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How Receipts are Destroying Western Civilization

by Ben Lurie 

Tags: Great Writing, essay writing, reciepts, paper trail, tracking expenses, lack of social connection, impersonality of business, Prospect,

Receipt smallFor Prospect’s William Davies, receipts are a sign of the growing depersonalization of our social interactions.  The purchase of a cup of coffee to start off the day is no longer simply a pleasant trade of cash for caffeine, but an Official Transaction, accompanied by an official documentthe receipt.  “The receipt seems to cleanse transactions, to seal them off from the social ambiguity that accompanies two strangers interacting in public,” he writes.  “Whereas its cousin, the bill, can be issued in a range of moods—from mint-laden and charming, to red and angry—the receipt only ever arrives with the blank gaze of the auditor.”

Source: Prospect

Image by ArnoldReinhold, licensed under Creative Commons.