Is Apple iWatch an Example of more Worthless and Mindless Consumer Products we really don’t need?

My thought is that Apple is convinced it can sell us more things we don’t really need because that is the same debate folks were having when the ipad came out and the dawn of the post PC computing age was not obvious.The possible mistake of seeing the iWatch as a repeat of the iPad is that mature affluent markets are reaching the market saturation point (the US, Japan and Europe).

This begs the question: how many devices do we really need? The folks in the corporate world when they get all excited in their eHome prototypes, they become increasingly out of touch with the economic realities that most of us face. The bubble hits home when the line for the company’s expectation of consumers buying products without any rational sense of them providing something meaningful for people in terms of say increased productivity, hits the reality of their being only so much money people can spend on these things.

A crash is when the two lines intersect. There is not limitless money just as there is not limitless resources. And that needs to be considered as well – this idea of a moral and ethic obligation for us as consumers to think about the ecological and social implications of these vast industries that produce these products of our modern world. Also in the consumer frenzy we tend to overlook the reality that there might be better things we could be doing for ourselves as well as humanity than considering what has become little more than business gossip about what these corporate titans are doing?

When we consider the huge impact of making the computers on the planet, Apple and other companies are some of the worst ecological offenders of our time. Especially when you consider Apple’s anti-recycle and anti-repair attitude when it comes to getting the max life out of its products.

For me the reality of Apple’s selfishness and arrogance is most obvious when it comes to their obtuseness in regards to this idea of making more ecologically and socially responsible computers – despite its huge cash pile. I think this is the kind of innovation that really matters for the future of humanity.

The open source guys are different. These see the world different than the dominant cultures of the computer world today: Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Google. Linux designers continue to design low power systems that do pretty much everything most of us ever need on computers that are 4-7 years old or more. Also there is amazing work to get to low power desktop capabilities on ARM systems that cost 50 dollars.

We are rapidly moving towards the realm of absurdity when it comes to many consumer sectors and the options their offer which are so much more than most of us consumers need for our everyday lives. For example the Retina screen is close to the limits of what our eyes can see, in terms of display quality and definition. So as our ecofootprint grows, the reality is that we can really do just fine with older and more compact technologies, using a fraction of the computing and technology power we now have at our disposal in our phones, computers, cars and even washing machines.

iWatch is the latest and most obvious sign that despite all of our state of the art technologies we still feel like it is not enough. Maybe its not enough because we are not focusing on what is important in life?

I encourage people to just stop a moment and consider this idea of much is enough. Maybe we are reaching this point of pretty much having all that we need in these technologies. Possibly now the real innovation should be focused on making them last longer so that they don’t have to be replaced so often. In this process, we can reduce our ecofootprint and focus on more pressing issues like extreme world poverty and global climate change.


Arcosanti at a Crossroads: Is it a Museum and Monument to Soleri’s Legacy; an Experimental Urban Laboratory or both?

Arcosanti is at a key place in its history with a new president succeeding the founder Paolo Soleri. A little over one year ago when I was still living at Arcosanti as a resident, there was much hope regarding the fact that Soleri had finally handed over the reigns of power. The time when Soleri motivated and inspired people to come and work for him at his project to promote his idea of Arcology as a potential model for the city of the future had long passed.

The question for the project now is what is Arcosanti and why should people commit their lives to this so called city of the future? Especially if it is the case that there is no longer a strong and passionate belief (as well as a realistic and believable plan to implement them) that the plans created by its own founder Paolo Soleri will ever be realized or completed?

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Life After Arcosanti

I changed the name of this blog from Life@Arcosanti to Life After Arcosanti to reflect my changing status. I am no longer a resident of Arcosanti and I currently have no plans to go back on a permanent basis (but who knows what the future will bring these days?).

The goal of the blog is to continue to look at the Arcosanti Experience as a unique effort to explore and consider alternative living environments. I am also interested in how a movement could emerge to reconsider Paolo Soleri’s ideas – a reformulation process if you will – in which we might enable a more dynamic and intellectually rigorous process for looking at Arcosanti and the future of Arcosanti. Possibly a ArcoWiki could be set up and folks interested in this idea that led to the formation of Arcosanti could get involved in sharing their intellectual visions and ideas of what Arcology and Arcosanti represent for both themselves and humanity.

And what about the 7000 or so people who have come to Arcosanti for various periods of time and participating in the living and building of Arcosanti over the last 43 years of its existence? How do they figure in this process of trying to build the world’s first prototype Arcology?

We’ll also look at the psycho-social implications of Arcosanti Life and consider the various interesting social and psychological dynamics of the project and relate them to larger social theories as well as Arcology.

Finally what is the importance of this idea of serving as a model in the progressive movement? Should all progressive experiments like Arcosanti be accountable to not only participants, donors, residents, etc., but also the larger movement itself in terms of an obligation to be what we say – to be the change we want to see in the world? Should the notion of stakeholder ownership be taken seriously in non-profit management and how does that challenge prevailing management theories and practices including those currently in practice at Arcosanti and the Cosanti Foundation today?

Also in relation to considering this idea of Arcosanti as a model; an experimental laboratory –  how do Arcosanti and Sustainability connect? Does Arcosanti’s inability or reluctance to develop a serious set of sustainability and appropriate technologies taint its image as a model for future cities and sustainable living?

The above questions and issues will continue to be discussed here as I consider the impact of the project on my life and my life beyond Arcosanti.

I would love your inputs.

So please let me know your thoughts.

Best to you…

Jeff Buderer
928 202 0515