I believe the mini-bubbles above are different ripples in what might call the surface of a superbubble: an opulence bubble. Here’s what I mean by opulence bubble: our conception of the good life, as I’ve discussed with you, has been centered on what I call hedonic opulence — having more, bigger, faster, cheaper, now. But we might be finding out, the hard way, that the pursuit of lowest-common-denominator industrial age stuff might have been steeply overvalued, in terms of its social, human, and financial value.

The Opulence Bubble by Umair Haque. Hat tip: Tim Bray and Paul Kedrosky.

7 thoughts on “Opulence Bubble

  1. I completely agree with the idea that “more, bigger, faster, cheaper” doesn’t necessarily add up to or equal “better, wiser, smarter, fitter, closer.”

    Our societal ambitions truly need a shift towards the benefit of humankind – the all for one self-indulgent approach only serves to bankrupt our future.

  2. We have forgotten the true meaning of “value.” We chase obsolescence, with each “generation” of things being a mere step to the next new thing–none of which give us the lasting satisfaction we’re looking for.

    If we could just grasp that value lies in durability, not just in material things, but, more importantly, in ideas.

  3. I’d take this even a step further…the opulence bubble is how everyone stays trapped in this reality. Once you can fully let go of all that is valued by society, you can find out what’s truly valuable to you.
    Live from there. Find out what else is possible.

  4. How about an Ego bubble? I think that what drives this is our overinflated ego and selfishness which leads to our sense of entitlement to things bigger, faster, cheaper, now, as you outlined. This of course causes all kinds of problems. We need to learn how to share again and look out for the well being of our neighbor. Then the shift will happen…