The Things Make Us Stupid II

August 3rd, 2010  |  Published in etc

O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.

— Robert Burns

Re: the Great Tech Purge:

Maybe it’s not so much “tech writing” as it is “things writing.”

I like tech-related things, so a lot of the things I read about will be written about by tech writers. But in the end, whether they’re battery powered, Wi-Fi connected, assessed in terms of their storage capacity or resolution, they’re things.

One thing a lot of those things have in common is that they’re made by really big companies that invest millions and millions of dollars to build affinity with their brands.

One thing brands do is exploit a back door left open by the gap between our images of ourselves, ourselves as we imagine others perceive them, and ourselves as we aspire to be. It’s hard to balance all three sets of perceptions, let alone actually reconcile them. Brands offer an opportunity for relief from that emotional and cognitive stress by suggesting that they can speak for us now and then, relieving us of the burden of being what we wish we were — or what we wish other people would think we are.

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