Oct 6, 2015

“If there’s something you really want but don’t actually need,” writes the economist Juliet Schor, “there’s a good chance that a recurring symbolic fantasy is attached to it. A faster computer? The dream of getting more work done. A remodelled kitchen? The hope of eating proper family dinners… Laying bare the fantasy illuminates the often tenuous link between the product and the dream.” The Diderot effect hurts your bank balance, but even if it didn’t, it would still be futile, because the things we’re really looking for can’t be got that way. Diderot, in his dressing gown, was chasing a wild goose.