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The Addiction of Experience

June 18, 2007

When you pick a restrauant to dine at, do you primarily choose it based on quality of food or favorable atmosphere? If push comes to shove, will you select a place to eat that is more liking to your palate or to your preferred ambiance?

Many have observed that Western culture and economics is not what it used to be. Forty percent of the workforce in 1900-1950 was comprised of the Working Class, a class only registering at about 25%. What happened? The Creative Class, a class that has catapulted Western economies past a scarcity-based economy, one whose primary aim was to provide food, shelter, and clothing, to post-materialist, experience-driven economy. Commenting on the pitfalls of the post-scarcity, experience-driven culture of the Creative Class, Richard Florida comments:

If we crave experiences we will be sold experiences, and in the process we may find ourselves buying a bill of goods. The final pitfall is that even in the attempt to avoid packaged-and-sold experiences, we may pack our lives so full that we overdo it. While we scorn the couch potatoes hooked on TV, the desire for constant stimulation and experiences can itself come close to looking like addiction.

What is your experience of experience? Are there dangers here?

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