In that order. Just like Guns, Germs and Steel.
Natural, then with pesticides and back to organic.
First, Mattel outsourced toy manufacturing to Hong Kong (ironically, G.I. Joe , the real one, first saw the larger horizon including the Far East due to the two World Wars) , then every company considers “if it can be outsourced, it must”. In military term, it’s called “mission creep”.
In manufacturing, plant closing. In fiscal term, tax evasion.
No wonder, there are movements which call for localizing (an understandable reaction to the sweeping force of McDonalization and Disneylandization). This makes freight companies quite unhappy.
There is nothing wrong with economy of scale, or homogenization of taste and style.
It lowers the costs of manufacturing (but in my case, it is time-consuming to go for alteration) and uplifts living standards (rising expectations) in Asia, the world factory. Imagine how costly it would be to replace all those vacuum-tube monitors and TV’s had they been manufactured by Westing House, RCA or Zenith in America. We wouldn’t be seeing our Ipad 2.
Still, it doesn’t make sense to ship tuna from Maine to Manila or rare animal delicacies from Main Land to Main Street Chinese restaurants.
We must apply the circuit breaker for a moment to ask that Reaganesque question: Are we better off than four years ago.
In pursuing that cheapest of price, aren’t we bought in to the relentless pursuit of logistic nirvana.
Neil Postman wasn’t a Luddite, but he raised a good question: through a vast array of technology (such as the amount of available TV channels), we must ask ” what problem was it that this technology is trying to solve.”
I like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. They happen to be empowering technologies, pull and not push.
From the information flow stand point, they are quite disruptive (for the first time, any one can upload this and that, instead of just “downloading”. See my other blog on South-South information flow).
Tools to share our lives, our stuff and our ideals.
It is happening and will be on grander scale. No wonder youth in the Mid East are restless.
Freedom and self-governance is frightening. But it’s what we are wired for. Just give us the tool, we’ll show it to you. BTW, Facebook fans are joining and saying, “we are born this way” or “ah ha ah ha, that’s the way the way I like it”.
Why would you try to make us consumers, debtors, etc…. just because of your lack of imagination and innovation. One thing we won’t miss is containerization once localization takes hold.
Until then, we got FourSquares and Groupon to get us a deal (for goods that shipped in from China, via you know what – that’s right. Container).