Wednesday, June 05, 2013

consumption-determinism as a new 'thing'



This ad for NZ jobsite Trade Me Jobs caught our eye.
There's a little play on the idea of nominative determinism. A running psychology gag of sorts, early identification is often attributed to Carl Jung who said to have noted the 'quite gross coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities or profession.'

And Jung kept the gag going by noting the phenomenon among psychologists, including himself:
"Herr Freud (Joy) champions the pleasure principle, Herr Adler (Eagle) the will to power, Herr Jung (Young) the idea of rebirth…"

The spot takes the other tack, a non-determinism vs determinism point of view.
According to Daniel Dennett, this perception detail is somewhat unimportant as the 'outcome' happens either way.
I've taken an interest in Dennett recently, despite his Dawkins connection.
He looks less the Dawkins smug geography teacher and more the benign Santa Claus.

But here's the thought.
What is beyond argument is that in pre-industrial times people were often defined by the work they did rather than the things they possessed. Therefore one's name had a certain social status attached to it.

In simpler times people made their own things, or made things to trade.
A sense of skin in the game perhaps (to evoke a theme from Taleb's Ant-Fragile).

Today however we are all consumers.
We require systems - who's mechanics are completely outside our own hapless capacity to influence - to be in place in order to meet basic needs like feeding ourselves.

And, in a sense we're defined by how ironic, clever, exotic or otherwise our selection from the available set products to consume tells our story.

So anyway, to clebrate my delight at finding a certain product from home at the local produce store, and in an effort to establish consumption-determinism as a new 'thing' I'm changing my name to Eaon Yorkshire Tea.

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