Guernica doesn’t offer any solutions to the problem of human suffering: it asks us to do something more vital, and more worthy: to reflect on, consider, and perhaps so gain a truer intimacy with the problem of war, violence, atrocity, and its permanence throughout history. Picasso would never have been invited to deliver a TED talk about Guernica because it offers no quick, easy, palatable solution. Instead, it offers the precise opposite: a hard, unflinching, uncompromising portrait of grief.
In that sense, online dating services bring the same thing to the market for relationships that modern, electronic trading platforms bring to the financial markets: In a word, liquidity.
All the barriers have slowly broken down in the past hundred years, to the point where the entire world, theoretically, is now your dating pool. So you needed to be choosy and your ability to go out and find your mate became something of a reflection back on you, of your ability to be a successful person in the world.
Almost without realizing it, we have drifted from having market economies to becoming market societies. The difference is this: A market economy is a tool – a valuable and effective tool – for organizing productive activity. A market society, by contrast, is a place where almost everything is up for sale. It is a way of life in which market values seep into social relations and govern every domain.
The spectacle of wealth does not merely enforce consumptive conformity, but also promotes consumption through disinhibition. It plays not merely a coercive role, but also a disinhibitory one by invoking the social magic of costume parties.