who are secure in their own skins (no matter what their material circumstances) can view the world through a more equanimous lens.

I spend 99% of my day on the Internet as it's my job, and it's equally easy to fall into the jealousy and desire trap when you're behind a desk in an office, and reading other people's Twitter tweets about how wonderful their lives / jobs are. The grass is always greener on the other side of the modem, of course. ;)


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: competitive un-consumption

So you didn't buy your Wii then, did you shoplift it? Would that lesson your chances of going mento.


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