Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Le Monde 100: Brave New World

While Diary of a Young Girl shows how humanity finds a way of transcending its base animalistic nature, Brave New World looks shows how it can overcome our base computeristic nature.

Until our individuality recognizes and manifests itself, our brains are just big wet computers with inputs, processors, and outputs. The beginning years of our lives are when we do the heavy lifting of setting up our internal computers. Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich goes into great detail the plasticity of our brains and the way we take in information in this TED talk:

So, the OUTPUT of our brains are very susceptible to the INPUT that, not only gets processed through the machine of its wetware, but goes into the constructing of the processor itself!

In Brave New World, the leaders of society understand the power of conditioning and craft their entire society into conditioning babies and children to build values for the benefit of the state. The genius behind conditioning is building brains to have wants or desires that may be against their own benefit. I was going to write "own self interests," but that's incorrect. Their self interests are the very things that have been tampered with!

This makes me think of the current war between NYC Mayor Bloomberg and the soft drink companies (BIG SODA). One thing that Huxley left out of the equation between the individual and government was the presence of corporations. In Brave New World, the media outlets were controlled by the government, effectively crafting all the communication and propaganda to their wants. In America, a majority of advertising is owned by corporations, who have their bottom lines behind their motivations for advertising. Thus, we live in a culture, where consumerism is the key tenet and portion-sizes hold the highest virtue. Bloomberg has been lambasted by supporters of Big Soda as being a vanguard for the Nanny State for putting a ban on any containers larger than 16 ounces. They claim that its a ban on soda. But, is it really? There is nothing preventing someone from buying an unlimited amount of soda if they wish. But, in the battle against obesity, which is one of our nations biggest health problems, should the government ignore the concepts of conditioning and allow soda companies to profit from man's instinctive desire to consume? The situation with Bloomberg has turned into an inverse Brave New World with the government fighting the conditioning of the public.

 If you don't think that portion size is a corporate tool, look at the difference from the original fountain drink in 1955 to what the KID size is now to what's available for a single consumer:

Diabetes, anyone?

No comments:

Post a Comment