Hacking Consumerism and Mass production way of living
September 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
In a perfect world there would be no need for minimalism, for CO2 reduction and coping with the adverse effects of intoxicating the environment, there would be no need for any tweaking and hacking. Heck there would be no need for law enforcement and insurance companies and there would be far less need for the health and administrative institutions as blown up as we see them today.
Today I feel cheated, ignored, manipulated, exploited at a level I’m not aware of myself. I know there are so many brilliant people working together to hack into my mind and drain every drip of my working strenght in order to slave up for people that can’t get enough. I know most of them don’t know it, they are just as deceived as I am and it all starts with education and media and growing up with such an altered set of life principles and such a distorted view of reality that right now the Matrix seems very plausible.
So where am I? I feel like barely sticking my head out from the Matrix into the real world. I don’t exactly like what I am seeing but at least it makes me happy to see it at all. So many don’t.
What do I know? I know that almost all my principles and view of the world is what others have been so fiercefully working on to implant in my subconscious mind. I know that industries of scale and commercial globalization and corporations and ruling few want barely living slaves to work for their prosperity without questioning it, to be as depressed and ill to feed those industries with the little money they earn so they can never escape the rat race.
What do I do? I know I can’t really make a difference by myself so I shift my mindset almost 180 degrees and try to escape this plague and perhaps, having made a dent in the matrix around myself, I can make it a bit translucent around me so others could see something and start questioning their status too.
How do I do it? I have learned so much to be so good in my career and to be financially successful to afford the easy life. I am pretty good in a couple of fields, decent in others and passionate about yet another set. If you are the kind that sees the half full glass you might even see it as being fortunate to not have learned just that one thing I am passionate about and because of that I now have a broader view of the world. So I’d like to take what I know from the inside and apply it to counteract the offensive on humanity we are constantly facing.
There is hardly anything new in my approach. This has been done by so many other people and I would be happy to contribute even with so little as to put it into words. This could inspire a few people out there. In modern terms this is called Life Hacking. Of course the “Industry” is made of smart people, perhaps smarter than any of us the “sticking our heads out of the matrix” kind and as time goes by the industry itself is changing and adapting to these new realities and they are somehow forced to think socially, environmentally, legally, philanthropically. Of course they are trying to resist and to do it in such a way that it only fulls us into thinking that they do, but then again it’s not only us that drive this change anymore. Nature is showing its power too, and this one is indiscriminate, so the whole world it swept off its feet and it’s not so much about conscious change for the better as much as adaptation and survival.
Some concrete examples of hacking into consumerism and mass production (with conscious intention or not) are:
– Upcycling: this will always be a “throw it in their face” way of taking cheap stuff that they mass produce and give it a new meaning depending on what is the need behind it. In a perfect world everything would be recyclable and of course you could get the exact object you are after as you trade in your waste and pay for the difference (extra energy to transport the recycled material to China, designers for the new form it will take, transport back, etc). But upcycling it yourself or within your community is virtually free.
– Re-purposing: You can have a look at IKEA hacks. They prove this point brilliantly. Take mass-produced goods – albeit new, loosing some points here 🙂 – and create something of greater value that you wouldn’t otherwise afford, or wouldn’t pay a designer’s ridiculous fees and have it custom made by a shop far away from the place you’ll use it. A plus is that IKEA uses locally-sourced materials whenever possible and feasible but still.
– 3D-Printing: I envision every street having a shared space where you can bring recycled plastic/etc and schedule printing just as you would do with a photocopier nowadays. And 3D printers are affordable already and they can replicate themselves by design so I really believe this is a revolution that brings power to the people again. Unless they’ll patent something or force you -for the sake of safety- to only print stuff they approve of. And fear not, this will happen.
– Embracing the cause (commitment): refuse Big Brands, spend more money for locally produced, organic, non-toxic, sincere products, accept less money for a more honest and moral job. It takes a strong will and it’s very difficult to take a decision that even if it is in yours and your family’s best interest is not immediate as results are concerned. But this is the only way to make a stand. And, I repeat, it IS in your best interest to begin with. It’s just than humans have such a hard time taking long-term decisions. We are the only living beings that can do this – thanks to our lately developed frontal lobe, which size does add-up to the intricate network of neurons that have developed the function of simulating virtual realities. It’s just that we don’t seem to have managed to master this new tool or to calibrate it to our real world yet. That’s why it takes strong will and faith to take decisions that can’t guarantee an outcome. It gets easier as other people join, so building “embracing the cause” communities is of highest importance.
– EDUCATION: I strongly believe education will change the world for the better. Perhaps this should be the first in this list but I was afraid you’ll so much agree with me and it will make that much sense that you won’t read further 😛 . I started it here too, reading in between lines, sucking the wisdom of great people and now, with the power of the internet, education is one decision away. You just have to walk the talk (pun intended). Look at how MIT open coursware and other such initiatives have opened education for so many around the world that wouldn’t have dreamed of getting one for affordability or practicality reasons (war zone? mountain farm? etc). Look at TED, maybe one of the best trainings for life, something that they don’t prepare us for in schools with the current educational system, which is heavily ridged by “the industry” by the way.
This is where I am so far with my own view of escaping a world where free will is so meanly thrashed that even the illusion of free will is taken away from us.
Feel free to comment :).