Amerika

Anatomy Of A Bubble

One of the things we do here at Amerika is to dig beneath the categories which are offered to you, like simple shapes in primary colors, to shape your consciousness. We see human language as deceptive and look toward the underlying psychology because it alone expresses what people are really thinking, and their intent.

This insight takes us into understanding group and individual psychology as more important than politics. People act so that they gain social status and power, and later rationalize it with ideologies and other fanciful things. Once we look past their words, we see the intent behind their actions.

That leads us to the realization that most people act solely for personal advantage. They care less about socialized costs, like the cleanup for their little schemes, so long as they get what they want. This means that they have an incentive to fool a large group of others in order to pocket the profit and abscond like snake oil salesmen.

Our prole bourgeois outlook does not take into account time when considering what they do. If considered in an eternal present tense, their actions do not appear so bad. If we look at them as an arc between an idea and its consequences, however, we see where they are deceptive and manipulative.

For example, every product has an arc. A shiny new thing is introduced which promises to make everything better; people buy it and, finding it does not deliver on that promise, rationalize their purchase since otherwise they must admit a costly mistake; the trend spreads to those who could not afford it at first; finally, years later, the promise is revealed to be wrong and people move on, rationalizing their time spent as good when in fact it was mediocre as an experience.

Arcs exist in everything. Democracy, certain products, even people. At first a new friend is a world of possibilities, but then you see how these carefully-constructed artifices do not deliver in the real world. The same is true of products or political promises. You bought the image, but the reality is far less interesting.

We can see the anatomy of an arc in the case of the standing desk:

Standing desks, compared to conventional office seating, have been lauded for easing back pain, boosting alertness and helping people to lose weight.

But new research suggests that using standing desks may actually not be as good for you as previously believed. A small but provocative study suggests that standing at a desk for a prolonged period of time can lead to “significant” discomfort and mental sluggishness.

When the standing desk was first introduced, it was a miracle that would save us from heart disease and obesity. It would reform the American office. Everything would change for the better since we finally gave up on our old ignorant ways and embraced the new (but unproven).

A few years down the line, suddenly we see that the standing desk is not only not a miracle cure, but it has numerous deleterious effects. In other words, we got taken by a scam. The idea was never good, but it was new, so like fish biting on shiny lures, we went for it.

Once time had passed and data came through, we came to learn that this was in fact a bubble. The money was made in the time between people getting excited for the hype and the consequences finally being seen. The smart investors got out early, you will find, and now only the fools are left holding the bag.

In a society with no memory, and no permanent leaders, this kind of scam-fad is inevitable and commonplace. Desperate for some hope, people follow new ideas like religion, and then end up betrayed. Since we refuse to have real leaders, we follow this cycle again and again, letting mediocrity rule us in our distraction.

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