Thursday, October 27, 2011

"it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."

Lately I've been reading an economics textbook so that I can better understand the issues behind the housing market and the recession while at the same time reading a book on the Simple Living movement. The juxtaposition is particularly-thought provoking. I'm especially mulling over the paradox that if more people stopped to smell the roses and rejected consumerism in favor of a more authentic definition of quality of life, then the reduction in spending would potentially be bad for "the economy" according to conventional assumptions, at least in the short term. It reminds me of the line from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

For some other off-the-beaten-track "solutions" you might want to check out the latest episode of Rap News from The Juice Media "featuring" Ron Paul, Peter Joseph (of the Zeitgeist Movement) and Jacque Fresco (of the Venus Project). At some points their ideas literally sound like something out of Star Trek (I'm not kidding... the Roddenberry estate should definitely be getting money from the Venus Project) but they are still interesting to consider.

The Zeitgeist Movement
The Venus Project
Wikipedia: The Zeitgeist Movement
Wikipedia: The Venus Project

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