the ethics of deluding people.

i was just reading an interesting article on ethical investing. usually these discussions tend to be about greener companies and responsible corporate citizenship and the like. this was an interesting perspective:

Gambling and Hollywood [for example] have disproportionate impacts on poor people – people at the bottom – particularly Hollywood. It gives people a vision of life, a way of thinking, a way of looking at the world, that’s antithetical to their success in many ways. However you look at it – whether it’s locking them into sexual license, whether it’s locking them into a vision of cynicism, or whether it’s locking them into a materialism where they think that’s the way to be human – the way to succeed is to have all this expensive stuff that you have to buy, some sort of ticket to the rat race.

i often think of the impact on people i see with the “keeping up with the joneses” syndrome. i really scratch my head at, for example, the premium people are willing to pay for automobile branding. i mean, a jaguar is just a ford these days, and a benz is a chrysler. yet people are willing to pay double for a different hood emblem. the car-as-status culture is not as pervasive here in berkeley as it is in my hometown of L.A., but i still see it everywhere i go. i know this might elicit comments from some that there are real “performance” and “comfort”and “safety” values to certain luxury cars. and i might concede the point in some cases. only to spare your feelings while we’re cruising in your ride.
and i really feel very sad for people who buy into the absolute fiction that diamonds are valuable. oh hey, valentine’s day is coming up.
i really enjoyed this article today as well, about leaving the information age and moving into the conceptual age. because i am all about conceptualization.






5 responses to “the ethics of deluding people.”

  1. gimaha Avatar

    Well, you’re answered the burning question for those of us who have wondered what you were all about. Now, have you seen any Volvos for sale in your neighborhood?

  2. Dav Avatar

    (Sort of a tangent)

    I used to live in New Orleans’ Franch Quarter back in 1990. Back then Bourbon Street was a fun place on any night, but really went wild only on special weekends like Superbowl, Jazz Fest or Mardi Gras. I moved away and returned for visits a decade later and discovered Wednesday nights of no particular signficance were out of control, beads flying, tits showing …like every night was a mini Mardi Gras. I cannot prove it, but I am convinced that this is almost wholly due to the Girls Gone Wild commercials. The preponderance of those commercials on late night party-oriented TV socialized an entire nation into thinking that’s simply how you are supposed to act when you go to Bourbon Street.

  3. phil Avatar

    bret – why don’t you start the car, and i’ll jump in.

  4. Bill Avatar

    don’t forget the fat, old guys driving brand new Ferraris around San Francisco…

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