(Planet Me)
Monday, November 26, 2012
Meme Wars

Sometimes the thing you notice first is the smell. The fresh, cut grass waft of new, virgin paper. When you open the pages, this smell is gorgeous. Don't get that with a kindle, do you?

The Adbusters stable has done a great many good things to shape and challenge current thinking : whilst not as visible or thus, as successful as others, it has for many years consistently placed a message in the world : to think things through. To understand what is and what isn't, to see what we see, and see it differently, if you can.

This, an inch thick, A4, sharply printed and presented work isn't exactly an academic text, but a series of essays on the nature of finance and economics, accompanied by visual design that juxtaposes history and the current, the rich and the poor, the myriad of lives that are all intersected and ruled by the false power economy of finance as a God. Over the width it reveals an ethos, a thinking, which is powerful but not occasionally lacking in cohesion. And also, implants a healthy doubt in the mind of the usefulness of economic / financial education : it is now seen, and portrayed in this book negatively, as a way of making money, exploiting others, and controlling the world, not about harnessing power to improve the world.

When you read this though, it is aimed at a niche market : the vaguely revolutionary economics student. Whilst immaculately designed and presented, the message as such is blunt, and perhaps obvious. The essays join thematically, but soon enough create a message that an economics student will probably not take to. It's a good book, and, from my perspective being twice the age of the average entry level economics student, obvious and liberal, perhaps not necessarily digestable to the market it aims for. But it is a useful,m and powerful book that explains the role of economics and the battle between how it could be used, and how it is used.

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