When I saw this article in SEED Maagazine, I had only one thought – Mokie-Koke!
Readers of science fiction know what I am talking about. I was reminded of “The Merchant’s War“, the 1984 sequel to the 1952 brilliant dystopia “The Space Merchants“, the book that beat “1984” and “Brave New World” in its accuracy of prediction. The initial novel – one of the all-time-greats of the genre, was written by Frederick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth. The sequel, 32 years later, was written by Pohl alone.
It’s been at least 15 years since I last read The Merchants’ War, but if I remember correctly, each megacorporation (one of the very few ruling the world of the future) manufactures its own brands of a coke-like drink, a candy bar and cigarettes. These three products are designed to be addictive in themselves, but also, to induce cravings for each other. So, drinking Mokie-Koke makes you want to light up a cigarette (made by the same company), which in turn makes you want the candy bar, eating which makes you crave a Moki-Koke. Thus, workers/citizens of the future world are forever loyal to the Corporation-State.
The SEED article highlights some recent science showing that such connections between different commercial products are a reality – although not by corporate design. Alcohol and nicotine are in cahoots with each other – when you have a drink, you are more likely to want to smoke (and it feels better) and vice versa. I have certainly noticed this in myself and others. However, I have also noticed (since I am not a big alcohol consumer, but a big caffeine consumer), that Coke and cigarettes tend to induce cravings for each other (as does coffee – this is anecdotal, but a well known anecdote). Chocolate (any brand) makes me want to drink Coke which makes me want to light one up.
This should not be that surprising, as the brain tends to deal with all of its addictions in pretty much the same place using pretty much the same neurochemicals. So, being addicted to gambling, pornography or Internet will also make you drink and smoke? Perhaps….
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