Group identity and commercialism

Here’s a short video log I recorded yesterday as I got to thinking about how we as humans tend to separate into groups and sub-groups and identify with them. We form separate cultures and sub-cultures and nowadays, we want to stand apart from what we see as the commercialism and consumerism of modern society. 

And yet, when we do that, we actually make it easier for advertisers to target us, because instead of making general ads for general products, they get to make very targeted ads for products specifically tailored to particular groups. So the effort to escape consumerism then becomes a moot point. 

People think this is a bad thing for some reason. But I say it’s a good thing. I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of mankind when products tailored for specific uses could make it to market faster than nowadays. Sure, you have to sort through the crap, and there’s a lot of it, but there’s some really good stuff out there, made just for your needs. 

I also touch on the idea of money as currency and the inherent benefit of being able to convert skills or objects into such a portable currency that you can take pretty much anywhere and exchange it for what you need. Some people say we don’t need money, that we can trade directly, service to service, product for product, etc., but I sa that only goes so far. It’s so much more limited than money, particularly when you hold a very portable currency like the dollar, the pound or the euro. 

Yes, I’m still in bed, so please excuse my disheveled appearance. 


One thought

  1. It’s great to see you laughing despite your physical woes. I use Google Search and Google Chrome a lot, so I get targeted with lots of ads meant “just for me” based on my search history. This is really very unsophisticated and annoys me. I recently had an argument with a Romanian about software and intellectual property piracy. I wanted to find some statistics on countries with the highest piracy rates and soon found myself on the homepage of an Internet security service with some stats. For weeks after that search, Google kept targeting me with this company’s ads. It made me feel like a criminal and this security company was watching me everywhere I went on the Internet! Well, I finally figured out how to block ads from a specific company. By the way, Google puts a nice Bellroy (leather goods like wallets) advertisement on your blog. On the subject of a moneyless economy, this idea gets popular every time the economy goes bad but is soon forgotten once things pick up. People will swear up and down it’s not true, but most barter arrangements are just efforts to avoid paying sales taxes. I am as annoyed as the next person about currency inflation and paying taxes. One just has to invest properly and paying taxes is our duty.

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