post-materialism

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pages: 484 words: 131,168

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, War on Poverty, white flight, World Values Survey

The reason Bill Clinton didn't declare his own "war on poverty" was that so few people trusted government to engage in such an ambitious campaign—fewer than in the era before 1965, when Americans would lose their trust in government to do much of anything at all.64 Where Are All the "Good" Men? Ron Inglehart's theory of post-materialism has engendered surprisingly little interest among observers of American politics.* Harold Wilensky, an esteemed political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, has called the post-materialist culture shift a "myth." Wilensky has written that the surveys Inglehart used have technical problems and their results show little significant change. Besides, Wilensky has argued, most of the trends identified by the post-materialists (women's rights, environmentalism) were in motion during the heyday of the industrial economy. Wilensky suggests that we "drop" terms such as "post-materialism" "from our vocabulary."65 Other scholars, however, acknowledge that society has changed focus.

"People are not turning to health professionals," a professor at the University of North Carolina observed.75 Why? Because post-materialists are less trusting of established authorities, including doctors and scientists. In November 2005, the Swiss voted to support a five-year ban on genetically modified crops, reflecting the rejection of some kinds of scientific innovations by the increasingly post-materialist Europeans.76 Canada ranks higher on Inglehart's measures of post-materialism than the United States. Little wonder that a New York Times headline read, "Canada's Views on Social Issues Is Opening Rifts with the U.S."77 There is also a post-materialist geography in the United States. The Washington Post reported in early 2006 that "Democratic-leaning states increasingly are regulating energy use and emissions," typical post-materialist environmental issues.78 Judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey have okayed gay marriage, and the list of states funding stem cell research is largely colored blue.

.* The people in these changing, more fluid families were less concerned with traditional institutions, such as old-line church denominations (Episcopalian, Catholic) and civic clubs (Masons, Rotary). Gender roles were getting squishy, and people forgot to get married. They were less interested in material success and more interested in experiences and individual freedoms.22 Lesthaeghe and his colleagues discovered Ronald Inglehart's post-materialism manifested in how people formed families (or not) and had children (or not). Moreover, this new kind of family had a geography. Lesthaeghe could see that nontraditional families were most prevalent in western Europe, particularly in the Low Countries. (The Dutch had the largest percentage of people in this demographic group.) When Lesthaeghe mapped these trends in the United States, he saw that by 2000, white women in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey were marrying and having children in ways that matched their cohort in western Europe.


pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

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3D printing, call centre, clean water, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

Convestment The Way We Earn and Spend Back in 1976, Fred Hirsch put his finger on one of the essential paradoxes of consumption in the post-industrial era. In earlier epochs, economic production was based on fulfilling basic material needs for survival. However, as we entered what some folks have dubbed “late capitalism,” an increasing amount of economic activity is now devoted to fulfilling social-psychological needs. Ronald Inglehart called this “post-materialism,” in his 1997 book, The Silent Revolution.1 The critical issue is that an increasingly larger share of the goods or services we produce and consume in a post-material economy are what Hirsch termed positional goods. This type of good is distinct in that its value depends on the fact that others don’t consume it.2 Certain goods are inherently positional: A penthouse apartment is, by definition, a positional good since there can be only one top floor per building. So is a beachfront property, given the limited supply of coastline.

However, in a post-industrial service economy, where most of us are working not for basic survival but to acquire an ever-expanding basket of goods and services, and where most of the highly valued prizes are inherently limited by their nature as relative status markers, then the cashier has no choice but to keep working in order to try her darndest to keep up her family’s relative income. Add in the fact that her job involves interacting with people all day long in a highly constrained way—acting pleasantly subservient is the nature of the game in the lower-wage service sector—and you start to comprehend the social nature of poverty in the post-material age. Some on the left wonder why there is not more of a backlash against the high (and rising) degree of income inequality in the United States. But it’s really not too bewildering. It’s because we are all implicated in the greatest Ponzi scheme history has ever witnessed. We all have to buy into this economic pyramid to keep it running. And since many of us enjoy decent, long-run returns on our 401(k)s and home values—while simultaneously afflicted by fraud anxiety—we tend to go along with the program and hope it all works out in the end.

Perhaps we might support the Statue of Liberty and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS directly through donations or (God forbid) tax dollars? It would at least keep our notion of a coherent moral self intact. The merging of “wasteful” consumption with guilt-relieving charity in the same purchase act is yet another manifestation of intravidualistic self-splitting. The self-splitting guilt running through the post-material society produces other paradoxes in our public, political sphere as well. For example, ours is a culture where best sellers such as Tom Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? appear, wondering why “peasants” in the so-called heartland apparently vote Republican (i.e., for lower taxes and less redistributive spending) against their own economic interests; but it is also one in which nobody wonders what’s the matter with Manhattan (or Greenwich, Connecticut), where the richest 2 percent of the population routinely vote for higher taxes on themselves by pulling the Democratic lever.

Affluenza: When Too Much Is Never Enough by Clive Hamilton, Richard Denniss

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call centre, delayed gratification, experimental subject, full employment, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Naomi Klein, Own Your Own Home, Post-materialism, post-materialism, purchasing power parity, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, wage slave

Downshifters reject the social norm of acquisitiveness, favouring a more balanced life for themselves and their families. For the most part—even though they might express a social critique that sees obsessive materialism as the source of much personal unhappiness and understand that Australian society is focused on consumption to an unhealthy degree—their actions are not primarily motivated by a conscious politics of post-materialism. Instead, it is a desire to step off the treadmill. They have redefined ‘the good life’ in a way that attaches less importance to money and material acquisition; in this sense, they represent an unorganised post-materialist social movement. Downshifting is not confined to middle-class professionals and successful business people who can afford to cut their incomes because they have accumulated assets.

CHAPTER 11 1 Lambesis Agency 2004, L Style Report, 9th edn, <http://www.lstylereport.com> [11 January 2005]. 209 INDEX Abbott, Tony, 133 advertising, 4, 28, 36–40, 41, 43, 55, 61, 101, 109, 120, 126,172, 187 and neuroscience, 41–2 fake memories in, 46 children and, 47, 50–51 of breakfast cereals, 48–50, 150–1 of cars, 10, 45 of junk food, 51 of margarine, 43 of tobacco, 51–2, 125 of vitamins, 94 restrictions on, 188 use of nagging, 53–4 affluenza, defined, 3, 7 alcohol, 115–17, 180 annual leave see holiday leave anorexia, 16 appliances, 22–3, 37, 38 attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, 55 Aussie battler, 3, 133–4, 136, 139, 151, 180, see also politics Australian Labor Party, 3, 137–9, 151, 191 bankruptcy, 72–3, 175 banks, 12, 75–6, 77–80 barbecues, 23–4 210 INDEX Blair, Tony, 191 botox, 37, 128 brands, 23, 34, 38–40, 41–33, 45, 53, 55, 56, 110, 187 brand loyalty, 39, 55, 189 brand disloyalty, 190 see also advertising; marketing Bray, Robert, 66 Buddhism, 17 caesareans, 34 Calvinism, 16, 17 cars, 10, 13, 45 4WDs, 44–5, 188 see also advertising celebrity, need for, 56–7 children, 21 advertising and, 47–57, 150 and clothes, 33–4 as fashion accessories, 33 behavioural problems of, 55 financial calculus of having, 34–5, 142–5, impact of materialism on, 149–50 sexualisation of, 57 tinys, 52–3 tweens, 55–7 see also downshifting choice, alleged benefits of, 40–1 clothes, 13, 45, 166 see also children Coalition Government, 136–9 see also Liberal Party community, 95, 119, 146, 148, 183 compulsive shopping, 15, 61 see also oniomania conscious consumption, 166, 186–90 conspicuous consumption, 8, 88, 96 cosmetic surgery, 10, 57, 127–9, see also botox cosmetics, 37 Costello, Peter, 35, 141 credit cards, 10–2, 19, 72–81, 102, 103 see also debt debt, 71 passim, 137, 179 attitudes to, 74, 75 Debtors Anonymous, 61, 80–1 foreign debt truck, 82 home equity loans, 79–80 marketing of, 71, 75–7 national debt, 81–4 211 AFFLUENZA deferred happiness syndrome, 89–2, 98, 169 deferrers, 175–6 see also deferred happiness syndrome democratisation of luxury, 26 depression, 16, 38, 93, 114 deprivation, 3, 66, 192, see also poverty, hardship disease-mongering, 120–7 doorbuster sales, 78 downshifters characteristics of, 154–6 motivations of, 156–7, 158 passim new lifestyle of, 165–7 regrets of, 173 downshifting, 17, 152, 153 passim, 180 children and, 156, 159, 160, 166–7 defined, 153 for dogs, 33 politics of, 175, 183–6 reactions to, 176–70 drugs, 114–16, 118 Easterlin, Richard, 6 Eckersley, Richard, 148 economic growth, 3, 4–5, 62–3, 114, 118, 136, 141, 159, 185, 190, 193 environment, 111, 112, 157, 179, 190, 193, 194 evangelical Christianity, 182–3 family size, 20–1 federal election 2004, 3, 136–8 female sexual dysfunction, 121–3 feminism, 27 flexible work hours see work hours Frank, Robert, 9 Frey, Bruno, 63 full employment, 192 gratifiers, 175 growth fetishism, viii, 18, 142, 193 Guevara, Che, 28 happiness, 58, 63–4, 113, 118, 127, 146, 152, 175–6 hardship imagined, 64 genuine, 66 212 INDEX Hayek, Friedrich, 186 health, 113, 156, 157, 164, 166, 179, 193 see also work hours hedonic treadmill, 6, 58, 184 holiday leave, 87, 88, 93 Hood, Robin, 190 houses, 13, 20, 60, 101 size of, 20, 21–2, 37 prices of, 20, 21–2, 134, 137, 179 Howard, John, 82, 138, 141, 142 Idell, Cheryl, 53 identity, 13–4, 45 imports, 73, 83–4 incomes, 4, 58–9, 112 Indigenous Australians, 113 intermittent husband syndrome, 91 karoshi, 92 Kasser, Tim, 14 Klein, Naomi, 38 Latham, Mark, 137, 138 Liberal Party, 136, 138, 139, 151 Luis Vuitton, 9, 28 luxury fever, 8–10, 12, 19, 135, 143, 178 luxury goods, 9–10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 26, 127, 170 Mandelson, Peter, 191 marketing, 13, 28, 37–8, 42, 45, 47, 53, 104, 110–1, 118, 120, 126, 179 see also advertising materialism, 14–5, 17, 47, 55, 89, 119, 154, 184 and values, 146–52 meningococcal disease, 120 middle class, 8–9, 59, 74, 136 middle-class welfare, 139-42, 180 Mill, John Stuart, 138, 186 money, 5, 7, 11, 16–7, 19, 58, 63, 67–8, 80, 97, 98–9, 103, 107, 112, 120, 139, 143–4, 148, 152, 159, 166, 171, 175–7, 178, 187 hunger for, 6, 17, 18, 137, 146, 180, 183–4 see also debt money coma, 80 Moynihan, Ray, 121, 123 213 AFFLUENZA needs, 4, 7, 29, 59–63, 65, 66, 100, 147, 148 neoliberalism, 7, 17, 36, 39–40, 79, 138 as new form of oppression, 186 of relationships, 182 of tax cuts, 136, 139 of the Aussie battler, 133–5, 151 of welfare, 139, 140, 141, 180 of wellbeing, 193–4 progressive, 181, 182 pornography, 151 post-materialism, 4, 155, 157, 184 poverty, 18, 181, 190–2 poverty line, 66–7 presenteeism, 94 privatisation, 40 psychology, role in marketing, 36–41, 46, 51, 53–4, 61 obesity, 118 obsolescence, 110 oniomania, 15–6 see also compulsive shopping Olsen twins, 57 O’Neill, Jessie, 7 ovens, 22–3 overconsumption, 7, 19 passim, 72, 96, 122, 178 overwork see work hours Pavlov, Ivan, 41, 47 plastic bag levy, 103 pets, 28–33 humanisation of, 30, 33 pharmaceutical companies, 120–1, 126 Pocock, Barbara, 98 politics, 60–1, 66, 119, 183 conservative, 144, 181, 190 of choice, 168, 172 relationships, 14, 81, 97, 179, 193, 194 relationship debts, 175 see also work hours retail therapy, 16, 100–1 retirement anxiety, 92, 173–4 right-hand ring, 27 Ritalin, 118 Roberts, Kevin, 39 saving, 71, 82 see also debt 214 INDEX Schor, Juliet, 48 sea change, 153, 155 see also downshifting self-storage industry, 25, 102 social anxiety disorder, 124–6 status, 170 Stutzer, Alois, 63 suffering rich, 63 sunglasses, 25–6 television, 9, 21, 22, 60, 183, 188 lifestyle programs, 37 sales, 24–5 Trapaga, Monica, 49–50 trickle down theory, 191 twin deficits theory, 83 values, 180–3 see also materialism Veblen, Thorstein, 8 Vidal, Gore, 6 voluntary simplicity, 154, 187 see also downshifting wasteful consumption, 100 passim, 179, 190, 194 and guilt, 106–8, 112 wealth, 81–2 whitegoods, 23 see also appliances wellbeing, 14, 40, 54, 58, 113, 115, 118, 142, 163, 190 wellbeing manifesto, 193, 217–24 work hours, 81, 91, 95–6, 158, 161, 163, 174, 179 and children, 90–1 excessive, 85–9, 158 impact on communities, 95–7 impact on health, 90–4, 122 impact on relationships, 85, 90, 91, 97–9, 122, 149 working class, 8–9 workophiles, 87 215 A political manifesto for wellbeing Preamble Australians are three times richer than their parents and grandparents were in the 1950s, but they are not happier.


pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

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3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Martin Wolf, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar

There are the frequent demonstrations and riots as people put their environment and quality of life before growth. There is the problem of stalling levels of happiness: since 1990, the average Chinese person’s material living standard has increased by four times, for instance, yet happiness has not increased at all. There are the young who are already evolving away from materialism. “China in general is in a grossly materialistic phase,” Ron Inglehart told me. “But post-materialism is already beginning to emerge in a young, significant minority.” And then there are the wealthy, who already have enough. They are already beginning to prefer experiences over material goods. In China, the experiential luxury sector – which includes days out at spas, playing golf and going on holiday – is growing around 25% faster than the personal luxury goods sector. Once the Lius and Zhous and Lus have got enough, and had enough of their, LV wallets, Prada bags and Paul Smith shoes, they, like the rest of us, will veer towards experiential, rather than material, goods.

For updates since then, see Ronald Inglehart, “Changing Values among Western Publics from 1970 to 2006”, West European Politics Vol. 31, Nos. 1–2, January–March 2008; also, the World Values Survey (www.worldvaluessurvey.org). Many make sense of the shift to less materialistic values by referring to Abraham Maslow, “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Psychological Review Vol. 50, No. 4, 1943. Also, read about a generational shift to post-materialism in David Brooks, “The Experience Economy”, New York Times, 14 February 2011. Advertising agency research This research was conducted by an advertising agency called Euro RSCG Worldwide, which, in the time it’s taken me to write the book, has become Havas Worldwide. The research paper is called The New Consumer (www.thenewconsumer.com). I calculated the number of people who might have had enough of stuff based on The New Consumer statistics that 67% believe most of us would be better off if we lived more simply, and that there are 63.23 million people in the UK, and 313.9 million in the US.


pages: 177 words: 50,167

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent

In the ANES survey 63.3 percent of Sanders’s supporters (compared to 43.2 percent of Clinton supporters) thought there was either no or little opportunity for the average person to get ahead in America. On average, Sanders got his greatest support among young people. From my observations at rallies, many of these young voters were either going to college or had recently graduated from college. They are, in effect, the descendants of the McGovern generation who began gravitating to the Democratic party over post-material social and environmental concerns and over moral outrage at the Vietnam War and later the American invasion of Iraq and more recently, in the wake of the Great Recession, what they saw as the irresponsibility of Wall Street and the billionaire class. But there was also a material dimension to their concern that Sanders touched. They were worried about the opportunities that awaited them, or that they had found, on the job market.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

EIRs measure the effects that any building would have on the quality of the human and natural environment surrounding it. EIRs discuss a range of alternatives and strategies, and assess the impact of each combination of factors. Assessing these factors is always important, but it becomes even more so as the Web and networks evolve 79 CHAPTER 4 as social media, with vastly larger groups of people posting material and creating viable communities online. Accounting for Web n.0 as an ever-escalating series of developments and redevelopments, this chapter offers a series of linked impact reports on the culture machine’s electronic environments. Taxonomics No matter the name, systems theorists have characterized the emergent Web as displaying robust architectures of participation, having evolved into a truly social software, with a myriad of new ways to link people together.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Basically zero. It wasn’t included, even though the company is almost nothing but data. The situation gets odder. Doug Laney, vice president of research at Gartner, a market research firm, crunched the numbers during the period before the initial public offering (IPO) and reckoned that Facebook had collected 2.1 trillion pieces of “monetizable content” between 2009 and 2011, such as “likes,” posted material, and comments. Compared against its IPO valuation, this means that each item, considered as a discrete data point, had a value of about five cents. Another way of looking at it is that every Facebook user was worth around $100, since users are the source of the information that Facebook collects. How to explain the vast divergence between Facebook’s worth under accounting standards ($6.3 billion) and what the market initially valued it at ($104 billion)?


pages: 669 words: 150,886

Behind the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Frontiers of Power by Patrick Major

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, falling living standards, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, open borders, Post-materialism, post-materialism, refrigerator car, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine

Yet, while this may have stabilized the GDR in the medium term of the 1970s, in the long term it was making ‘socialism in half a country’ exceedingly vulnerable. Therefore, the GDR’s foreign and domestic policies were pulling in different directions. In order to quell the sorts of hopes which had been raised by the state’s human rights commitments, the SED had to resort to more and more police tactics in the 1980s. Moreover, the guarantee of a basic standard of living may have produced a more modest version of the post-material values which had encouraged the western New Left in the 1960s; by the 1980s an idealist opposition was beginning ¹³¹ SED-KL Anklam (Ideol. Komm.), ‘Analyse über die Lage in den Wohngebieten’, 30 Sept. 1963, MLHA Schwerin, BPA SED Neubrandenburg, IVA2/8/1433. Seeking Closure 293 to emerge, trying to save socialism from ‘real existing socialism’. Yet, my focus on the everyday travellers hoping for compassionate leave demonstrates that freedom of travel was an aspiration which cut across all sections of the populace, even into the ranks of the party.


pages: 385 words: 117,391

The Complete Thyroid Book by Kenneth Ain, M. Sara Rosenthal

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follow your passion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, place-making, placebo effect, Post-materialism, post-materialism, randomized controlled trial, upwardly mobile

I (Sara) am alarmed as an ethicist to see licensed doctors crossing practice boundaries and inventing faux-biochemical explanations about how thyroid hormone works. I routinely send passages from doctor-authored books to colleagues from the American Thyroid Association, including Ken, to see if there is anything credible in these passages. “Complete nonsense” is the usual reply I get. And then there are the unmonitored patient listservs in which patients post material that goes uncorrected by any credible expert. We’ve observed an interesting pattern of cult-like mind control on some thyroid listservs and in some organizations. Conventional practitioners who try to educate patients about misinformation, and spend time challenging wrong information, frequently get attacked on the Internet, or labeled “closed minded” (as if it were a bad thing instead of the ethical thing to do when confronted with false claims by patients).


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

There was no gestalt, though: the top ten results for “Hitler” on Google could include a biography written by amateur historian Philip Gavin as part of his History Place Web site,17 a variety of texts from Holocaust remembrance organizations, and a site about “kitlers,” cats bearing uncanny resemblances to the tyrant.18 This scenario exhibits generativity along the classic Libertarian model: allow individuals the freedom to express themselves and they will as they choose. We are then free to read the results. The spirit of blogging also falls within this model. If any of the posted material is objectionable or inaccurate, people can either ignore it, request for it to be taken down, or find a theory on which to sue over it, perhaps imploring gatekeepers like site hosting companies to remove material that individual authors refuse to revise. More self-consciously encyclopedic models emerged nearly simultaneously from two rather different sources—one the founder of the dot-org Free Software Foundation, and the other an entrepreneur who had achieved dot-com success in part from the operation of a search engine focused on salacious images.19 Richard Stallman is the first.


pages: 624 words: 180,416

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

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barriers to entry, Burning Man, double helix, Internet Archive, inventory management, loose coupling, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, RFID, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave

Death hadn’t really understood that. It sounded pretty tiring. Exhausting. Fifteen years. He was only nineteen now. He’d be thirty-four, and that was only if the lawyer was estimating correctly. “Oh,” he said. “Well, not that you’re going to have to take part in fifteen years’ worth of this. It’s likely we’ll be done with your part in a year, tops. But the point is that when you go online and post material that’s potentially harmful to this case—” Death closed his eyes. He’d posted the wrong thing. This had been a major deal when he was at Disney, what he was and wasn’t allowed to post about—though in practice, he’d posted about everything, sticking the private stuff in private discussions. “Look, you can’t write about the case, or anything involved with it, that’s what it comes down to. If you write about that stuff and you say the wrong thing, you could blow this whole suit.


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

A number of cross-national studies have shown that middle-class people have different political values from the poor: they value democracy more, want more individual freedom, are more tolerant of alternative lifestyles, etc. Political scientist Ronald Inglehart, who has overseen the massive World Values Survey that seeks to measure value change around the world, has argued that economic modernization and middle-class status produce what he calls “post-material” values in which democracy, equality, and identity issues become much more prominent than older issues of economic distribution. William Easterly has linked what he labels a “middle class consensus” to higher economic growth, education, health, stability, and other positive outcomes. Economically, the middle class is theorized to have “bourgeois” values of self-discipline, hard work, and a longer-term perspective that encourages savings and investment.3 From the earlier discussion of Europe in the nineteenth century, however, it should be clear that the middle classes are not inevitably supporters of democracy.