Yesterday, we had the pleasure of welcoming professor Svend Brinkmann to BoConcept Aoyama for an interesting and thought-provoking seminar centered on Brinkmann’s research and recently published book, The Joy of Missing Out: The Art of Self-Restraint in an Age of Excess.
Drawing on his background in philosophy and of course psychology, Brinkmann talked about various philosophical values and perspectives one can take into consideration when looking at current societal and psychological issues. With an offset in the Study of Grief, and grief and depression’s growing reach and repercussions in todays world, Brinkmann took us on a journey through the research on motivating factors behind altruism and general human goodness, the constant need to always keep optimizing yourself, treating everything as a means to an end, and the general fear of missing out (FOMO).
A key word for this evening was moderation. Exemplified by how the increasing choices and opportunities in our society - when going to the extremes - in turn becomes too restrictive. The reason behind being that a wide array of choices and possibilities makes it difficult to focus and orient yourself. Instead, having select rules and frameworks in place - without it going to the other extreme and in return also becoming too restrictive - might actually help and nurture progress. Brinkmann, among other things, also brought to light a need to move away from solely perceiving the world and the people in it from an exclusive economic perspective, and instead try to also see and value things on their own merits and not in relation to how it might benefit something else.
The talk ended with a brief Q&A that dove further into the topics of development and change, moderation, and whether the human nature is inherently rooted in a wish for innovation versus stability. The intimate setting providing rich opportunity for a quick back-and-forth between Brinkmann and the guests. Following the seminar there was a reception with food and drinks, giving the guests further opportunity to reflect and discuss the themes and issues brought up.
Thank you to everyone who participated in making this evening the fun, inquisitive and reflective event we at DCCJ hoped it would be.