In this discussion, Peyton Bowman and I discuss my term ‘fast-foodification’. I coined the word trying to describe modern politics. The techniques used by politicians and their professional enablers are optimised to attract votes in the same way that McDonalds and KFC optimise their food with salt, sugar and fat to attract sales.
We also discuss other areas characterised by fast-foodification. And we look at the question of what psychologists call ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ preferences — namely what we want as compared with what we want to want. Growing as people involves a process of schooling tastes to acquire better ones. We might want to get fit, find going to the gym a chore for a while as we get used to it, but once we’re habituated to it we don’t want to miss our session.
Many things in human flourishing are like this as we school ourselves and habituate ourselves to better tastes and better behaviour. Finally, having both agreed that capitalism and competition for votes tends to reinforce primary preferences — we discuss what institutions might encourage a culture in which secondary preferences might be nurtured. The audio is available here.