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New World Notes - Consumed (Part 2 of 2)

02/26/2013 12:00 pm
02/26/2013 1:00 pm


This week on New World Notes: radio program #260, February 26, 2013, from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., host Kenneth Dowst looks at consumerism and overconsumption, from the perspectives of sociology, economic history, and especially psychology. Our two-part series features the video documentary, Consumed: Inside the Belly of the Beast.

I'm not so sure of the "evolutionary" part of "evolutionary psychology." It's hard to see what is gained by asserting that people act in a certain way because, through natural selection, we evolved to act that way. But there's much more to the movie than this--and the conventional psychology, anthropology, sociology, and economic history brought to bear here all seem insightful.

As Annie Leonard puts it (in The Story of Stuff), we're trashing the planet, and we're not even having fun. So why can't we stop? Well, maybe we can.

Plus additional reflections by philosopher/economist Charles Eisenstein and K.D.

Of note, in the documentary: a long-overdue appreciation of the "hippie" culture of the late 1960s, by Prof. Alastair McIntosh. Acting less like yuppies and more like hippies may indeed be the sanest option in the 21st century.

Adapted to radio by K.D. Thanks to Robin Upton for introducing me to the video. Robin's own radio adaptation of "Consumed" may be found in installment #634 of his show, "Unwelcome Guests," available at

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New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "very noses") of WWUH-FM, a community service of the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both A-Infos Radio Project and (from #90 onwards) the Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chronological listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page; each page has links to the recorded audio; and a handy table of contents will quickly find the installment you want.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want--and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut dates shown)

March 5 -- GMOs-2

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Any time: Listen to or download any installment. Just go to New World Notes and click a link to the audio at the top of the page. (Every installment has a page on the Web site, and every page has links to the audio.)