Thoughts on: “Stuffocation” by James Wallman

In the 1920 the United States was struggling with overproduction. There where two directions we could take from there, either we produce less or consume more. We choose the latter.


Instead of building things to last we started to built to break. Advertisement started manufacturing desire. Fantastic new products came to market and amazed the consumers, only to sold again next in a beautified version.


The more we bought the richer everyone became and materialism was now the new religion.


The problem is that research shows materialism cause unhappiness. Keeping up with the Joneses takes a toll on us after a while. The whole ideas with consumer culture is that we should be unsatisfied with what we have and look for salvation in our next purchase. It’s hard to be a good consumer if you are fucking content with what you have, right?


More and more people feel that the more they get the less satisfied they are. More is no longer better and now people feel lost. Minimalism has become a thing. And the book covers a lot of different ways people approach their escape from materialism and the author argues that experiences is the new path to happiness. A accessible and enjoyable read!


Here are some of my notes:


Going back to hardcore simple living can be hard. Even Thoreau, the poster boy for simple living, came back to civilization after two years in a cabin in the woods. The thing is that living of the land is hard work, and you have to work for your survival. Too much simplicity can be complicated.


We tend to remember thing we experience as better than they were, while material possessions are subjected to hedonic adaptation.


Experiences are harder to compare. Also we are more likely to let them contribute to our identities. And lastly, they bring us closer to other people.




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