Monday, May 10, 2004


I've been dwelling on thoughts of efficiency and economics of late. the thought occured to me that it's very strange that our economy -- at least in the litany of numbers we are read everyday -- is so focused on efficiency and productivity. Not so much, that that is a bad thing or anything, but it is strange that our cultural life is focused on the opposite.

Our culture's aspirations are to lead wasteful/inefficient lives, have huge houses, big fast cars, a ton of food, and lots of leisure time. Add to that that a lot of efficiency is geared towards creating intentional inefficiencies -- disposable items, planned obsolescence -- that are meant to increase sales, to keep people consuming.

In fact, the health of our economy may be heavily dependent on our inefficient use of items and services.


At 5:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course disposable is its own form of efficiency. Convenience is personal efficiency which is not the same as or part of a Society being efficient.

At 10:33 AM , Blogger jenny said...

efficiency is a point of view--what makes life easier for one group of people (i.e. mcdonald's workers and bottom-liners) can make life a beeyotch for another (i.e. environmentalists, nutritionists, family values afficianados). forwards is backwards and vice-versa...we need balance. the whole idea of the industrial revolution was to create a formerly unknown commodity anyone but bluebloods--leisure time. the large middle class which as sprung forth from those times hence continues to demand more for less work without really considering the ultimate price. sad, isn't it?


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