Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Selling Ourselves

As we “progress” technologically, it seems we are forfeiting our individual identities. To what? An enormous, impersonal “pattern” of collective behavior which capitalism preys on with reckless abandon.

On the one hand, this seems to lend itself very well to efficiently and effectively addressing consumer demands thus maximizing each individual's utility. On the other, it seems to relegate us to that of mere machines whose only purpose is to produce and consume "stuff", lacking a distinct “human” element of individuality and identity. 

One of my concerns with regression analyses to determine consumer preferences deals with free-will. If a given analysis determines that it is likely I will make a certain choice and interferes in my life in such a way as to test this prediction, might this interference itself compel me to choose it*? In this case, it seems this prediction becomes self-fulfilled prophesy.

If so, is my free-will really free?

*Perhaps this is a nice corollary to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

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