1)To understand the article I first had to define dissent. According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, dissent is “a strong difference of opinion on a particular subject, especially about an official suggestion or plan or a popular belief.” Thomas Frank is speaking directly on the corporate need to profit on the need to be different. Corporations feed the public’s subconscious need to be different which in the end lead to there being no way to dissent, or truly be ‘different’.
When looking at the current car advertisements, they are all geared to the idea that the vehicle is a gateway to freedom and the daredevil lifestyle.
To quote Frank, “Consumerism is no longer about “conformity” but about “difference.” Advertising teaches us not in the way puritanical self-denial (bizarre notion on the face of it), but in orgiastic, never-ending self-fulfillment. It counsels not rigid adherence to the tastes of the herd but vigilant and constantly updated individualism. We consume not to fit in, but to prove on the surface at least, we are rock’n’roll rebels, each one of us as rule-breaking and hierarchy-defying as our heroes of the 60’s, who now pitch cars, shoes and beer.”
To dissent, now means to be individuals, but being individuals means to conform. There is no true form of individuality in a society in which being the same and being different have become one.
2) Am example of neuroplasticity that stood out was when Carr described the man that suffered a severe stroke. Through daily simple movements with his left hand and leg, the brain formed new connections allowing him to regain complete control over the parts. When looking at technology, the constant use of computers from a young age can have a similar affect on the brain. When using technology for several hours a day the seemingly simple tasks impact the way the brain functions and forms connections.