|Personal Photo - Trying to play with perspectives|
As I freeze in Montreal, here is some reading material I have queued for your long December nights and slow week-ends. Of course, you are allowed to read even if you are enjoying South Hemisphere's spring or a slow, hot tropical weather. I'll be back end of week with the first of the 2013 analysis/post-mortem posts.
On This Way to Paradise - Consumerism in America: How your stuff is killing you and you don't even know it
This articles sums up very well my views on consumerism and how moderm Western societies work. I find how other countries are depicted (happy, spending time with their families and friends) a bit idealized - thinking of children who pick up cotton, or about all these "developing countries" who try their hardest to become a consumerist society - but the analysis on the current "American way of life" is spot on with my views. A very worthwhile read.
On Slow Your Home - Why Good Intentions are not Good Enough
This article is a good reminder that intending to do something isn't the same as actually doing it. There is that first step to take, an action to turn words into actual change. There is one thing I don't agree with though. The author says that talking about change without doing anything is the same as not thinking about it at all. I think there is a difference. Even if it is only at the stage of intention, thinking about doing something is already taking the road of change, no matter how long it takes to actually turn that intention into action...
On George Monbiot's site - Spend Don't Mend
Recommended by a reader, this article is spot on regarding consumerism and how it dulls empathy and changes people's priorities. When he speaks of impressing people with expensive social status and reminds that "people impressed by money are not worth impressing", or that "the iron god of growth to which we must bow demands that we spend the living world into oblivion". Do we even remember that there are other economic alternatives than growth? On the same subject, I suggest the Impossible Hamster video.
Infographic - Living with Less, America's Quest for Simplicity
Although the numbers are U.S focused, the message of this infographic is easily applicable to any kind of consumerist society. Between the time spent at work to earn the money, in shops to spend it, plus the time spent to mend, maintain, donate, sell our stuff, how many hours of our lives are dedicated to our stuff? The U.S average answers in this infographic are quite stunning.
Kali's Featured TED Talk - Luis von Ahn: Massive Scale Online Collaboration
Luis von Ahn is the creator of these annoying "captcha" which authentifies us as humans when we comment on sites, create new accounts etc. In this talk, he presents how he used this technology to put these authentifications to good use and help digitizing books, but also his new crowd-sourced translation project which would allow thousands of people to learn new languages for free. I just love this concept of mutual help between a corporation and the people using their services. I wish more services were thought that way.
Photo: Lac Chambon, Auvergne, October 2013. Ducks were gathering on the pier for the night, I thought it may be interesting to try to work on perspectives. Not quite symmetrical, but I find the idea interesting to explore.