Cooperative Power

We could–you and I–bring the whole fantastic economy of profitable waste down to the ground overnight, without legislation and without revolution, merely by refusing to cooperate with it.

From Dorothy Sayers’s essay, “Why Work?”

Internet of (Less) Things

The so-called “internet of things” baffles and worries me. Perhaps because the examples have always been so vague. Boosters say, I have heard, there will be sensors in a refrigerator so a person can communicate with it. But how? And even if the technological mechanics get worked out, do I really want my refrigerator to text me that the eggs are running low when I am about to drive by the supermarket on my way home from work?

Yet, potentially less odd results might come from the internet of things. In the latest Economist, Schumpeter explores how a heavily wired world of things might change the nature of the economy in favor of sustainability.


A Note: Several months ago I wrote this post and since then have taken steps to re-engage the topics of personal simplicity and cultural sustainability. There is more to come. I have made a few small edits to this post and added a short reflection to the end.

What to say? For a couple of years now I have been hesitant to engage publicly on issues of excessive consumerism, sustainability, and personal simplicity. A number of excuses kept me from writing and speaking. One has been self-doubt. Is it really my place to have a public voice on these issues? Another has been worry of offending people who feel judged by voluntary minimalists, many of whom, like myself, live fabulously comfortable lives far removed from the harsh realities of “forced minimalism,” i.e. extreme poverty.