What makes a valuable object?
Dr. Baker explores “shiny objects” in United America and frequently covers the topic on his daily blog, OurValues.org. But what’s the difference between a shiny object, and a valuable one? Why do some things become heirlooms and others are thrown out the moment something breaks?
Valuable objects are directly tied to values, and the two can often influence each other. Valuable objects can often represent specific values, like a treasured flag might represent symbolic patriotism.
Shiny objects, meanwhile, are at the heart of America’s consumer-driven economy. “A status-driven consumer can never have enough, even though (as resarch has shown) buying more doesn’t raise happiness. This constant desire for something new and better is called the ‘treadmill of consumption,'” writes Dr. Wayne Baker in United America.