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American Giant’s Hoodie Can’t Save US Manufacturing By Itself - Racked
As impossible as it might seem, each individual’s choices do add up.

The story is about doing something instead of doing nothing because doing nothing is easier. It’s about worrying less about determining if something is Good or Bad than finding the pieces that could be improved and trying to improve them.

It’s doing that scary and maybe difficult thing that you hear will be good for you, and letting it be good for you, and letting it change you for the better.[...]

If the message is to be an engaged human citizen, regardless of the shirt on your back, that seems like something that’s worth saying again and again. And, looking around, like something we need to hear more and more and more, to combat the deafening buzz that says it’s not worth it. I know I need to hear it. I think I even believe it.
via:popular  manufacturing  usa  jobs  employment  capitalism  slavery  cotton  sweatshirts  textiles  clothing  industry  venture_capital  funding  capital  growth 
yesterday by cglinka
The Tyranny of Convenience - The New York Times
In the developed nations of the 21st century, convenience — that is, more efficient and easier ways of doing personal tasks — has emerged as perhaps the most powerful force shaping our individual lives and our economies. This is particularly true in America, where, despite all the paeans to freedom and individuality, one sometimes wonders whether convenience is in fact the supreme value.

As Evan Williams, a co-founder of Twitter, recently put it, “Convenience decides everything.” Convenience seems to make our decisions for us, trumping what we like to imagine are our true preferences. (I prefer to brew my coffee, but Starbucks instant is so convenient I hardly ever do what I “prefer.”) Easy is better, easiest is best.

Convenience has the ability to make other options unthinkable. Once you have used a washing machine, laundering clothes by hand seems irrational, even if it might be cheaper. After you have experienced streaming television, waiting to see a show at a prescribed hour seems silly, even a little undignified. To resist convenience — not to own a cellphone, not to use Google — has come to require a special kind of dedication that is often taken for eccentricity, if not fanaticism.

But we err in presuming convenience is always good, for it has a complex relationship with other ideals that we hold dear. Though understood and promoted as an instrument of liberation, convenience has a dark side. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life. Created to free us, it can become a constraint on what we are willing to do, and thus in a subtle way it can enslave us.

It would be perverse to embrace inconvenience as a general rule. But when we let convenience decide everything, we surrender too much.

However mundane it seems now, convenience, the great liberator of humankind from labor, was a utopian ideal. By saving time and eliminating drudgery, it would create the possibility of leisure. And with leisure would come the possibility of devoting time to learning, hobbies or whatever else might really matter to us. Convenience would make available to the general population the kind of freedom for self-cultivation once available only to the aristocracy. In this way convenience would also be the great leveler.

This idea — convenience as liberation — could be intoxicating.

The dream of convenience is premised on the nightmare of physical work.

By the late 1960s, the first convenience revolution had begun to sputter. The prospect of total convenience no longer seemed like society’s greatest aspiration. Convenience meant conformity. If the first convenience revolution promised to make life and work easier for you, the second promised to make it easier to be you.

The new technologies were catalysts of selfhood. They conferred efficiency on self-expression.

Think of the VCR, the playlist, the Facebook page, the Instagram account. This kind of convenience is no longer about saving physical labor — many of us don’t do much of that anyway. It is about minimizing the mental resources, the mental exertion, required to choose among the options that express ourselves.

The ideal is personal preference with no effort.

As task after task becomes easier, the growing expectation of convenience exerts a pressure on everything else to be easy or get left behind. We are spoiled by immediacy and become annoyed by tasks that remain at the old level of effort and time.

The paradoxical truth I’m driving at is that today’s technologies of individualization are technologies of mass individualization. Customization can be surprisingly homogenizing.

What happens to human experience when so many obstacles and impediments and requirements and preparations have been removed?

Today’s cult of convenience fails to acknowledge that difficulty is a constitutive feature of human experience. Convenience is all destination and no journey.
psychology  convenience  culture  business  via:popular 
2 days ago by rauschen
Onym
Tools and resources for naming things.
tools  branding  naming  names  productdesign  name  business  resources  via:popular  brand 
2 days ago by wasser

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