Friday, 28 November 2014

Funny how we get infected.

Black Friday.

It doesn't sound like something to look forward to, yet it seems the UK has suddenly discovered and embraced this alien concept, rushing headlong into a flurry of panicked shopping. If you get a bargain then I hope it's useful.

As a kid I recall queueing with my parents outside Perrins in Croydon, the night before they had a special sale. They queued literally all night (in the summer) in order to be able to buy a piece of furniture that we could never have afforded otherwise as a family. Now most of us in England are amazingly affluent, yet we still seem to have a lemming-like un-thinking need for more stuff. I find I'm drawn by the idea of a bargain too, yet it's also repellent when I see how much I have at home.

I'm sure I've posted something like this before.

Another aspect of society being overly affluent is that it's really hard to sell slightly used things without almost giving them away. I tried to move on a bunch of stuff earlier this year - not at all tat, and not over-priced either - and there was only a very little interest. Yet I see people throwing away to landfill things that are still quite functional, useful and otherwise good apart from being a couple of years old and out of fashion. I appreciate consumerism drives development, and the pace of development and creation of new, often extremely useful and powerful technologies has never been so fast. Yet it's as though we're gambling the future by burning through stuff as fast as we can in the hope we'll invent a way out of resource limitations.

I was fascinated to see an electric car has been recently type-approved for use on European roads that uses sea water and nano-flow cell technology to generate electricity. This naturally begs the question whether this could be scaled to put power stations on the coast, and then raises the next obvious objection as to what impact the output water would have on marine life. TANSTAAFL. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

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