At one with the universe

One of the consequences of having self-awareness is the feeling that you are separate, and not at one with the universe. Feeling separate leads to existential angst. However we are not really separate at all. It is true that we are differentiated from other things but not for long. The [...]

Pursue wisdom 

The most important truth for all humans to face up to is that, in the words of Frederick Nietzsche, we are not finished yet. We are not fully evolved. We are not perfect. Indeed, a lot of what we think and do is unevolved. We can do better. But [...]

Not-to-do list

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” – Lao Tzu Lao Tzu’s advice is an age-old truism. Antoine de Saint-Exupery said something akin: “​[a] designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is [...]

The two keys to business sustainability

Sustainability and well-being have a lot to do with what people consume. What people consume has a lot to do with what businesses produce. What businesses produce has a lot to do with their goals and the decisions they make to achieve them. If businesses are to achieve sustainability [...]

The break-even motive

The profit motive leads to economic growth, whereas a steady-state economy will be built on the foundations of a break-even motive. The overarching purpose of the economy should be the well-being of all people and the sustainability of the environment. However, the continuing focus on economic growth leads to [...]

Bad advertising, Good advertising

The 2015 "Are You Beach Body Ready?" campaign highlights the depths bad advertising will plunge to. The UK banned the campaign (but not the US!) for it's callous body-shaming method. In advertising there are two fundamental methods: advertising that informs and advertising that persuades. In the early days, advertising was informative [...]

Craft technology for the future

When we think of technology we usually think of high-tech and big-tech, like robots and automated factories. However, hand tools and craft processes are technologies too. In a lower energy future there will be more use of manual, craft technology – tools, techniques and skills. A number of heritage technologies will be revisited. [...]

Handmade for good

My partner Anna is a contemporary jeweller. Everything she makes is handmade. Apart from a few power tools and a gas torch Anna only uses hand tools. What she lacks in precision, she makes up for with touch and an eye for the less-than-perfect 'ideal'. Even with the same design, no [...]

Taking the cake

The case for local production In The Transition Handbook the author Rob Hopkins talks about ‘the cake analogy' which explains the case for local production. In his analogy the cake is the fundamental goods that all people need for a life of well-being namely food, shelter, clothes and energy. In the past [...]

Should there be an automation tax?

An article entitled "Robots could threaten up to half New Zealand's jobs in next 20 years" highlights yet another problem with our economies. The problem is that workers are losing the ability to find jobs because of the greed inherent in a system that focuses on financial returns for a small minority rather [...]