Booklist  September 1, 2014

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification.

Roberts, Paul (Author)

As technology brings us ever more customized products, we are becoming the economy and it is becoming us in a feedback loop that caters to the individual. So, where does that leave the broader social good, the need for roads and schools and hospitals? Roberts (The End of Oil, 2004; The End of Food, 2008) ponders the evolution of an economy based on production into one based on consumption. He explores the constant studying of our habits, desires, and inclinations to bring us ever more customized products and services that ask for ever more data in an endless loop of impulse and satisfaction.

     Drawing on economics, psychology, sociology, and philosophy, Roberts offers historical perspective, from the Industrial Revolution to the digital revolution to the most recent financial crisis. In this insightful book, he argues against politics that offers false choices of free market versus socialism, state versus individual, and he examines the long-term implications of an impulse society that does not produce jobs to sustain families and fails to address important environmental, social, and economic issues.

— Vanessa Bush

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