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A brief history of consumer culture.

Today is Thursday, and you’re at Apex Money. I wish we could keep it Thursday for a few days. Maybe a few months. You know, like the movie Groundhog Day. I have some very real trepidation about this weekend — and next week. Can’t we just freeze time?

We cannot freeze time of course, so instead let’s dive into our money stories for today.

A brief history of consumer culture. [The MIT Press Reader] — “The notion of human beings as consumers first took shape before World War I, but became commonplace in America in the 1920s. Consumption is now frequently seen as our principal role in the world.”

Lazy: A manifesto. [Stay Strong] — “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence, or a vice: It is an indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration.”

The more we can google, the less we know. [Real Life] — “Not-knowing, however uncomfortable or painful, is intrinsic to life. Science, art, religious practice, relationships with other people, attempts to understand politics or history: all arise from the kind of curiosity we ask Google to release us from. To the extent that it hides the unknown behind a scrim of facts, and encourages us to see the world’s plurality as something we can skim, Google also reduces our equipment for living.”

I really like today’s video feature. It’s so…nerdy. While watching a James Bond movie from 1985, Max Piantoni became fascinated by the spy’s computer (an Apple IIc). He wondered if he could learn to replicate in real life (and in 2020) what he saw on screen. So he set out to do it. Here are the results:

Like I say, it’s pure nerdery. But it’s fun nerdery.

Speaking of fun nerdery, I’ll be back tomorrow with one final installment of Apex Money for this week. Join me, won’t you?

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