Cancel / Hide
Skip to Content

Get This

December 27, 2010

The New York Times on Sunday featured an article about a 19-year-old about to take part in a debutante ball. The point of the item was that here was a debutante who is smart. Suggesting that she's unusual and that, therefore, other debutantes are not high achievers.

The young woman told the reporter that society balls are not important. That was the first untruth of the interview, expressed when she said, "I mean, you still have to pay for your coffee at Starbucks. It doesn’t mean anything. I think you impress people more with your talents, with who you are."...

December 9, 2010
Thoughts on consumption, part 2 - Harpers Weekly wreath making

I am not a grinch—really. But I can't help but think of Thorstein Veblen, the man who gave us the term "conspicuous consumption," at this time of year.

"Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure. As wealth accumulates on his hands, his own unaided effort will not avail to sufficiently put his opulence in evidence by this method. The aid of friends and competitors is therefore brought in by resorting to the giving of valuable presents and expensive feasts and entertainments." (From The Theory of...

November 23, 2010

"Adopting a land ethic is easy and painless for most of us today because it imposes the primary burden to act on someone else."

—Douglas W. MacCleery, United States Forestry Service forester, writing about a decade ago.

And more:

"While few of us are resource producers any more, we all remain resource consumers. This is the one area we all can act upon that could have a positive effect on resource use, demand and management. Yet few of us connect our resource consumption to what must be done to the land to make it possible. At the same time many of...

Syndicate content