118. The Story of Stuff

Those of you who read my last post will know that my friend Hudson, who I went to high school with, has challenged me to look into a few sources of information. The topic centers around the items we use each day, where the materials come from that make those items, how these items affect the world, and what happens to the items after we throw them away. I may have missed a few parts there, but I see this as a long term project, so I am sure if I missed something I will cover it in a future post. I promised Hudson that I would carefully look into each of the resources he gave me, and offer my honest opinion. The first resource he gave me was this video, and it is hosted on a site called The Story of Stuff.

Things I agree with:

This whole challenge started because I, and another friend of ours mentioned either owning or wanting an iPad. Hudson asked us to consider thinking about where these things come from and the impact they have on our world. So I started watching this video, and was stunned when she starts talking about creating products that will break, or be out of date in a short amount of time. I was stunned even more when she talked about making products look different so others could see you didn’t have the latest and greatest item. Why was I stunned, well because that is how Apple gets people to buys things. They have been doing this for years. When the iPhone came out everyone had to have it, and then the iPhone 3Gs came out, and then the iPhone 4, and they are even talking about the iPhone 5 next year. Being a Mac snob myself I have fallen victim to this many times. When the iPhone 4 came out I wanted one despit the fact that my iPhone 3G works just fine. I am happy to say I did not give in to temptation and still have my iPhone 3G. But even still today the pull to own the iPhone 4 can be strong.

The comments about The Corporations owning the Government I think are spot on! If big oil companies did not have their hand in the till we would have had a better solution for gas a LONG time ago. However there is a lot of evidence that shows big oil companies getting rid of alternative fuel competition in one way or another.

Things I dont agree with:

I dont agree with the comments about people working around chemicals. Especially here in the US. My profession is Health and Safety, and I am very aware of all the safety regulations out there that IF followed protect the worker from harmful chemicals. True many companies dont follow those rules or regulations, but its then the employees responsibility to report those companies. Having been on both ends I can say I know that there is a risk for whistle blowers, but it is worth the risk.

There was a comment about people in other countries working in factories, and giving up their lives. This I disagree with. Life is hard. Always has been and always will be. One of my favorite TV quotes is “The hardest thing to do in this world is live in it.” Its true! However I think almost everyone in this world has the chance to make something better for themselves. Sure it will require hard work, sacrifice, and blood, sweat and tears, but its possible. Think of the last movie you saw where the underdog won, like Rudy. Rudy was not handed what he wanted. He had to work hard every day for what he wanted. He sacrificed a lot including living in a closet, and being outcast by his girlfriend and family. Getting somewhere in this life take hard work, and everyone can do it, if they are not willing to settle.

OK these are just my first thoughts after watching the video. There are several more videos to watch and a large website to explore. So I am going to get back to studying and making notes. More comments and posts on this to follow.