The Impulse Society

The Impulse Society

America in the Age of Instant Gratification

Book - 2014
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In every facet of postindustrial society - -the way we eat, the way we communicate and entertain, the way we work, the way we court lovers and raise children, educate and govern -- technology and affluence now let us reach our goals with a speed and efficiency unimaginable even a generation ago. But the result, Paul Roberts warns, is not all milk, honey, and gold. Companies now reflexively maximize short-term gain at the expense of long-term success. Politicians resort with ever-greater speed to nasty campaign tactics, and can count on their damaging claims to spread before the facts catch up with them. Consumers engage in serial over-indulgence in a self-tailored bubble. And the costs are substantial- financial volatility, health epidemics, environmental exhaustion and political paralysis, to say nothing of a growing, gnawing dissatisfaction.
Over thirty years ago, Christopher Lasch published his landmark book, The Culture of Narcissism , which struck a chord and became a runaway bestseller. Lasch's analysis was largely cultural, but the real story has always been an economic one, and the conditions that led to increasing selfishness and the breakdown of society have only gotten worse. Paul Robert digs down to the economic roots of the problem, shows how it has metastisized to affect every facet of our lives and our ability to navigate the future. In clear, cogent prose that mixes illuminating analysis and vibrant reporting, Roberts not only tells the fascinating story of how the impulse society came to be, but shows how, perhaps, a healthier society may still be possible.
Publisher: New York :, Bloomsbury,, 2014.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781608198146
Branch Call Number: LC DLC
Characteristics: 308 pages ;,25 cm.

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rdw39
Jul 07, 2015

This book was great! Roberts spelled out how our economy got where it is. I heartily agree with how we in our society have gone totally inward thinking only of our own needs & quick & rapid responses to everything. We're consumed with I-phones, texting, twitter, facebook & constant sharing about ourselves to whoever will listen & ignoring what's going on in our economic world. It was interesting to see that the financialization has crept into every facet of our lives & especially in our politics. The majority of our population seems content to ignore the warning signs & let their lethargy see things continue as is. Our society has been completely taken over by Financial Corporations who've convinced other Corporations in Technology to take their billions in cash to buy back their stock so they'll show a substantial bottom line for their stockholders rather than invest in R&D which could hire back workers they cut & never rehired as well keeping wages low for the worker but rewarding the top CEO's with obnoxious salary & bonus. Everyone who in concerned about how we got into this situation and what we need to do to get back to taking care of our middle class should read Robert's well told book.

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StarGladiator
Nov 16, 2014

This is one of these monstrous, ephemeral, nebulous books which conveniently shifts the blame [bet this guy devours those TED talks] while either blatantly not understanding, or misrepresenting, the facts. [1] The author claims: /// today 70% of the economy centers on consumption \\\ which figure along MEANS NOTHING! It is the percentage responsible for the vast amount of that 70% consumption, which today is now less than the upper 15%! Not understanding or misrepresenting the causes for the global economic meltdown, which reaped billions of dollars of stolen wealth for the super-criminals behind it, doesn't add to the solution. Book rated worthless. Fundamentally, Roberts is one of those types who doesn't understand, or want to admit, that one-fifth of the US work force is laid off during each and every jobless recovery, or that it is all OUR FAULT!

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GummiGirl
Nov 16, 2014

This was written to be up to the minute, and is already slightly out of date since the midterm election. The material isn't necessarily original, but it's still interesting, particularly the parts about business, finance, and politics.

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DeanWH
Oct 20, 2014

I was going to read this but with 308 pages I felt it was to long.

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