Oil spill, empathy, luxury goods, presidents, and Maddow

Trawling for music, happened upon this video on Agenda Inc., an agency of smart people who, in their own words  “are constantly trying to understand how luxury brands – and the consumers who sponsor their survival – will behave in the future.”

What a strange sentence. Kind of gross and outside where my head is these days. But, it was my first visit to the blog. I’d followed a link from a blogger who’s not let me down before. And i’d enjoyed what little i’d grazed of their posts so far. So i ended up watching this masterfully illustrated version of a very well organized, thought out and delivered talk by Jeremy Rifkin on the ideas  in his book The Empathetic Civilization . In the afterglow of a tube experience, pretty quickly i realized i didn’t actually feel like i’d really learned anything. I’m pretty sure I never put things all together like this, but it’s hardly a giant leap from any number of pleading harangs (which i can be a sucker for) though perhaps more compelling for its matter of fact presentation.

I’ve never seen a flashmob of empathy like the one there was when the earthquake destroyed Haiti. I’ve never so easily seen people admit to fear and to not being able to control the pain and tears seeing pictures of animals fighting to live in the Gulf. And it’s clear to me that the basic outlines of human evolution from common roots to larger and larger tribes as presented in the talk is sound, if not obvious, but the rationale seems to miss a point.

Families, religions, nations seem sadly more likely to form and be strengthened in times of aggression or when forced to defend. And it’s certainly easier — even among, or maybe especially among, the educated and successful civil society — to recall significan actions taken by many for relatively minor reasons of self interest or insecurity than it is to name a few instances of minor empathy that isn”t actually more a mask for more of the same insecurity and self interest.  For a Haiti, there’s a New Orleans Hurricane. For people moved by scenes int he gulf there are executives at BP and Halliburton and an ambivalent class of politicians.

And i certainly don’t have an answer for all that, any of that, except Rachel Maddow

And i suppose upon double reflection that Agenda Inc. is not so far out there in their urge and mission. i mean there’s soemthing of a hint of a potential Robin Hood role in the Luxury Brand wold in saying – “In the post-recessionary culture, it is a good time to analyze whether some of the strategic theories of luxury brands – currently based around the materialistic, can be supplemented with more empathic ideas. ”  I have to say though it still makes me feel like the logical conclusions should put them logically and happily out of  a job convincing folks that well made goods that are in and of themselves remarkable and eye catching and nicely presented are somehow worth a multiple with a name over what htey should be valued at.

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Answer to anonymous whose comments aren’t posted and to anyone else considering wasting time looking for coherence. : Not his blog isn’t’ going anywhere. It’s for my SEO experiments, resume, and a way to stach video i might want someday lik these, Enjoy or don’t.

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