I think it was Oscar Wilde who said "I never read books, because the reviews are so much better" (though I've been unable to find this quote -- first one to cite it gets a free KDD bumpersticker). This definitely holds true with most nonfiction these days -- I can't remember the last nonfiction I read in its entirety, though when it comes to fiction I can hardly wait to get my hands on the latest Updike sequel. Thus I get most of my nonfiction reading in nice five minute snippets from my daily newspaper or reason.com. Today I'm introducing a new feature, the book review review.
The WSJ had a review today of "buyology", and while I always applaud obscure Lionel Trilling references, I think Andrew Stark is reaching a bit by saying that neuromarketing fosters 'a culture of "inauthenticity": It disrupts identity itself by bypassing the conscious mind and targeting aspects of the self over which none of us has control'. The applications of neuromarketing are temporal at best; while you may have an urge to pinch the cheeks of the Mini Cooper's face, surely at some point your right brain reminds you that you never fit your kids into the back seat.
I'm reminded of the swanky advertisements for downtown Raleigh highrise living as so ably parodied by Blazer Manpurse. Many will see in this ad a younger, hipper version of themselves, sipping ten dollar appletinis poolside among the creative class (or maybe just another toned empty nester). The reality is that you will bitch about not having a decent grocery store and having no one besides trustafarians to talk to (I found this out firsthand when I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn).
Word on the street is that "North at West" is being discounted given the housing collapse, despite their well-produced YouTube ad (the bikini-clad avatar is a nice touch). If you find this a bit much you might enjoy the one for HUE, which I liked better.