In many towns, people wander from shop window to shop window, sometimes going in to buy something.

In Cambridge, to take a particular example, the local government says it wants to ``encourage city centre trade''. Observe that what people need to buy, they will buy anyway. So trade that is ``encouraged'' is trade that is not needed. Do these people have some kind of satisfaction from their window-shopping and shopping? Could the ability to buy things be a last clinging at the idea of having some kind of ability, for those who see society showing them that they are not capable? Or could it be a substitute for creativity? Or could a notional ability to choose be the vestigial remnants of creativity?


Another thing I don't like about shoppers (and here I use the term more generically than for those actually purchasing things -- more for any wandering aimlessly in large crowds) is that they seem to expect someone going purposefully about their business to give way to them, as though blundering around were more important. Thus, they make someone else take responsibility for their safety.

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