It’s an old joke that the New York Times “Living” section is really the “Having” Section, and that’s fine, in its own way. Of course, Times readers have also become accustomed to the Sunday Styles section as an absurdity. Especially at Wall Street bonus time, it’s like National Geographic went on an expedition to Neiman Marcus. But I did not know until today that the bias toward wealth and mad consumerism had infiltrated the Science section. Witness an article about consumer behavior by John Tierney:
What is the difference between a tightwadâ€™s brain and a spendthriftâ€™s brain? What neurological circuits stop you from buying a George Foreman grill but not a Discovery Channel color-changing mood clock? Why is there a $2,178.23 balance on my January Visa bill?
What struck me most about the article was that it was published on the same day as this article about a shantytown in Miami. Yes, a shantytown. Just like they have in the other parts of the world that suffer from huge wealth disparities and kleptocratic governments.
Has the Times jumped the shark? Has the American dream?