Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Think Globally Act Locally

“Think globally, act locally” is a phrase coined by Patrick Geddes, and has been in use since around 1915. This simple four-word quote seems to have rung through the last century since we still hear it today. Yet we live in the most marketed time in all the world where most popular brands and business are global in some way, it is harder and harder for small shops to stay in business. Consumers clamour for the cheapest price, and the coolest car or gadget regardless of how, where, or who makes it. John Verdant owns and operates a website, www.verdant.net which enables consumers a place to remember how to “think gobally, act locally”. Along with his website, he has also written an article “The Ables vs. The Binges” Which provides an allegory for two different methods of living based on a tale of two families. They are two families who have the same income, “The Ables” are a family that live within their means, shop locally, provide references to neighbors to help them find local jobs, and are simply a modest and frugal family. “The Binges” family are simply glutinous, make more than they spend, consequently piling on debt, have to have the fanciest cars and the best looking clothing, and are simply very materialistic.

As I am getting to an age where I am starting to think about marriage and having a family (I’m 26). I often think about how I want to raise my family. What values do I want to employ, what moral fabric should I instill, and how can I have the happiest life possible. Verdant’s article helped me to think about the questions I have and have painted an accurate description of the some of the pitfalls I have faced in my life growing up, and some of the positives things as well.
Today it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a consumer-market so manic and hyper-active you feel like you have to move as fast with them, or you are somehow not going to survive. We want everything quick. We want quick food, we want quick shows, quicker commercials. If it doesn’t go in a microwave its too slow. If you’re not at least 5 miles over the speed limit, you’re slow. If a package does not arrive in 3 days, it’s too slow. We have to quickly fly to our destinations. If we don’t fly, we have to ride in the nicest leather seats in a shiny new car. These are all things that we watch and are told we need through the television and more so through the internet.
I myself work in the service industry, and so I see on a daily basis the obvious family households that are living beyond their means. If their was one easy solution that I think would help our economy out more than anything, it would be for families to live within a budget. I know for my family, work was not always steady, especially since my father raised us in the construction industry. The concept of “feast or famine” was ingrained my head, but we always saved for those famine times, and did not feast on the cash that was at hand. We knew that at some point in time, it wouldn’t be there anymore.
One tougher concept that Verdant illustrates, is the positive effect of buying and doing things locally. Many people, myself included, often neglect this simple concept. The internet has given us a huge amount of opportunity to buy things for amazingly cheap, especially when price comparison shopping. When we buy these products they are shipping from everywhere across the globe. We don’t think about the carbon emissions that shipping it costs, the slave labor wages that may be given to those who make our products. We simply enjoy the cheapest price we can find, in the short term perspective. But do we take into account the benefits of buying at a local electronic store? When we shop locally we support our local business (our neighbors) and keep revenue within the city. When we buy produce locally, we have a chance to see the way products have been raised, and we can be more aware of the way the food has been handled, thus avoiding the potential effects of pesticides, herbicides, additives and other destructive compounds that could affect us a decade or so later with cancer or other possibly harmful diseases.
Verdant reminds us too that it is okay to buy things that may be a little bit more expensive if they are meant to lase for a lifetime. Verdant cites craftsman as an example, because if you buy their products and any of it breaks, they will replace it. Although their prices may be higher, the trade off is worth it.
I love this article because it reminds us to be more conscious of our decisions. We need to remember the big picture of things. I want my family to be healthy, so I want to make sure I can buy food and products that are safe for them. I don’t want it to just taste good and be cheap for the next week. I want a food that will sustain us. I want my family to to conscious of other people. I don’t want to support a business that influences poverty in the United States by not having jobs here. Nor do I want to support that same business that give wages to people in other countries that are under the standard of living we expect here in the United States. I want to make conscious decisions about recycling things so that I can get a return on some of my investments, and to be able to give things to others that may make better use of the items that I am not using. I don’t want my family be a slave to the trends that marketers use to entice people in to the vain-images of what happiness and beauty are. I want my family to have enough time to spend with each other and with our friends as well.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Everyone has their guilty pleasures that they get awkward about when their significant other catches them red handed. Some are harmless (chocolate, sweets, twilight, undying love for nsync) and some of those guilty pleasures are very bad (infidelity, a secret substance addiction, Ricky Martin). Though my girlfriend is perfect in every way, shape and form, and even though she does countless after countless nice thing for me, and always looks gorgeous, I must admit she might have one as well: Visiting the local animal shelter.

Now, this is not really a guilty pleasure, if you are in the right state of mind. There are plenty of good reasons to visit the animal shelter: To look for your lost pet; maybe you go frequently because it has a habit of escaping. Maybe you go to volunteer service. The shelter is also a great place to adopt new pets. But if you already have enough pets for your small apartment, and you are going to their to avoid other important duties (going to the DMV, doing homework, cleaning your boyfriends how. just kidding, but seriously) and going to the shelter to spend 2 hours just staring at the lovely little precious animals, you might have a problem

This problem is most obvious when the girlfriend in question answers my phone call sheepishly and the conversation goes as follow:

Me: "Hi honey"
Girlfriend: "Hi..."
Me: "What are you up to?"
GF: "noottthhhinnnnnn"
Me: "Why do you sound like your hiding something?"
GF: "Idunno..."
Me: "Why did I hear a meow"
GF: "..."
Me: "Are you at the animal shelter"
GF: "NO!!"
Me: "(laughter) You know I can't get a kitten right now"
GF: "Yeah but..."

Clearly their is some guiltful feelings here as she knows that going to the animal shelter is slightly pointless just like binge eating is pointless. Yes, we know it feels soooo good, and your endorphines rage and when you look into that little kitty's eyes, it's like looking into a snow globe and ooo-la-la. But what I'm sayin is... You're only gonna make yourself sad!! At the end of the day you can't take all those little kittens home and love em and squeeze and hug em till you wanna just wanna EAT THEIR WITTLE FACES!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I'm sure it could be worse, and I don't think I'm going to try to make my girlfriend change because it is an endearing quality that I find cute, but boy is it a laugh when she calls to try not say that she's looking at kittens for me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

somethings just don't change
Even if you add another frame
case and point when share what you feel
it's another 36 frames and a film real
Can't complain when I think about time
and prefer that I'm talking in rhymes
but I think what I feel and consider
and every so often the feeling is bitter
like a picture like a pill so hard to swallow
a hundred dollar capsule thats just hollow
placebos antiobotics are whatever

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Generation A

I would pose to you a concept or theory that we are now in a generation that is evolving faster than at any other period of time in the history of man-kind. I was reading an article in Forbes this morning that spoke on the changing business climate that has been brought about through the internet and social media outlets such as: twitter, facebook, and linkdIn. The writer Adam Ludwig also makes mention the influence of social media in the Arab world where millions of citizens are reaching to overthrow their government.

The rate at which we send and receive information is staggering. Television its self- once a bright and informing tool, now is now nearly obsolete while TV and film industries race to try to figure out how to make money. What do you watch TV for? You probably watch it for the sitcoms and sports. But have you ever thought about how behind the news channel might be? Through twitter, and facebook, we knew Osama Bin Laden had died before any new organization could get through to their TV audiences and certainly hours (or maybe an hour?) before President Obama could make an announcement.

The article speaks about the boom of internet entrepreneurs that are setting up shop to help us socialize more proficiently. For instance, rypple.com is a new internet company (I had never heard of) that let's employees rate and review other employees, company policies, and general business news as it happens, providing a more transparent business culture within the company.

The article touches and transparency, but I would also like to make a mention of what I would consider a new generation. Generation A- or "Generation Acceleration". The simple fact of the matter is, yes we are in the information age, and the information age is probably never going to stop. But the rate at which we digest information is accelerating exponentially.
Here's a normal day for me, much like many others
  • Wake up, and read new emails received.
  • Get dressed and go to work, on the way to work, read emails, or news feed
  • Get new work load, and work
  • throughout day, text, facebook, twitter and read news feed
  • finish work
  • keep reading text, facebook, twitter and news feed
  • Right before to bed, read text, facebook twitter and news feed
  • sleep, and get woken up to texts and such
It is true that kids in K-12 are being taught about the importance of 8 hours of sleep because teenagers are sleeping with their cellphones. We adults are doing it too, though maybe we are slightly more mature, or don't care enough to let ANYTHING get in our way of a full nights rest, but you can see an accelerating trend on the information we are receiving. It will not be too long when every single culture is watching their government or local business more than the government or local business can watch them in return.

What an exciting time to be able to watch things so quickly! I know I am only grazing (if that) the surface on these topics, but really the acceleration of media and news that goes into our minds is staggering! My girlfriend and I are starting a new little hobby where we study an ancient civilization for a month at a time. Next month we are studying ancient Egypt, and most of our time will be looking through online databases for information, and visiting a museum in San Jose. It is wild that so much information can be found within a months time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's been a while. I know...

But I wanna put on a concert in a park and call it "BYOB" - Bring your own Books. It would be a free concert in the park in whatever city, and it would be three or four weeks before school started, and the whole purpose of the concert would be to buy, sell, and trade text books for the next semester. We would have vendors come, like amazon to sell kindles or HP or Apple to sell laptops, and basically get kids ready for the school year. I think It would be a really really neat event, I think I'm gonna try to do it next Summer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


sometimes you have friends over. Sometimes when you have friends over you play music for them. You start off with drums, you move to the piano, and then you may play guitar. They may say to you "It's like musical chairs.." but they won't say "musical chairs" they'll "It's like musical instruments"... you will look at them oddly, and say "yes. It IS musical instruments".... They might not feel as smart afterwards... But you will laugh lots.

The End.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Today sucks.. but you have to be greatful that you have the money to have a phone that's being retarded.. thankful that your headaches only half as bad because you live in a country that can create medicine and you have the money to pay for it.. thankful that you live in a country where everyone can afford a car regardless of how traffic it can create and be thnakful that even your route sucks ass, at least you do have a job