Bye bye twenty-naughts

2009 December 30 Wednesday

Or, as a friend put it, “goodbye twenty oh ohs”…  most à propos.

Intellectually, technologically  & culturally, western society has degenerated from a quality ideal into the current ‘good enough’ mindset.  MLA recently put out new consumer-health literature at a fifth-grade reading level: the ninth-grade stuff was too hard.  This even with the lowered standards since the educational system crashed back in the eighties.

But stupid is as stupid does, the same going for cheapness: if you can’t cypher that it’s more expensive to buy a $15.00 item 5 times in 5 years than to get a better version of the item for $75.00 which lasts 7~10 years — well, there are inexorable Darwin & Karma to begin with, not to mention being real poor before then.

Hi-tech items are inherently different from pans, furniture, refrigerators & big-ticket items.  They start out as crap, we know it (or should), designed to last as long as the technology involved is expected to stay current – or to engage the fleeting attention of the fickle hoi polloi.

In Catch-22 the protagonist is slacking off, doesn’t want to have anything more to do with the fighting.  He’s asked ‘what if everybody else was to do the same thing’: answer, ‘then I’d be a fool to do anything different’.  {paraphrase}

In Yossarian’s situation, doing nothing is a proactive & healthy response to the societal insanity.  In our current planetary insanity, IMHO, those who can need to strive to upgrade the commonweal.  That has odd aspects, like going into the battle that you absolutely positively know you’ll lose & doing it with alacrity.  Almost Bushido, a sort of Militant Buddhism (wrathful vs. compassionate enlightenment).