From The Times, with thanks to Alan:
What is it like to live in an “experience economy”? When people murmur knowingly about “maturialism”, what are they talking about? Are you suffering from infomania, or planning to be a protirer? Assaulted by a battery of buzzwords, it’s easy to feel left out. Social trends forecaster James Harkin has gathered 75 21st-century neologisms for his new book.
Get your motor runnin’. Head out on the highway. Lookin’ for adventure. If you recognise Steppenwolf’s lyrics, the chances are that you are middle-aged. But with the children having left home and the money to spend, there seems no reason why you can’t go wild.
The average age of the owner of a Harley-Davidson motorbike has accelerated from 38 to 46 in the past decade. “Born-again bikers” have become emblems of a spectacular inversion of social norms...
In the time that I spent researching this short section, I have checked my e-mail about 50 times, played with Google 20 times, checked a newspaper search engine five times, taken three telephone calls and replied to a text from a friend who is on holiday abroad. I am, dear reader, suffering from an acute case of infomania....
The new puritans
The new puritans are well-to-do professionals who invest time and money researching the provenance and pedigree of what they consume. They would prefer to live in the country, but since to do so would be financially impractical and socially ruinous, they make do as best they can.
Want to feel good with the minimum of effort? Why not sit at home and sign petitions on the internet? Slacktivism, the phrase itself a rather lazy haemorrhaging of the two words “slacker” and “activism”, is the counter-intuitive idea that armchair warriors can somehow change the world.
I like the word "slacktivism" and I'm a bit of an infomaniac. But obviously I'm far too interesting and individual to belong to any style-tribe. Hang on, there's more:
The experience economy
Which would you prefer – to own a Ferrari or to walk the Machu Picchu trail in southern Peru? More and more of us, it seems, would prefer to take the walk. The elusive route to contentment, according to one of the most influential business theories of the past decade, lies not in material possessions but in experiences such as scuba-diving and exotic holidays....
According to the theory, memories last longer than material goods. They are also unique. The Joneses next door might have the same Ferrari as I do, but they are unlikely to have taken a year off to steer a converted shopping trolley around rural China.
But you have to earn the money. And that takes work and time.
Besides, if nobody had ever gone anywhere there'd be nothing to read about.
Experience. Yes. I must go here, and then there, rather than sit at home and learn the language and history of here, and then there, and then read widely in both. That would take work. That would take a lot of time. But going here, and going there, doesn't take work, and takes little time. All it takes is money.