Monthly Archives: February 2016

Eco-Friendly is the New Status Symbol

Although of course luxury cars will always have a special place in our hearts, the tides are changing and the sign of status, elitism, and education isn’t just having money anymore.

Economists claim that ostentatious displays of wealth have actually fallen out of fashion, to the point that they’re seen as crass by most people.

Instead, conspicuous donations to charity, buying second-hand clothes, collecting ‘useless’ university degrees, using politically correct language and making a point of not watching television are all the newest signs of social status.

tesla3Some attribute this change to the increased affordability of cars, foreign holidays and the buys. Now to do these things isn’t such an amazing feat in the eyes of others.

According to a spokesman for London’s Adam Smith Institute, “Rather than trying to one-up one another by buying Bentleys, Rolexes and fur coats, the modern social climber is more likely to try and show off their ‘authenticity’ by having the correct opinions on music and politics and making sure their coffee is sourced ethically.”

According to the institute’s head of research Ben Southward, “More or less everyone can afford goods that were a show of status int he 1960s and so the competition has gone and we’ve had to move on to something else. It is much harder to learn which products are Fair-trade or which kind of cashmere you should buy, which makes it a much more fertile race to run in.”

Ryan Murphy is an economist that received research on the topic. He claims that fast cars, gaudy diamonds and grand parties have fallen way out of fashion, to the point that they’re actually being seen as somewhat distasteful.

“A wife adorning herself with a fistful of diamonds perhaps could once convince herself that she wears the diamonds because they look beautiful and she loves her husband but, broadly speaking, most of her dinner companions would see it as crass,” explained Professor Murphy, who teaches at the southern Methodist University in Texas.

“In other words, most elements of Western society have moved beyond associating ostentatious displays of wealth with high status.”

The unethical, petty nature of these relatively see-through demonstrations of wealth have been commented on by artists and thinkers for decades and perhaps even centuries, but it seems the elite classes are just catching up.

“If anything, it is simply considered rude; one could say you must signal you are not signaling,” concluded Murphy.

rich person in a teslaOne major demonstration of this; useless university degrees about trendy subjects. According to Sam Bowman, the Adam Smith’s Institute’s executive director, “We all know that people with money try to show it off but focusing on flashy cars and fancy clothes actually misses that, in an era of abundance, the  new ‘aristocrats’ prefer to show off their privilege with hard-to-get retro clothes and objects, studying obscure subjects at university of even taking loud outrage-driven political positions or making conspicuous donations to sometimes wasteful charities.”

Although this spells the beginning of another form of enraging elitism, it’s likely a cultural change for the best. At least there will be more eco-friendly cars on the road.

Safety Tips for Cautious Drivers

Driving is the leading cause of accidental death in America, and most people don’t realize how possible it is to get into an accident until it happens to them. Unfortunately, despite constant warnings and steep fines, people tend to drive dangerously, drive under the influence, and text while driving all the time, sometimes leading to expensive tickets, and sometimes leading to tragic bodily harm to themselves and others.

You can be one step ahead of vehicle-related disaster by being a defensive driver and always having driving caution be your number one priority (over answering that text, finishing up that phone call, getting there on time, and teaching that other driver a thing or two). But how can you practice safe driving on the road? What do you need to keep in mind? Here’s  a quick list of the 5 most important facts any safe driver will never forget:

driving5. If you’re skidding, turn into it.

Even the safest drivers can find themselves unexpectedly hydroplaning on a highway or skidding to a stop when another driver in front of them does something unexpected. If you find that you’ve lost control of your vehicle, remember to look and turn in the direction that you want to go.

Sounds simple, but it’s often difficult in panic-ridden situations to look away from the oncoming tree, car, or whatever you might be about to have a close-call with. Just point with all your might towards the safest path and hope that your traction will catch in time; it’s honestly the best you can do.

4. Leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.

Oldest trick in the book, and perhaps the most ignored as well. Tailgating is commonplace and extremely dangerous and is responsible for everything from fender benders to major accidents on heavily populated roads. Your reaction time is going to have a certain human limit, so be sure to leave some car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you  to make up for that.

3. Look ahead.

It’s easy to be short-sighted when driving and look only at the space a few hundred feet in front of you. If you pay attention to what’s really coming up ahead instead of only the merge, intersection, or block where you’re driving, you’re more likely to notice any possible issues and have more time to react accordingly. The key to reacting in time is noticing dangerous situations as early as possible.

2. Don’t multitask.

Texting, drinking, reading, eating and all kinds of other activities shouldn’t be done while one is behind the wheel… period. A huge proportion of accidents are caused by inattentive drivers who finally chose to pay attention to the wrong thing at the wrong time.

elderly driver1. Remember how stupid everyone else is.

Unfortunately, all you can assume in this world is that the people around you are inattentive, careless, incompetent, distracted, and overly aggressive drivers. That means it’s up to you, and you alone, to not get hit by another car and suffer whatever traumatic injury comes with it. Defensive driving perspectives are especially important to remember when that jerk cuts you off…