Monday, 24 April 2017

Future Imperfect

Guerilla Gardening
"Did you make it yourself?"

There is a part of Stephen King's Cujo story that has lodged in my memory - its where a a richer brother or cousin is showing off about something in his house - the poorer relative just can't understand why he's going on about it - its just something he had bought after all .. he asks "did you make it?" Reading this was like an epiphany for me and has stayed with me ever since .. I understood just how shallow consumerism and consumer culture is. I can understand someone being proud of something they have spent time making but not about being proud of something you have simply gone out and bought ... or clicked to buy on-line - I guess all this says something about character.

Is consumerism normal or is it a product of economic conditioning to keep the wheels of industry turning. Product 
obsolescence has become normalised ... we are not surprised that things just don't last ... obsolescence is designed and built in ... our brains love new stuff anyway and obsolescence is a great excuse to throw away and replace with new.

Is there an increasing tendency to "productise" everything ... a sort of "learned helplessness" not to be able to do something unless you can buy a product to do it?

Juicero.... do we really need a $400 WiFi-enabled tabletop machine that squeezes juice ... out of a bag of Juicero-brand juice?

What happened to just bodging, tinkering, making, doing it yourself, fixing things, maintaining things ... this takes time but all our time is spent on the work - consume treadmill - we have become the product, the planet has become the product ... we are being consumed, the planet is being consumed - this is not sustainable!

Robots and factories can mass produce perfectly standardised products, what you make may not be perfect but it will be individual, it will have character and you will know it and you will be able to support, maintain, repair and sustain it.

"Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in."
Leonard Cohen ~ Anthem,” from the album "The Future"

Perfection is manufactured, it isn't natural - there is no room for improvement, it has no where to go, it can't adapt and evolve ... it has to be replaced.

Future fully automated factories may mass produce but "who will buy their wares" when robots have replaced so many jobs or driven wages down. What will be the meaning of life and how will people define their identities without being able to consume. 

Is it too late, have we forgotten or is it up to the next generation ... the generation who will have to live through what we have wrought to find another way to live - a more meaningful and sustainable way.

We are not perfect - leave perfection to the machines - lets look to a future with character - lets look to a future that is human.

Don't plant fake plastic trees ... plant the real thing!

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