Monday, July 10, 2017

How Much Does It Weigh?

Futurist Buckminster Fuller maintained that the essential quality of a thing, be it building or butterfly, is its weight. I overheard a senior dame in fragile health discussing her move to more convenient quarters and took very much to heart her comment about the tonnage she had to cope with. She said she has a box from the last move, twenty-five years ago, that she has not yet opened.

Fortunately, Ellen's options are secure and predictable. A recent conversation with a younger friend who is contemplating a move up the West coast brought out the same concern with weight. In his case, it relates to the cost of shipping and the payload of a personal vehicle. My friend and his partner are canny. They have made witting choices for their inventory. Even so, they're looking at a couple of thousand dollars at least to cover the move.

My entire tabletop inventory made the same trip for $30 in the mid-Sixties. Now a parcel of books less than a tenth of the weight costs the same to ship. Economist Paul Hawken advocated increasing what he called the intelligence in a product as a way of countering the late Seventies' drastic increase in the cost of energy. To that line of thinking, I credit the personal and then the laptop computer (as compared to the manual typewriter they replaced). With weight in mind, it makes sense to pay more and get more, possibly even in a smaller package, than to be lured by Giant Economy Anything -30-

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