Upon reflection, I think my last post (on the commodification of ideas) was uncomfortably cryptic. I seemed to go off on a tangent. This, I'm afraid, is an unfortunate consequence of being so familiar with one's own thinking that one doesn't register where the puzzled reader might "gang agley" (i.e., shoot off in the wrong direction!). This is my attempt to clarify matters––at least a little.
It all comes down to the widespread human concern about meaninglessness. We find all kinds of compensations for this (or, at least try to, as the protagonist in Joan Didion's novel does). The other alternative seems to be only empty despair. It is in light of this that I wanted to show that the addiction to the delusion of everything having a price (the central issue identified in Aitkenhead's book review) is simply another ploy to substitute a surrogate meaning for the apparent absence of true purposefulness; it certainly keeps an awful lot of people very busy indeed! Readers of MSOU will know that I give very close attention to this in the book. As I hinted rather clumsily in my last post, any purpose at all, since it provides the opportunity for effective action, carries the satisfaction of meaningful purpose. The assigning of a monetary price to everything thus provides ready-made implications for successful action.
The other unfortunate consequence of being so familiar with one's own thinking is that one remains ignorant of the very specific personal factors in any life that strongly affect how anyone comes to make their own decisions.
I'm sorry; I've just run out of time. I'll return to this in the next post.
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