Your Opinion About Dave Is Not Your Own

Perhaps the easiest way to happily plunge into the surveillance state is to embrace the comforting notion that your mind is not your own, because if you're just along for the ride, then there's no reason to care what anyone (or anything) knows about you-- your deepest darkest most private thoughts are formed by the circumstances surrounding you, and thus there's no escaping them, nor are you responsible for them; Jonah Berger explores this wonderful new way to think and live in our modern world in his book Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Behavior . . . it's a fast, breezy read consisting of summaries of compelling studies and vivid anecdotes which complement the science-- you won't be able to put it down; Berger doesn't really get into the philosophical implications of these ideas, he simply wants you to note them and understand the cliché: everyone thinks these forces affect other people, but no one thinks that they ever fall prey to them, but as you read, you'll slowly agree that your decisions are usually made so you can fit in, stand out, or achieve some desired combination of the two-- and competition, when it's close, may spur you on, and when you're being crushed, may destroy your soul . . . I learned that I'm more working-class than upper-middle-class with my automobile selections, as most upper-middle-class drivers try to select a car that's a little different from their peers-- they want to differentiate themselves, but working class folks don't mind some unity in their selection, and my family drives the two of the most common cars on the road (a Honda CRV and a Toyota Sienna minivan) for good reason, they are extremely reliable and well-rated, and they are easy to get fixed, because there are plenty of parts and all mechanics are familiar with them . . . but with music, I'm a typical hipster douchebag: I only like the early stuff . . . before they sold out, or else I'm listening to jazz . . . and then only this album, etcetera . . . anyway, there's also plenty of the research that indicates that where you are born has a major influence on your thoughts, decisions, and how much money you earn, and so there's no better program to help the poor than Moving to Opportunity, because it's not the money, it's the invisible social forces surrounding children that make them successful . . . anyway, I'm going to take this to heart, and stop getting all freaked out by Benjamen Walker's Surveillance State mini-series and just do whatever.

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