August 12, 2008
Hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as the end of civilization
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall Francis Fukuyama opined that the end of the Cold War also represented The End of History as liberal democracy was the only game left in town. Fukuyama later claimed that his thesis was incomplete. So if we’re not at the end of history, where are we?
The fine people at Adbusters are telling us hipsterism represents the end of Western Civilization. Doug Haddow explains:
Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.
But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”
An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.
Read the rest of the article
July 21, 2008
Once people have an annual income of about $10,000 per capita, further income does little to promote happiness
Does a larger income automatically equate to greater happiness? Economists studying happiness emphatically conclude that it doesn’t. Mixing statistics with psychology in order to uncover glaring truths, economists are revealing some things about ourselves that those of us without a business degree from Harvard already know.
Tom Green explores the Economics of Happiness in this month’s Adbusters. Here are a few excerpts from his excellent piece:
The results are terrifying Milton Friedman’s disciples. Consider this: once people have an annual income of about $10,000 per capita, further income does little to promote happiness. Worse yet, economic growth in most industrial nations, which has tripled or quadrupled our wealth since 1970, hasn’t made us noticeably happier. In some countries, despite all this vast increase in wealth and consumption, folks are less happy than they were a generation ago.
Here’s another one:
“Some of the very basic things we assumed in economics are not consistent with the evidence. This idea that income is so important to happiness is not correct. All the evidence seems to be pointing in the direction that we are working too much. In fact, we’re happy if we work less. We are spending too much time on work and too little time with friends and family. So there’s a mistake in the economic models that suggest happiness will come from more income.”
Read the rest of the article to see how what we’ve been told is completely wrong.