Addictions to iphones, painkillers, cupcakes, alcohol and sex are taking over our lives. Our most casual daily habits can quickly become obsessions that move beyond our control. Damian Thompson, who has himself struggled with a range of addictions, argues that human desire is in the process of being reshaped. Shunning the concept of addiction as disease, he shows how manufacturers are producing substances like ipads, muffins and computer games that we learn to like too much and supplement tradition addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling. He argues that addictive behaviour is becoming a substitute for family and work bonds that are being swept away by globalisation and urbanisation. This battle to control addiction will soon overshadow familiar ideological debates about how to run the economy, and as whole societies set about "fixing" themselves, the architecture of human relations will come under strain as never before.
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