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 Post subject: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:53 am 
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Completely on point -- if you watch only one film (<22 minutes) please watch this one.

http://www.youtube.com/storyofstuffproject#p/u/22/9GorqroigqM

Annie Leonard is my hero.

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:05 am 
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Also downloadable here
http://storyofstuff.org/DLfilms.php

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:30 am 
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Well, there's a lot of truth in that film but nothing new. What do you suggest we do?
Stop making and using "stuff"?
I jumped off that treadmill she talks about quite a few years ago.
A good start would be to ban advertising, stop importing dirt cheap goods from the third world and impose a hefty tax on non-essential (luxury) items to make it financially unviable to throw away and replace every 6 months.
I suppose then we'd have to worry about how to employ the people that were no longer making goods. Well, how about de-automating production processes? (And yes, that has been discussed here not so long ago) That should also serve to bump up the cost to the consumer.
Goes back to a previous posting of mine.
Although I still believe that the root cause of most of our problems is overpopulation. The planet cannot support the number of people living on it in the way that they want to live.


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:16 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
A good start would be to ban advertising, stop importing dirt cheap goods from the third world and impose a hefty tax on non-essential (luxury) items to make it financially unviable to throw away and replace every 6 months.

That's a top-down solution. I think we are way past that point, the system cannot be changed from the top. What we can do is to try to rely less on money and "stuff" and try to live "simple" I guess. Grow a Victory garden. :)

judge56988 wrote:
Although I still believe that the root cause of most of our problems is overpopulation. The planet cannot support the number of people living on it in the way that they want to live.

I don't agree. Our planet can host many, many people. Overpopulation can be a problem locally in some places but the system failures of today is not directly related to population size imo.

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:15 am 
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Vicotnik wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
A good start would be to ban advertising, stop importing dirt cheap goods from the third world and impose a hefty tax on non-essential (luxury) items to make it financially unviable to throw away and replace every 6 months.

That's a top-down solution. I think we are way past that point, the system cannot be changed from the top. What we can do is to try to rely less on money and "stuff" and try to live "simple" I guess. Grow a Victory garden. :)

I asolutely do not believe that anything but a small number of people will do something like that voluntarily. The peer pressure to have the newest shiniest gadget or the latest pair of trainers is immense. The last time we lived a simple life was when it was forced upon us during the war when there simply wasn't much to be had because all resources were put into the war effort.

Vicotnik wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
Although I still believe that the root cause of most of our problems is overpopulation. The planet cannot support the number of people living on it in the way that they want to live.

I don't agree. Our planet can host many, many people. Overpopulation can be a problem locally in some places but the system failures of today is not directly related to population size imo.

I happen to think that the growth of the planets population has only been possible through the use of intensive farming methods involving the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides on an ever increasing scale with consequent undesirable effect on wildlife and groundwater; and the large scale destruction of rainforest to provide more agricultural land.

I try to buy locally grown organic produce as far as possible but it is expensive and a lot of people just cannot afford to live like that. Cheap factory food is vital to feed the number of people there are.
Having said that, people in the West eat far more calories than they need to; I did hear that if all Americans ate only what they needed to, there would be enough food left over to feed the starving in the third world. Whether this is true or not I don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:31 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
I asolutely do not believe that anything but a small number of people will do something like that voluntarily. The peer pressure to have the newest shiniest gadget or the latest pair of trainers is immense. The last time we lived a simple life was when it was forced upon us during the war when there simply wasn't much to be had because all resources were put into the war effort.

And it will be forced upon us again. I'm not saying we will save the world by growing food, it will increase your own chances in the future.

judge56988 wrote:
I happen to think that the growth of the planets population has only been possible through the use of intensive farming methods involving the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides on an ever increasing scale with consequent undesirable effect on wildlife and groundwater; and the large scale destruction of rainforest to provide more agricultural land.

I agree to some extent. But I see rather the thirst for profit as the culprit, not the population size. But in some way things would be more easy with less people since resources are scarce. But on the other hand one doesn't really need that much.. :) The people in Bangladesh seems happy in general, like the people in US/EU.

judge56988 wrote:
I try to buy locally grown organic produce as far as possible but it is expensive and a lot of people just cannot afford to live like that. Cheap factory food is vital to feed the number of people there are.
Having said that, people in the West eat far more calories than they need to; I did hear that if all Americans ate only what they needed to, there would be enough food left over to feed the starving in the third world. Whether this is true or not I don't know.

I try to grow my own food rather than buying it. I'm too cheap to buy the expensive stuff although I should.. I usually buy the cheap factory food unless it's unhealthy. I try to avoid the food-like eatable substances that's extremely cheap. Sad that crap like that gives you the most calories for your money. Mostly due to weird subsidies I think.

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:38 am 
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Story of Electronics:

http://www.youtube.com/user/storyofstuffproject#p/u/3/sW_7i6T_H78

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:51 am 
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Honestly, the more I think about the state of things, the less I see how we can avoid terrible global conflict in the long run. And there is pretty strong historical evidence that we just cannot help it, as a species. People are short sighted, and love to hate/blame each other. The problem is humanity.

I just hope we can invent humanity 2.0 (our android offspring capable of stable co-existence, terrestrially and beyond) before we kill ourselves (which are are already abundantly capable of doing in oh-so-many-ways) :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:59 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Ironically, this is the antithesis of the Apple groupie mentality, who will wait in an outdoors line overnight to buy an iPad, even though they don't know what they will do with it once they get it (as one person was quoted: "I'll figure that out later"). Then a few months later, they will sell their old iPad to get the version 2.

Apple devotees are much more likely to chunk their old technology for the latest model than other brands, because of the aforementioned (in the Apple religion thread) emphasis on "style and panache".

My cell phone (not iPhone) 2-year contract ran out about 8 months ago, but I am not throwing away my old phone for a new one just to get a few new features I probably don't need. But I am probably the exception in that regard.


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:29 am 
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Vicotnik wrote:
the system cannot be changed from the top.

"the system" is changed from the top every day... only not by you.

judge56988 wrote:
I did hear that if all Americans ate only what they needed to, there would be enough food left over to feed the starving in the third world. Whether this is true or not I don't know.

Well, it's not.
There's typically more than enough food to go around at the present time. Starvation typically has other causes such as wars and genocide, discrimination, oppressive regimes and so on.
Americans overeat and waste a lot of food but they're not the only ones so one shouldn't put an undue focus on the eating habits of Amercians. If Americans only reduced waste, the amount of extra food available would be substantial. Actually eating less would not be required (although it might be well advised in many cases).
The real issue is livestock. There's no medical justification for eating so much meat and the amount of livestock around today is really excessive. The amount of food available to humans could be increased very simply increased by reducing the amount of grain fed to livestock becuase the transformation of grain into meat by livestock is highly inefficient. Having some livestock is efficient in many circumstances, especially if the manure is used as fertilizer. Livestock can feed on marginal land, waste and so on. But growing grain especially for livestock and throwing away its excrements is extremely inefficient (and destructive).


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:18 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
I did hear that if all Americans ate only what they needed to, there would be enough food left over to feed the starving in the third world. Whether this is true or not I don't know.


Well the other issues are where the so-called excess food is grown, whether it's transportable to where it's needed, whether it's suitable for the requirements when it gets there, and more importantly whether it would be grown at all if it weren't to be consumed by Americans.


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:22 pm 
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HFat wrote:
"the system" is changed from the top every day... only not by you.

Heh. :) The kind of changes mentioned in the post I replied to cannot imo happen from the top. Doesn't matter who makes the change.

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:34 pm 
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I'm not going to argue the point. What does it matter? These changes can clearly be unmade from the top. So who makes the changes matters a great deal. You're in denial.


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:44 pm 
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I'm not gonna bite. Nice try. :P

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Some more films from Story of Stuff; The Story of Bottled Water:

http://www.youtube.com/storyofstuffproject#p/u/2/Se12y9hSOM0

The Story of Cosmetics:

http://www.youtube.com/storyofstuffproject#p/u/4/pfq000AF1i8

The Story of Cap & Trade:

http://www.youtube.com/storyofstuffproject#p/u/5/pA6FSy6EKrM

It is not what you think....


And in case you missed it earlier, The Story of Citizens United v FEC:

http://www.youtube.com/storyofstuffproject#p/u/7/k5kHACjrdEY


It is not hopeless and we can change the way things are being done.

Quote:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Humanity is naturally a risk/reward species with the emphasis on risk. I have to say I kind of agree with the pessimism around here - I think the only end to consumerism will be the crash of consumerism.
At least in the United States/Canada. Europe has always put much more thought into how they consume and regulate products fairly well in most places already.
"Green" is everywhere now however unfortunately due to slow political process it's an industry with next to no regulation here in North America and the market is filled with green wash.
Electronics shipped overseas is a really awful fact of the globalized economy.
I think the worst part of this catastrophically broken system is the mindset of my generation who i've seen carelessly throw out laptops or cellphones with purely broken screens.
Cellphones are now a 6 month 500 dollar investment these days thanks in part to Apple.
'Going back' is just a dream though - technology is always moving forward and the vast majority of society will move with it (without respecting or largely fully understanding it).
We need more technology, more technology lovers - people who care and think about products from the moment they're made until EOL.
I used to sometimes feel guilt for the amount of technology I own but then I realized - wait but I DON'T just use and throw away.
I've had the same cellphone for 2 years now (before never really had one), I use my old lga 775 motherboard and gpu for htpc, I use another old motherboard for firewall etc.
My old pentium I gave to an elder man.
Those of us who truly love technology and care about 'stuff' treat it with respect and love and eventually think about major issues like recycling and use and educate others whilst making smart choices.

But really all people need to think about is extremely simple and seems to evade most people reduce then reuse then recycle.
We truly need frank discussion on recycling as it's somehow drilled into people as a solution when it's only a temporary fix. Plastic can only be recycled so many times and especially with electronics they clearly cannot be recycled in any cost efficient, non health threatening manner at this moment in time.


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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Stuff
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:47 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5DCwN28y8o

http://www.toxicdrums.com/economic-warg ... imgar.html

Yeah, the technology has gotten totally ridiculous. A woman bought a monaural wireless microphone when she should have gotten stereo but didn't figure it out for a month but she has a $2000 laptop computer.

The computers are so powerful now that having a netbook doesn't really matter but the software is so bloated and inefficient people have to buy more powerful computers anyway. Our genius economists can't even tell us what we lose on the depreciation of automobiles every year.

$300,000,000,000

Oh yeah, they just forget that every year.


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