• Researchers  found eclectic mix of items used to judge success and wealth
  • Gadgets  such as iPads and holiday destinations made the list
  • Status  symbols include where you do your food shop and designer  watches


The eclectic mix of items emerged in a poll of 2,000 adults which found that around one in seven Britons (14 per cent) have bought a status symbol simply to impress others or appear better-off than they are.

Worryingly, fewer than half used savings, with one in four putting the purchase on a credit card, and more than one in 20 taking out a loan.

Read more here 

(I have never been impressed by what people have or drive but who they are. Except I may be envious of where you live because I would love to live in Savannah!)

And all of this may be summed up by the article in the New Scientist.

Editorial:Time to get smarter about stupidity

You may read the article here   or subscribe to the New Scientist.

New Scientist


EARTH has its boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless,” wrote Gustave Flaubert. He was almost unhinged by the fact. Colourful fulminations about his fatuous peers filled his many letters to Louise Colet, the French poet who inspired his novel Madame Bovary. He saw stupidity everywhere, from the gossip of middle-class busybodies to the lectures of academics. Not even Voltaire escaped his critical eye. Consumed by this obsession, he devoted his final years to collecting thousands of examples for a kind of encyclopedia of stupidity. He died before his magnum opus was complete, and some attribute his sudden death, aged 58, to the frustration of researching the book.

And furthermore …..the variation in our intelligence may have arisen from a process called “genetic drift”, after human civilisation eased the challenges driving the evolution of our brains. Gerald Crabtree at Stanford University in California is one of the leading proponents of this idea. He points out that our intelligence depends on around 2000 to 5000 constantly mutating genes. In the distant past, people whose mutations had slowed their intellect would not have survived to pass on their genes; but Crabtree suggests that as human societies became more collaborative, slower thinkers were able to piggyback on the success of those with higher intellect. In fact, he says, someone plucked from 1000 BC and placed in modern society, would be “among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions” (Trends in Genetics, vol 29, p 1). This theory is often called the “idiocracy” hypothesis