Dirty meaning factories
People live, then they die. Get over it. We all die and life is short. This is the fundamental fact of life that causes us to seek meaning… to crave it (so as not to feel pointless – hence religion… and brands).
Marketers sussed this out. Roll on the brand campaigns that attach meaning to things they want us to buy… mass marketing and broadcasting (human standardisation). So we buy stuff. It differs according to our environment (e.g. I’m a London business dude so I really can’t possibly be a non-failing happy person without a flash car, expensive new boots and a crazy-priced flat). We buy loads of stuff. Our impact bias, influenced by the marketing bombardment (though not as much as they’d like to think!) causes us to overestimate how happy the stuff will make us. Conversely, the same bias causes us to overestimate how crappy we’ll feel if we take a risk and it all goes wrong. Hmmm.
Imagine accepting your lifespan and making the most of it. What’s the most useful thing I can do in my short window of opportunity, that’ll make me the most fulfilled? What would contribute most to the overall progress of the human race? What would be of most value to others? Do I care? Do I just want to pursue pleasure and to hell with the rest of them?
Whatever we decide to do, hopefully it isn’t on auto-pilot, with fear-clipped wings and hangups about stupid shit like the credit crunch, piracy, predetermined life-paths and hierarchies.