Could you be a neophiliac?

June 22nd, 2006 by Meg

You dirty birds. That’s not what it means. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t one.

Most commonly affecting the “bright and overeducated” (hey, that’s you!), neophiliacs are afflicted with a love for anything new or novel. Are you also right now reading Endgadget’s RSS feed on your Blackberry, perhaps? Can’t wait for the next installment of Wired’s “Japanese School Girl Watch”? Already on Barneys’s waiting list for the hottest jeans? Yup, you’ve got it.

But guess what? It’s not just a habit you’ve caught since moving to New York, San Francisco, Paris, or whatever hipster place you live in. Japanese doctors have actually discovered that this compulsion for cool is caused by a mitochondrial enzyme called monoamine oxidase A. Isn’t that weird?

Of course, some people disagree, saying that this “novelty-seeking” characteristic is simply a function of the new economy and new consumerism, and can’t possibly be genetic. But I don’t think that’s true. Why? Because I bet you’ll tell at least one person about this hot new enzyme and trendy affliction you just learned about–and feel damn proud of it. (As you should.) And that has nuthin’ to do with the times we live in, baby. You’re grandpa woulda done the same exact thing.

In fact, according to one so-called expert, neophiliacs may actually be the cornerstone of our society. (Go ahead: Pat yourselves on the back.) “If we all as humans weren’t already predisposed for a desire to be stimulated by new stuff, a lot of the structure on which capitalism is founded would not exist.” That’s Bob Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture at Syracuse University. Wow Bob. That’s some heavy shit. I better head over to Future Perfect and buy some new stuff right now. After all, capitalism is depending me. And you. And our obsession with the new. ::Media Life Magaizne via ::Digg

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