Thursday, January 5, 2017

Many Things Are No Longer Necessary

The end of the year is a fine time to evaluate inventory. The recent holidays were a proving ground for my responses to current changes in density, technology and the consumer delivery systems that are now available in the 'hood.

Deciding to let local and industrial professionals do the baking freed a good cubic yard of storage and doubled the effective size of the kitchen. Selecting exquisite small confections from the chocolatier just south of the Market displaced the umpteen Christmas treats that are a family tradition. The chocolates are far from inexpensive, but they replace a tray of baked goods the way a smart phone replaces a land line, television, and the space it takes to house them. Nutritionally we are better off.

In 1979, Paul Hawken argued for what he termed a greater degree of intelligence in industrial products. His Next Economy equated the price of a gallon of oil with the value of money. I find that high-tech clothing, recycling, and state of the art electronic devices make the best use of my time and domicile. The trick is to found household systems on the ten essentials of the outdoor community, select low-tech amenities when practical, and skip over bulky mid-tech furnishings that are aimed at markets where real estate is affordable. Design aimed at markets where space runs $14 a square foot will give you $14 a square foot value wherever you hang your hat -30-

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