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12-06-2005
  211
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I would imagine that humans are predisposed to consume as much as they can for the simple reason that for most of our existence (and that of our immediate forparents), the maximum we could accumulate and consume was in and of itself JUST enough for us to survive... sort of how most people today are inclined, when eating, to consume more then actually sates their hunger, like an ancient instinct to prepare for future famine by fattening up.

Actually, we should not forget that our society is far from the first to befall such problems. In fact, many civilizations have fallen because they became greedy and were over-consuming. Our situation is eerily similar to others in history, many of which preceeded dark ages...

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12-06-2005
  212
windowshopping
 
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Ooh, sorry to double post, but I just wanted to say I agree with you Faust about technology being beyond the human state.

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13-06-2005
  213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
the evolvment of human nature is materialistic greed?
you cant be serious now paullw..

spend spend spend, promote human nature
whatever
I did not actually say that, I said what several people above have said, that we evolved to accumulate as much as we could in order to survive. Now we continue to accumulate as much as we can even though the issue of survival is long gone.

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13-06-2005
  214
V.I.P.
 
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i think you guys should read a book called "eskimo realities"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...55967?v=glance

it might shed some light on this topic.

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13-06-2005
  215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paullw
I did not actually say that, I said what several people above have said, that we evolved to accumulate as much as we could in order to survive. Now we continue to accumulate as much as we can even though the issue of survival is long gone.
Interesting point...this accumulation seems to seep and pervade into A LOT of areas....Diet, we are living to eat, instead of eating to live, rather than eating normal proportions for the sake of survival, we're overeating and producting wayyyy too much food in the U.S. With automobiles...so many suburbanites get their SUV's even though they will NEVER spend a minute on an off-road path.

In the process of accumulating all these things we have lost the ability to appreciate an objects real value and take things for granted. I can't believe that my mother grew up with only two pairs of shoes and each day she took the time to properly maintain them...

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13-06-2005
  216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
the evolvment of human nature is materialistic greed?
you cant be serious now paullw..

spend spend spend, promote human nature
whatever
That is not what he is saying Lena, or so I think. He's just pointing out that mankind always has been struggling to have the most food, the best place to live and the strongest blood. Just as any kind of animal. The gorilla who can make the troup eat more and protects them more wins. The lion who can provide the biggest territory and thus the most food wins. It's the same. But it's not like that anymore. Meaning that it is not about the most food anymore. I think what PaulW is saying is that food has been replaced with having the most comfort in your life...the most possessions....strangly it still hangs together with being the best and gaining as much respect as one can. So essentially the same as those lions taking care of a pride...

Or something...:p

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13-06-2005
  217
kit
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Speaking from personal experience , and NOT wishing to become a bore on this , I find that despite my more cerebral career as a schoolmaster , I have , over my life , fallen hook , line and sinker for the materialism and consumerism that has been the norm since the 60s .

My passion for the very best designer clothes has been a diversion , legitimate or not , from some of the more unpalatable aspects of life that I have encountered . I suppose I could have collected jewellery , paintings , etc , but I chose to ' Put it on my back ' , as my redoubtable mother NEVER ceased to remind me .

I have a beautiful collection , garnered over many years , and I suppose it does represent a ' fashion life ' stretching from Yves Saint Laurent , Cerruti 1881 , Walter Albini , Missoni , Giorgio Armani , early Gianni Versace , Adolfo Dominguez , Marithe et Francois Girbaud , Issey Miyake , Yohji Yamamoto , Masatomo , Comme des Garcons , and above all , my favourite , Claude Montana .
Perhaps it has been an attempt to capture different times - I certainly find that I have now no need of more , as my closet contains all the styles that have come and gone , and I certainly find that there is NOTHING new under the sun , and what goes around , certainly comes around .

It's just the thought that I could have put the wardrobe funds to some other , more relevant use , but then again , this has been me , and perhaps the UK's V&A museum might accept them as a ' particular ' collection of menswear in the 20th Century , when I finally slough off this mortal coil .

I said to Lena recently , that consumerism is the opiate of the masses , and this I firmly believe .

Quote:
Should I take a trip to Edinburgh to protest at our society's ' acceptance ' of world poverty , or would I end up in Harvey Nicks checking out the ' must have ' items ?
Globalisation is bringing the world to the apotheosis of consumerism : China is the new Japan for Louis Vuitton to exploit . Russia has sold itself to the consumer race with its elitny western boutiques vending flashy crap to the aspiring oligarchs .

Quote:
Where will it all end , as the world has only finite resources to exploit ?

It's OK to suddenly have a latter day ' European arts and crafts movement ' , based on artisanship , craftsmanship with everything practically hand-made , as represented by those we now name in hushed tones , Carol Christian Poell ; Paul Harnden ; Mauritzio Altieri for Carpe Diem , Linea , Sartoria ; Haute , Martin Margiela , etc etc , BUT when it is all said and done , it's just another ' line ' to spin to sell such rarified merchandise to the eagerly gulled and credulous public , with money to burn in their pockets , and an obbessive desire to be the first with the shock of the ' NEW ' .

Anyways , I hope that I have not bored you with this diatribe , but I did feel that I should make a contribution to this really serious discussion .

Who said that ' fashionistes ' could not be intellectual ? Perhaps AS WE SPEAK there's a secret cell in VOGUE HOUSE , plotting to overthrow the fashion system from within , and Anna Wintour will concentrate her efforts on the ' MORE DASH THAN CASH ' column , instead of her licking the feet of John Galliano or Miuccia Prada .

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13-06-2005
  218
etre soi-meme
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paullw
I did not actually say that, I said what several people above have said, that we evolved to accumulate as much as we could in order to survive. Now we continue to accumulate as much as we can even though the issue of survival is long gone.
i will dissagree paullw, we evolved to accumulate as much as we needed in oredr to survive, now we accumulate as mych as we can afford and there is a huge difference there.. its not in human nature to hold on to useless things or to kill more animals than one's family would need to eat, thats what our ancestors used to do anyway.. respect to resources, this is not in our society anymore

globalisation feeds the west, is been designed by rich nations in order to exploit the 'third world' and the current situation in china/asia/south america speaks for itself.
i never stop wondering how well our western societies would manage if one day china etc refuse to supply us with goods.. with most of our neccesary goods imported from china in silly prices, we can still consume while spending pennies but a day will come and this may stop.. then what?

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13-06-2005
  219
when the rats run riot
 
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Perhaps materialism is caused because it makes us feel special.

No, really. When we get new things, attention flows to us. Everyone seems to adore us with our designer clothing and other materialistic items. Things for us make us feel like we have all that we need- they comfort us. They reflect attention to us.

And people like attention, and when we like something, we want more of it. We need to buy more things to get more attention, and we get greedy.

Materialism supposedly provides all that we need in order to be noticed, and perhaps distinguish ourselves from others.

We are comforted by the "goods" available in todays society. They act as a blanket for us.

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13-06-2005
  220
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To add more to that:

Maybe it can work the opposite way. Instead of shedding attention to us, materialistic goods may be a way of sub-conciously hiding who ourselves really are. They can be a mask- designer clothing (just as an example) may be a way to show that we have "status."

It can change our identity... temporarily...

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13-06-2005
  221
kit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em 692
Quote:
Perhaps materialism is caused because it makes us feel special.
No, really. When we get new things, attention flows to us. Everyone seems to adore us with our designer clothing and other materialistic items. Things for us make us feel like we have all that we need- they comfort us. They reflect attention to us.

And people like attention, and when we like something, we want more of it. We need to buy more things to get more attention, and we get greedy.

Materialism supposedly provides all that we need in order to be noticed, and perhaps distinguish ourselves from others.

We are comforted by the "goods" available in todays society. They act as a blanket for us.


I think that you've put your finger on the nub of the problem , Honeybunch ,
BUT , how much are we in control of our own destiny and free will , and how much of a slave are we to the lure of those ' Oh so captivating glossy magazine adverts ? '

Man cannot live by HERMES alone , although I wouldn't mind giving it a bloody good try .

Much truth in your second comment .

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13-06-2005
  222
etre soi-meme
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em 692
To add more to that:

Maybe it can work the opposite way. Instead of shedding attention to us, materialistic goods may be a way of sub-conciously hiding who ourselves really are. They can be a mask- designer clothing (just as an example) may be a way to show that we have "status."

It can change our identity... temporarily...
instant karma for em

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13-06-2005
  223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em 692

It can change our identity... temporarily...
Yes, yes, yes...all very true...karma!

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13-06-2005
  224
when the rats run riot
 
em 692's Avatar
 
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Quote:
BUT , how much are we in control of our own destiny and free will , and how much of a slave are we to the lure of those ' Oh so captivating glossy magazine adverts ? '
We are slaves to the advertisments, because the items in them give us attention.

Many people find themselves too often to be slaves to these types of things, and thats what makes this a problem. A lack of self-control.

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13-06-2005
  225
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Thanks, Mr. Dale and Lena (for the karma)

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Last edited by em 692; 13-06-2005 at 03:32 PM.
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