consumerism and philosophy

Controversial philosopher Peter Singer gets to the nub of consumer ethics using his ‘drowning kid’ thought experiment. I like the way it breaks down that barrier between the everyday banal choices we make about what we spend our money on, and our broader sense of what is right and what is wrong ‘in the world’. There are the obvious arguments against his analogy that would appeal to conceptions of direct and indirect responsibility for other people’s welfare. But I think he makes a stronger point about empathy and culpability for other people’s suffering, regardless of their physical location in relation to ourselves. A great recipe for buyer’s remorse!


Citizen Sane

Following on from yesterday’s wander into philosophy, a short detour into political philosophy via this animation from MachineOff, a Greek production house.

It’s a brief distillation of an essay (I think) by E.A.Rauter. I hadn’t heard of him before but a quick bit of internetting reveals he was a German teacher and journalist, who wrote about the effect of language and information. There seems to be very little about him or his work in English, which makes this video all the more of a find.

The video outlines Rauters’ thoughts on how information is used to construct  individuals sense of self and what this means for how we relate to the state and economy. It’s a bit longer than the average nub, but it’s thought-provoking stuff. It’s this kind of visualizing of an intellectual idea that formed our original idea of what a nub should be, so enjoy!