Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World

Cool How the Brain s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World If you have ever wondered why SUVs replaced minivans how one rap song turned the cognac industry upside down or what gives Levi s jeans their iconic allure look no further in Cool Steven Quartz an

  • Title: Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World
  • Author: Steven Quartz Anette Asp
  • ISBN: 9780374535933
  • Page: 349
  • Format: Paperback
  • If you have ever wondered why SUVs replaced minivans, how one rap song turned the cognac industry upside down, or what gives Levi s jeans their iconic allure, look no further in Cool, Steven Quartz and Anette Asp finally explain the fascinating science behind unexpected trends and enduring successes.We live in a world of conspicuous consumption, where the clothes we wear,If you have ever wondered why SUVs replaced minivans, how one rap song turned the cognac industry upside down, or what gives Levi s jeans their iconic allure, look no further in Cool, Steven Quartz and Anette Asp finally explain the fascinating science behind unexpected trends and enduring successes.We live in a world of conspicuous consumption, where the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the food we eat lead double lives they don t merely satisfy our needs they also communicate our values, identities, and aspirations In Beverly Hills, tourists flock to the famous Rodeo Drive not to shop, but simply to take photographs of themselves in front of luxury stores And for one week in August, hundreds of thousands of HarleyDavidson fans from all over the world descend on the remote town of Sturgis, South Dakota, and engulf the otherwise sleepy hamlet in the deafening roar of motorcycle engines Why do brands inspire such devotion Quartz and Asp bring together groundbreaking findings in neuroscience, economics, and evolutionary biology to present a new understanding of why we consume and how our concepts of what is cool be it designer jeans, smartphones, or craft beer help drive the global economy The authors highlight the underlying neurological and cultural processes that contribute to our often unconscious decision making, explaining how we re able to navigate the supermarket on autopilot for certain items and yet arrive at the checkout counter with a basket full of products picked up on the spur of the moment And they explore the opposite side of the consumer equation the choice architects who design store interiors and the coolhunters who scour Berlin and Tokyo on the lookout for the latest trends Through a novel combination of cultural and economic history and in depth studies of the brain, Cool puts forth a provocative theory of consumerism that reveals the crucial missing links in an understanding of our spending habits our brain s status seeking social calculator and an instinct to rebel that fuels our dislike of being subordinated by others Quartz and Asp show how these ancient motivations make us natural born consumers and how they sparked the emergence of cool consumption in the middle of the twentieth century, creating new lifestyle choices and routes to happiness Examining how cool was reshaped in the 1990s by a changing society and the Internet, they unpack the social motivations behind today s hip, ethical consumption, arguing that we should embrace, rather than deny, the power of consumerism.Taking us from Norman Mailer to normcore, Cool is surprising at every turn, and will forever change the way you think about money, status, desire, happiness, and choice.

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      Published :2018-08-06T12:37:44+00:00

    1 thought on “Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World”

    1. Just like Socrates asked questions like “What is virtue?” and “What is knowledge?” in his times, today’s philosophers ask, “What is cool?” These two authors gave “cool” such a thorough analysis, they even placed people in MRI machines, showed them “cool” images, and measured their reactions. Epistemology is much more scientific than it used to be! The book begins by taking issue with the anti-consumerist worldview, namely, that our modern capitalist society is built on conv [...]

    2. The original research presented in this book is pretty compelling, and some of the examples of how "cool" is constructed (as well as the social construction of "uncool") is certainly interesting. One complaint: endnotes. I'm a lazy reader - don't make me flip to the back of the book to see your notes and citations. I need footnotes, because I want to see the whole story, but I just can't rock the two-bookmark thing and it seriously busts up the flow. Another complaint: define your terms. I could [...]

    3. Quotes:We are all consumers. And we all, more or less, live by consumerism's creed that our consuming is linked to our happiness (in a recent poll, only 6 percent of Americans said that money can't buy happiness). According to some social critics, it is through the world of commodities that our social world reproduces the social categories that structure our personal identities and give form to the social order. There is little or no avoiding this world of goods, symbols, and signals. Even the s [...]

    4. To be sure, there was some interesting information in this book. However, the author really loves outdated David Buss/ Richard Dawkins type hypotheses about good genes, evolutionary roots of behavior, etc. Making these types of arguments when trying to explain why we consume and why we deem things "cool," requires too big a leap in logic and too little critical thinking. Regardless of the inclusion of old and tired evolutionary behavior hypotheses, which far too often amounts to the "just so sto [...]

    5. If you read this book (and I don't recommend it), do yourself a favor and skip to the last two chapters. That's where the authors finally discuss in any depth the notion of how that intangible quality of coolness drives economic choices. Even then, it's not particularly clear what their driving at. Suspicious of classical, rationalist economics, I enjoy the insights of behavioral economists. Rather than telling us how people ought to make economic choices, they focus on how we actually do, point [...]

    6. i fundamentally disagreed with this book's position of consumerism as status qualifier that i went out and bought a pair of New Balance just to be ironic.

    7. This book started incredibly slow, and I didn't have high hopes for it, based on the first few chapters, which are a rather dry blend of psychology experiments and economics. I stuck with it, though, and it eventually broadened its scope into history, where it became a great deal more interesting, since it could deal with actual examples that didn't seem one sided. I found very few of the initial examples of experiments and ideas about status fit for me, but that changed when the narrative intro [...]

    8. While interesting, this was a rather uneven book that actually reads like two books. The first part really hits on more of the neuroscience, and is a bit lengthy albeit informative. The last few chapters are a bit more of a rushed cultural history which feels a bit unsatisfying. Perhaps I had hoped for more of a comprehensive look at the correspondence of products and culture and the complex interplay between them. They do a fair bit of tilting at the political assumptions that underlie earlier [...]

    9. Four stars because it made me think. The book is almost two books crammed into one, and I enjoyed the second book (Chapters 5-8) much more than the first, although the ending disappointed and seemed contrived. It did inspire a blog post in which I consider "cool" in the light of this book and my own experiences. I will also be adapting some of these ideas for my Popular Music classes.

    10. This new concept seems to be a hot topic nowadays. The basic premise is that humans are indeed driven to consume cooler stuff which makes them appear better socially. The super ordinate goals come to the fore. The brain actually takes decisions to satisfy these needs. Well written.

    11. I didn't like the first 2 chapters of this book. Too unfocused. I wanted to tell the author to "get to the point." I thought the rest of the book was interesting.

    12. Excellent book on behavioural economics of consumption backed by good research evidence and sound arguments. Good discussion and critique on the existing consumption literature.

    13. A fascinating look at consumption from the intersection of behavioral economics, evolution, and conservation. This book is worth reading, or listening to, again.

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