Re: ECON: The Affluent Society (was Dyson ) (long)

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 20 Jan 1999 13:02:40 +0000

At 07:38 PM 1/19/99 -0000, Damien Sullivan wrote:

>We are biological beings; there is a level of physical privation
>which has been the common fate of agricultural humans, is still common in
>of the world, but which has been left far behind by most of the First World.
>There is a difference between not having a mansion and not having enough to
>eat. The urgency of growth to get basic food, shelter, and education
>is less than the urgency of getting the next round of goods.

Yes - but... I wonder about the outliers. I don't know anyone who's hyper-rich, but it looks from the outside like a kind of opiate addiction that sometimes actually *overwhelms* some of the obvious self-maintenance routines (think of Howard Hughes).

And there's another boggle - I don't quite know how to factor it in - due to each of us currently having only one body to experience stuff through. Murdoch pere and fils have both been seen lately on TV doing fairly dangerous things on boats in rough water, playing dangerously with the other rich kids. No doubt this is partly advertising and partly Alpha behaviour, but I imagine it's just a hell of a lot of fun and even when you could be making another trillion dollars at yr desk sometimes you'd `rather be sailing'.

>Wait, I thought they wanted mansions. You can't have most people having
>higher and higher ideas of what constitutes affluence but also have them go
>fishing once the gov't provides them with $8000 income.


Damien Broderick