Escape The Impulse Society: Exploring How We Got Here And Where We Go From Here
We often get so caught up in our own lives and personal goals that we forget about the world around us.
But it is essential to step back and understand the bigger picture of our lives.
That’s why you need to escape your own personal bubble.
The Impulse Society Book provides an informative insight into how we got to a place where we prioritize instant gratification over long-term goals, leading us to make regrettable decisions time and time again.
It explores how the formation of the first “personal bubble” began with the Ford Model T and influences our everyday attitudes in such a toxic way that it can be seen in our most vital institutions: social, economic, and political.
If you want to make better decisions for yourself and lay down more sustainable pathways then you must learn to think beyond simply looking after yourself first.
By learning from this book, you can discover ways of escaping society’s impulses and build a healthier life with longer-term, smarter goals.
You will also gain knowledge on numerous topics like how American health care system is both expensive yet one of the worst, or even why computers may eventually replace lawyers in the future!
From Making Things To Consuming Impulsively: How We Became An Impulse Society
The Impulse Society reflects the growing trend of individuals who are choosing to craft their own identities and realities through constant consumption as opposed to production.
This has resulted in societies that place much more emphasis on immediate gratification rather than long-term planning or investing.
Americans today are quick to use their economic power to acquire the latest hip trends and conveniences; however, they don’t often channel these resources into addressing the important issues that concern society.
This creates a society that is more impulsive, self-centered and shortsighted in its decisions – not only neglecting essential social necessities like education or infrastructure, but also creating an environment of moral relativism with regards to what truly matters for long-term sustainability.
Social critics such as Tom Wolfe had predicted this would be the outcome some 40 years ago, and it appears they were not nearly pessimistic enough in their predictions.
The Moving Assembly Line Revolutionized Consumerism And Jumpstarted Our Impulse Society
The introduction of the assembly line by Henry Ford in 1900 changed the way we consume goods, making them more affordable and allowing companies to quickly jump on the bandwagon to feed our personal needs.
This quickly became more profitable than producing public goods such as roads and bridges.
By offering cheap financing through an in-house bank, customers were now able to buy now and pay later, which gave them a sense of comfort when spending their wages.
Different models were created, along with varying colors, styles, and prices; this allowed people to pick the car they felt connected with their lifestyle or socioeconomic status.
As more citizens owned cars due to the affordability brought by assembly lines, private needs rather than societal needs became a priority for companies and consumers alike.
The post-war industrial boom also caused an increase in wages, matching it up nicely with people’s ability to purchase private goods without having to put in too much effort.
However, these developments came with social and environmental consequences that weren’t taken into account for until much later.
The Human Cost Of A Short-Sighted Financial Sector
The Impulse Society that was born in the 1960s can largely be attributed to the short-sighted and often questionable practices of the global financial sector.
Take stock buybacks for example, where companies invest large sums of money into buying up their own shares with the aim to restrict share supply and drive up prices – ultimately leading to huge profits for executives.
This type of activity, which was previously illegal due to its manipulative practices, was controversially legalized by President Ronald Reagan in 1982.
This type of selfish mentality has since spread throughout society as a whole.
Realtor Todd Miller has seen people’s reaction when they receive eviction notices: they’re not distressed but instead brag about their inability to pay their debts.
This speaks to the growing trend of short-termism in our society – individuals are no longer incentivized or willing to take on long-term commitments; this is reflected by how cities now inject capital into banks instead of education, as it offers faster and higher returns than investing for the future.
The same could be said about young professionals looking for jobs: now math and science graduates have abandoned their academic pursuits for high job salaries on Wall Street – a sign of our growing impulse society driven by selfishness and short-term thinking.
Impulse Politics: How Big Business Is Impeding Political Progression
Politics today is eerily similar to the consumer realm; it focuses on self-interest and self-preservation.
Politicians are driven to gain votes, resulting in hefty financial donations being given to campaigns.
Alluring, individualized messages direct at potential voters have been crafted for every micro-targeted constituent.
The GOP and Democratic Party have instinctively become brands in and of themselves – re-enforcing party differences so each voter person can easily distinguish where their allegiances lie.
On top of that, through using big data to collect personal information on potential electors, political candidates no longer need to craft a message that appeals to everyone.
This business-oriented approach of brand politics has caused society to polarize itself and it’s continually damaging the population by encouraging division amongst constituents -all in the name of obtaining votes.
The Dark Future Of Job Loss: Corporate Raiders And Ai Leaving Lawyers Without Jobs
Corporate cost-cutting and computer technology are having a major impact on the jobs and social structure of our economy.
Companies are seeking to increase profits by reducing costs, like job opportunities for the average person.
Corporate raiders swoop in to buy struggling companies, restructure them and cut jobs, costing millions of Americans their livelihoods.
The internet and personal computers have also taken away access to service jobs which were once successfully providing occupations for people.
These include travel agents, telephone operators and editors, who are now being made redundant due to technological advances.
Now along comes Quantitative Legal Prediction (QLP) which is a computerized process that can predict a court decision with up to 75% accuracy – higher than any human prediction rate.
This signals a massive shakeup for the legal profession as well who may see their roles becoming increasingly automated in the near future.
These developments paint an undesirable picture of our future where there are two classes: one group enjoying success in specialized tech sectors, and then the other majority subject to unemployment while opportunities become increasingly scarce.
How Impulse Driven Individualism Is Weakening The Bond Of Community And Culture
The world we live in is an Impulse Society, where the individual has great power over their own lives and decisions.
Unfortunately, this focus on the self can lead to weakened bonds among members of a community or culture.
As Daniel Bell noted, there is now less emphasis on whether a book, poem or piece of music is “good” or “bad,” as it becomes simply a matter of what will satisfy one’s own ego.
People are willing to distance themselves from those who share different ideas and opinions; neighborhoods are chosen not just by the environment but also according to one’s desired social connections.
Social media platforms only amplify this behaviour even further – if you don’t like my Facebook profile picture, I’m going to pout about it!
This phenomenon has been termed clinical narcissism andKeith Campbel notes that it is growing just as quickly other health issues such as obesity.
Ultimately, art isn’t considered for its merit but for how much satisfaction it can give an individual; our mutual interactions become more insecure thanks to instant gratification demanded by modern tech devices.
The Impulse Society: How America’S Obsession With Self-Interest Is Undermining Health Care
health care system is a prime example of the selfishness and greed which are rampant in the impulse society, and it may suffer for it.
The government has made huge investments in cutting-edge treatments that offer no practical benefit, like proton beam therapy for tumors.
Despite its high costs, this has resulted in as many as 31 proton treatment centers being made available – a sign of poor planning and mismanagement.
Statistics show that health care costs have risen from 5 percent to 17 percent of GDP since 1960, yet the United States sadly lags behind other countries when it comes to life expectancy and infant mortality rates.
It’s clear that resources are not being well managed or invested in the right areas.
As if this weren’t bad enough, citizens have resisted what could be positive reform – not wanting changes to cut their personal healthcare costs instead of improving coverage for those who need it most.
Yet even with 46 million people already uninsured, they continue to put themselves first – leaving us all on the brink of disaster when it comes to our health system come 2020 when it may collapse entirely due to lack of support from its own citizens.
It’s Time To Revamp Society Away From Narrow Self-Interest And Towards What Really Serves Us All
If we want to roll back the impulse society and focus on a long-term, sustainable future, then we have to make some sweeping economic, social, and political changes.
One suggestion put forth by economist and environmentalist Bill McKibben is to institute a carbon tax to reduce consumption and encourage companies to use more energy-friendly technology.
We should also look at making stock buybacks illegal; this would help prevent market manipulation caused by companies seeking only short-term gains.
Splitting up banks that are too big to fail (yet still caused the 2007 global financial crisis) could also prove beneficial.
Doing so would make it easier for regulators to monitor and potentially prosecute any illegal activity.
Plus it means these institutions are less influential in creating our economic environment.
By broadening our focus from just economics and addressing issues such as unemployment, we can transform politics into something that brings people together, instead of pitting them against each other.
This change in attitude is integral if we are ever going break free from the short-sightedness of the Impulse Society.
The Impulse Society dives deep into the core idea that our current lifestyle is a symptom of a social disease.
It urges us to examine our daily habits and identify what needs to be changed in order to make true and lasting connections with others.
The book is filled with actionable advice, such as suggesting that we cut back on using Facebook and instead spend time with people in the real world.
The focus should instead be on forming meaningful relationships and experiencing different opinions or walks of life.
This type of connection is what allows us to really grow and develop as people – an invaluable experience that the modern impulse society has made easy to overlook!