I LOVE this stuff!
If we wonder if our car is about to run out of gas we look at the fuel gauge.
If we worry about our car overheating on a hot August day driving up the Grapevine we look at the water temperature gauge.
If we worry about our tire’s condition we look at the tread left.
If we wonder about the general condition of a used car we are thinking about purchasing we start by looking at the year of manufacture.
Then we look at the odometer.
Etc, etc, etc.
My favorite part of college was the study of economics. Especially that trends have repeated themselves since the Roman times. Not always exactly the same. Not always in exactly the same timeframe. But societies and economies repeat themselves in very trackable ways.
Here’s some brain food for thought: http://www.marketanthropology.com