Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The first rule about...

I've been reading this book about collaborative/collective economies. More on this to come, but for now, it reminded me of two things:

First, this quote from Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel Brave New World, still relevant almost a hundred years after publication. In the book, children are indoctrinated into society through recordings played while they sleep, and one for wealthier children is: "I do love having new clothes. Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches...old clothes are beastly. We always throw away old clothes." As Mustapha Mond, the world dictator in BNW says, "We don't want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like new ones."

The second thing is this clip from the movie Fight Club. Now, say what you will about the irony of Brad Pitt being paid $20 million to play the iconic anti-consumerist cult leader Tyler Durden, but this quote remains one of the best of all time, and is shown here in kinetic typography, although Brad Pitt's delivery is pretty great.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More teachers!

Nabilla -- teaching a class on worm farming, using the Grove's own worm farm
Shani and Diana -- enlightening us about homemade deodorant, toothpaste, and lipbalm
Katrina -- presenting a workshop on developing a gift economy
Jeremy -- delicious ginger beer -- yum!

We are still confirming teachers for: bicycle maintenance, making your own herbal tea, chook keeping...and more!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What are we buying, what are we selling?

Photo by woodleywonderworks under Creative Commons on Flickr

Catherine Crowley (@TheHerbLady on Twitter), recently wrote a wonderful post about advertising and how it hopes you won't notice that it's actually not giving you any information at all. What a sneaky feint! It's hard to make someone feel informed without actually BEING informed, but advertisers pull it off. Read the article here.
I was thinking about the whole paradox of our reliance on advertising to help us make decisions on purchases, and all the information LEFT OUT, while focusing on only the points the advertiser wants to make to sell the product.  Much (but not all) advertising is an illusion using "sleight of word" to direct the audience from information they might otherwise want to know.

I was curious about what big companies may be selling with the right hand, and also with the left hand.  I decided to go to the site of Cargill one of the biggest world-wide companies with ownership of dozens of companies.  They most recently teamed up with Coke Cola to produce "Tru-via" a supposedly natural sweetener made from Stevia, but the won't tell you what the other 'natural' ingredient is, while touting that it is natural
PS Cargill is responsible for not only a meat production monopoly, but some truly horrendous health practices. And they are one of the Big Three controlling food corporations.