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We have traded quality for quantity

 
 
coberst
 
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 07:17 am
The Industrial Revolution has slowly diminished our creative self and has replaced it with our mechanical self.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 637 • Replies: 13
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rhymer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 10:27 am
Rather than 'We have traded quality for quantity', I would have said 'Modern working practices have led to each of doing mundane things (for money) to pay others to do creative work which we can pay them for'.

Good article, worthy of expansion.
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material girl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 11:13 am
Reading that it reminded me of Fritz Langs Metropolis where people worked in matching rhythm and they walked to work in perfect zombified lines.

I totally agree.Ive been job hunting and as Im going to have to spend a third of my life doing a job I think its only fair that I enjoy it.
Im very creative but nobody wants to pay me a decent wage to mess about with glitter when a kid in the third world can do the same thing for 5p a day.

I look for jobs and they are all IT related, sit behind a desk, look at a motherboard, see the machine, be the machine.

Im aware at some point Il have to get a yucky job that I hate merely so I can get enough money to move out so I can pay for so much that I cant actually aford to enjoy my life.
But while there is breath in my body I shall try to be natural and not mechanical.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 11:21 am
I just heard a piece on NPR on how Walmart has trained people to believe cheap is better than quality. Price is the main and sometimes only issue in determining a purchase. Americans will drive extra miles, tolerate child labor, poor working conditions for others, shoddy goods, and loss of our own labor force and local business' just to save a few bucks. Sam Walton said if there was one thing he knew about Americans is that they're frugal (read cheap), and would over look all other issues if they could save some money. He built a very successful business on that truth.
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coberst
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 12:53 pm
rhymer wrote:
Rather than 'We have traded quality for quantity', I would have said 'Modern working practices have led to each of doing mundane things (for money) to pay others to do creative work which we can pay them for'.

Good article, worthy of expansion.


Neither your definition nor mind would do well as a bumper sticker!

You will probably have the good fortune of reading more posts by me that will follow this same vein of thought.
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coberst
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 12:56 pm
Good luck material girl!
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coberst
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 01:00 pm
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Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 09:32 pm
Re: We have traded quality for quantity
coberst wrote:
The Industrial Revolution has slowly diminished our creative self and has replaced it with our mechanical self.


This is a tangential point, but pertinent I think: what you're calling the cause of our diminishing creativity, I would call the symptom. I don't think the Industrial Revolution caused any change, since abstract concepts cannot in themselves be agents of historical change. Only people can enact change. It seems to me that the Industrial Revolution is the name we give to a symptom of this change you're spotlighting--in which case the cause of this change predates the Revolution.

This is, generally speaking, the danger in ascribing historical change to things other than people. Positing abstract concepts or inanimate objects as historical causes only provides a shield for the PEOPLE acting on the beliefs these concepts or objects represent. You are, in effect, relieving yourself of the responsibility to investigate motives--giving history an alibi.

Not that this detracts from your overall point, which I largely agree with. I just think that calling the Industrial Revolution the cause of this behavioral change is preventing us from examining the true origins of the change, which surely stretch further past the nineteenth century.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 09:47 pm
Re: We have traded quality for quantity
coberst wrote:


I think you paint a highly idealistic picture of those rugged individuals that started this nation. By and large most of them were flat out crappy farmers and crappy home builders and they probably thought feeding and milking the cows and cutting and splitting firewood (just a few of many chores done daily) were just as mundane as you think the tasks you do are. Basic foodstuffs were the commodities of their day - something most of us take for granted.

For the most part people worked tedious jobs and got paid little. They ate poorly (if at all) and were sick much of the time. With that they got a life expectancy of approx 40 years (Life expectancy didn't breach the 50-year point until after 1900). Compare that to the 77+ years of someone born in the last 15 years.

I'll take modern life thank you.
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coberst
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 06:40 am
Shapless

It appears to me that the Industrial Revolution can be regarded as an abstract concept and also can be regarded as an existential concept. A reality that changed the life dramatically for everyone. When I speak of the Industrial Revolution I mean its existental character.
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coberst
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 06:43 am
I think that understanding is equal to meaning. This statement may be too general but I think it represents truth in many or most cases.

I know almost nothing about Zen Buddhism but I am conscious that Zen considers that our habitual consciousness is to look at things mechanically and to freeze that conscious meaning to be reality. When, for some reason, that reality is shattered we are forced to face the nakedness of our existence. Our usual reality is that which we have accepted from our family and immediate society in our journey from childhood through adolescence.

This agreement about reality is like the Midas touch. Reality is the meaning we have agreed to and in so doing that reality becomes concrete. When we agree we limit our individuality--but when we do not agree we isolate our self from our community. Our understanding, our created meaning, is truth for us.

I was raised in a Catholic family and went to Catholic schools where I was taught that it was a sin to "entertain" a thought of doubt. We would sin just by allowing doubt to be "entertained". As an adult I did entertain such doubt and thus isolated myself from that community. If we do not go through such a maneuver for all our preconditioned realities we never lose the control that childhood reality has over our life.

Webster says empathy is: "the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it" I take this definition to mean that I can through imagination create a milieu (environment) for someone that will allow me to better understand that person. If I am trying to understand a terrorist bomber I might imaginatively place myself in his shoes for the purpose of understanding him.

Let's try to empathize with the frontier family who is a farmer or small merchant. Such a family must face alone all the tsunamis of everyday existence without help from anyone other than a few neighbors. Such a family has no "safety net" of any kind. There is no insurance, pension, social security, hospital, and no hardware store with all the technology to help when things go wrong. Such a family must reconstruct reality constantly when faced with a reality that they are unprepared for. Such a family must constantly recreate a new reality as reality constantly shakes the foundation of their understanding.
.
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material girl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:43 am
Cheers Coberst.
Coincidentally a pal and I have just signed up to a jewelery/silversmithing course!! Im so excited.

In addition ot my other comments.
i have noticed a thing with me and fashion.
I dont have as much money as others or a lifestyle to wear nice clothes so I think to myself whats cheap, what can I gklam up if I need to, what practical.So in those ways Id happily buy cheap or cheaper clothes.
Plus the fact that if your a big fan of fashion(Im not particularly a big follower) you are going to either be bored of clothes youve bought 6 months back or will want to replace them with more fashionable items so it kind of pays to get the cheaper range of clothes.

Nothing annoys me more than paying a fortune forn an outfit/shoes etc, wearing it once then putting it in the cupboard.
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material girl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:51 am
Im very sad, my pal just emailed to say there was only 1 place left on the course so we will have to wait for the next one.
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Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 10:27 am
It is one thing to say that the Industrial Revolution happened, which of course it did. It is another to say that the "Industrial Revolution changed the life dramatically for everyone." You make it sound as if the Industrial Revolution simply appeared on the historical horizon and people reacted to it. Again, I may be nit-picking, but I feel strongly about this method of inquiry because I think the study of history is the study of motives, and only people have motives. In your formulation, no one is actually doing anything... the only human agents involved are the ones passively reacting to a concept. The true value of your post, I think, is in prompting us to think about where the concept came from.
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