materialism is the only universal language

The Black Friday) stampedes are legendary.

Westfield, the Largest Mall owner, reported yesterday that it swung back to profitability last year (2010) after losing money since 2007, after the financial crisis hit; a testament to the resilience of materialism.

Creators seem to share this same sort of malaise [1]: They detest materialism, knowing of the excess and waste that it creates, yet they know that it is exactly what drives their creations and ever more to flourish.

Innovation in mobile phones wouldn't be as quick as it is today if it weren't for consumers partaking in their annual (or more frequent) search for the new and shiny. It wouldn't be as quick if it weren't for the hundreds of millions of phones tossed out each year in China alone.

So instead of bemoaning mankind's degeneration to sin, why not start asking instead, "How do we best make use of waste?"

If we want to create, then I guess we'll have to learn to live with materialism, while the materialists learn to live with debt =).

[1] Famously, in his book, 'Meditations', philosopher and emperor Marcus Aurelius commented:

When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own—not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.


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