“Lifehacking” may be a fairly recent phrase, but the sentiment behind it was a core principle of the American Century and the consumer capitalism taken as both a cause and effect of its brand of triumphalism. It was a drive for Convenience and “Efficiency” in all things. That it also happened to increase the per unit price while helping to distinguish a brand against from the pack of identical products was just a happy accident, I’m sure.
It was such a ubiquitous aspect of daily life that it became the stuff of Tex Avery ‘toons and facile comedy bits — ludicrous promises of purchased paradise whose parodies often paled behind the real deal. Was it really so hard to pour a glass of juice, spoon out a scoop of sugar-saturated yogurt, or vault the low culinary hurdle of mixing your own damn pancake batter?
Perhaps, but that was beside the point. Science — of the practical, profit-minded American type — was there to serve as an eternally-flowing cornucopia whose ever new, ever improved wares were the birthright of a dazzled populace willing and able to pay for them.