Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jaguar Comes Alive (Animism)

The automaker has released its newest commercial called “Alive.” 

From hereThe marketing will lock in on Jaguar's visceral connection with buyers, "positioning the brand as animate – seductive, emotional, unique, energetic and high-performance – while asking consumers, "How alive are you?" 

This is a wonderful metaphor because it strikes at the right hemisphere.  Yes, emotional and visceral-- typical 21st century romanticism.

I also liked the script where its says that machines are not human but the vehicle is alive.

In today’s romantic ethos machines are part of the natural world just like water, animals, and rocks. To talk about machines in this way is Animism, something so-called 'modern' Westerners are not supposed to have.  But here it is, full blown, in our faces.

Likewise, the automotive industry has long tried to get people to remain loyal to their products. You know, some people say they are Ford people, or GM people.  Branding is our new form of Totemism.

Romanticism is glorious.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Economics: the Dismal are Disgraceful

The profession of economics (mostly American economics) has been getting a lot of bad commentary lately.   The lack of real change in the profession since the onset of our ongoing systemic crisis has put it into the crosshairs of critics, and rightly so.  We all know that individuals can be slackers at science but a  profession's majority that chooses to ignore evidence is a tragedy and a farce.

We all know that Greenspan offered up a mild “I can’t believe we were wrong “ moment and that Krugman did his “it was group think” essay.  But really, is this all we are going to get from them?  

They seem to love their illusions. “Money never lies, but you must learn its language, or chase illusions.  And this is why economics is a disgraced profession, and continues to be so.” Jesse, here.

“A profession that claims to understand economies, and that has gained power over the greater part of our societies, has big responsibilities.  The fundamental responsibility is to ensure its perception of economies gives some useful guidance to the behaviour of real economies.  Here mainstream economics fails utterly, and has been failing for a long time.  Worse, it actively resists alternative views that might overcome its failings.  Ethics do not come much worse than that.” Davies, here

I realize that resistance to change is a very human behavior.   Also, I don’t assume that there is a simple way to motivate them to change.

The profession is part of the status quo that is desperate to stay in power.  We can vote the politicians out and boycott the big banks, but what do we do with self-righteous nihilistic academics and burro-crats?

We need to continue the criticism and shame the mainstream economists for being the shills that they are.  And we must give ear to the fringe economists who likely have better insights on how to correct our problems.  And if we must “end” economics then so be it.   

After all, the economy is nothing more than an expression of culture.