Thursday, June 22, 2006


A colleague of mine at Bellevue Community College wrote a response to my posting The Making of a Molehill that never made it into the comments section. He sent it directly to me and I think it is a worthy feature in the main section here.

Bruce is an interesting man, passionate about the possibilities of technology, expert on the history of digital arts, the originator of an idea that became our DareToPlay project DareToPlay2Learn, and a closet Luddite. He only recently got his first cell phone.

∞ ∞ ∞
Hi Jonathan,

It's your teaching colleague in Seattle Washington. I was stuck by your statement "I can easily disparage Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's statement that (and I paraphrase) any idea that does not have cash value has no real value at all." I'm with you. In my view, Kamprad's statement is at the very heart of darkness of northern European cultures - imposing a narrow notion of success and happiness - hypnotizing the world with this diabolical notion through mass marketing.

Kamprad's world is one of stadium sized consumer marts, sustained by oceans of debt. William Wordsworth had a good description of this way of being in the world:"Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." We might add... "our lives, our freedom, our Mother Earth."

The fact is, we can live very well with very little. If you read Jared Diamond's "Collapse" or James Kunstler's "The Long Emergency", Kamprad's arrogance will seem dangerously unsustainable in another 20 years. Petroleum, which is actually at the heart of IKEA's global empire, has peaked and is running out. Mother Earth is not a bottomless cornucopia.

I waltz once or twice a week. Waltzing is an idea - built upon music and the rapture of a floor of couples dancing together. It's an important part of my life. I would guess our buddy Ingvar would see no value in that, since nobody's making a buck.

- Bruce


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. What about the value in helping in humanitarian efforts, or volunteering your time to help feed the homless? No cash value in that. Just the joy you feel when you make a difference in someone else's life. And that can bring true happiness.

Carolyn W.

November 09, 2006 9:53 PM  

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