Remember how we used to laugh at the Soviet economy for its inefficiency --- grain rotting in the fields, oil drilling rigs rusting in the permafrost, hordes of workers standing in lines at the stores, and so forth? But how much more wasteful are we, every day?

It's not just conspicuous consumption, though we do plenty of that. It's throwing food away, at home and at restaurants. It's piling up closets full of clothes that we wear a few times and then get tired of. It's buying books and not reading them, or tossing them out after one pass. It's taking classes in subjects that we don't care about and that aren't any use to us or anybody else. It's vacationing so we can say "been there, done that," and come back otherwise unchanged.

It's hoarding things and not sharing with others.

Tuesday, May 18, 1999 at 21:48:29 (EDT) = 1999-05-18


(correlates: SeverePrivilege, Trolleyology, GatherScatter, ...)