In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 22, 2012 -
"The world now has a very clear choice. We can choose to address the twin issues of population and consumption... Or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward vortex of economic, socio-political and environmental ills, leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future." Sir John Sulston, Royal Society Fellow on the Society's recent report "People and the planet
". [more inside]
posted by nowhere man
on May 4, 2012 -
, from the excellent resource the wirecutter
, drops some knowledge about what it's like to live a bit more meaningfully
. "I owe my livelihood to technology and I love the raw capability it offers us as a tool, but I fear it a bit more than most people do. It's a tool, but it's not quite a hammer, because a hammer doesn't seduce you into sitting around lonely in your underwear for 6 hours at a stretch clicking on youtube videos and refreshing Twitter.
posted by pwally
on Feb 2, 2012 -
Over the course of three years, designer Christien Meindertsma
tracked the products that had been made from the remains of a single pig. In doing so, she discovered that the skin, bones, meat, organs, blood, fat, brains, hoofs, hair and tail of a single pig might be used in more than 180 very diverse products
, from shampoo, medicine, tattoo ink, munitions, cardiac valves, matches, desserts and bubblegum, beer and lemonade, car paint and brake discs to pills and bread. TED Talk
. TED Bio
. Vimeo video: Reading through the pages of Pig 05049
(in Dutch). Design Observer: Pig 05049
. Amazon: Pig 05049 [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 20, 2010 -
What If Everybody in Canada Flushed At Once?
The water utility in Edmonton, EPCOR, published a graph of water consumption last week. By now you’ve probably heard that up to 80% of Canadians were watching the Olympics gold medal hockey game between Canada and the USA. So, it stands to reason that they’d all go pee between periods. More from The Globe and Mail
posted by netbros
on Mar 10, 2010 -
The American Hologram
We suffer under a mass national hallucination. Americans, regardless of income or social position, now live in a culture entirely perceived inside a self-referential media hologram of a nation and world that does not exist. Our national reality is staged and held together by media, chiefly movie and television images. We live in a “theater state.”
posted by idixon
on Apr 23, 2009 -
hosts a two-part essay on the environmentalism movement's attempts to fit within free market capitalism, and the problems therein. Part one, The Idols of Environmentalism
, focuses on the cross purposes of capitalism and environmentalism, and the apparent impossibility of the two working together. In part two, The Ecology of Work
, the focus is on the human impact of the work and consumption culture.
posted by knave
on Apr 29, 2007 -
Running The Numbers. This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks
on Feb 28, 2007 -
- "of an individual, business or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual, business or nation"
posted by Gyan
on Jan 11, 2007 -
Some people keep track of their receipts. Others keep track of their goals. And then there's Nicholas
, an artist/designer and DJ who chronicled his 26,059 iTunes tracks played, his 859.5 social drinks (including 293 Stella Artois) consumed, his 30,724 airmiles traveled, and, yes, his 49 cat photos in his own personal 2006 Annual Report
. (via Coudal
posted by Alt F4
on Jan 10, 2007 -
wants to know what you buy. Obsessive Consumption wants to know what you owe. Created by Kate Bingaman
to showcase her love/hate relationship with money, shopping, branding, credit cards, celebrity, advertising and marketing, she documented all of her purchases for 28 months starting on January 22nd, 2002 and ending on April 22nd, 2004. Currently she is drawing a lot of her purchases
and all of her credit card statements
until they are paid off. Her Obsessive Consumption installation in Kansas City
is particularly impressive.
posted by dead_
on Jul 28, 2006 -
Americans are not going broke over lattes!
Salon (warning: ad click-through required) interviews the author of a book who contends that American middle class overconsumption is a myth. This made me really think about how I relate to my $$$, and what I think is pushing me deeper into a hole. According to this author, kids are forcing people into bankruptcy, and it's not because we buy them gameboys and expensive clothes. The author also claims that credit card companies and mortgage lenders need to be regulated by the govt., as they are feeding off of middle class hardships. It's also making me wonder why real estate developers aren't building small homes anymore, at least in my state of the union.
posted by archimago
on Oct 14, 2003 -
, Economist and Social Commentator, who contributed to the common tongue the phrase conspicuous consumption
. Who was Thorstein Veblen--and why should anyone care?
I should like him for his writing style alone:
The appreciation of those evidences of honorific crudeness to which hand-wrought goods owe their superior worth and charm in the eyes of well-bred people is a matter of nice discrimination. It requires training and the formation of right habits of thought with respect to what may be called the physiognomy of goods. Machine-made goods of daily use are often admired and preferred precisely on account of their excessive perfection by the vulgar and the underbred who have not given due thought to the punctilios of elegant consumption. The ceremonial inferiority of machine products goes to show that the perfection of skill and workmanship embodied in any costly innovations in the finish of goods is not sufficient of itself to secure them acceptance and permanent favor. The innovation must have the support of the canon of conspicuous waste. Any feature in the physiognomy of goods, however pleasing in itself, and however well it may approve itself to the taste for effective work, will not be tolerated if it proves obnoxious to this norm of pecuniary reputability.
From Chapter Six - Pecuniary Canons of Taste
of the work entire, The Theory of The Leisure Class
. Feel free to consume conspicuously.
posted by y2karl
on Oct 29, 2002 -