Of course there is nothing new under the sun. Consumerism feels like
a modern predicament, but the rot set in from the very start. Those
famous fig leaves in the Garden of Eden are witness to the dawn of
the awareness of human shame. Ever since, our preoccupation with
how we are perceived by others has been a defining characteristic of
the human condition. Literature, history, and archaeology are littered
with famous examples of humans indulging in great feats of oneupmanship and showing off.