Are We As Consumers Doing All The Work?

Sometimes I think the machine just messes with you. #technologyfail #shutupandringmygroceries

A post shared by Tina Miller (@encompassingchaos) on

We all know what production is, and we know what consumption is. You can refer to this older post about that here. There are those who are producers and those who are consumers, but have you ever heard of prosumption?

Many, many years ago (like the 1970’s) the word prosumption was coined to describe a change in the way that production of goods would be produced. It was reasoned that the economic landscape would grow to benefit consumers to such a degree that they would have much say in how and what was being produced. This is for the most part how some things turned out. One can have a specific saying or image produced onto t-shirts, mugs, and clocks with the click of a button. More and more consumers are producing their own media and customizing businesses across the internet to meet their own needs. Blogs being one of the biggest arenas for prosumption. We are the creators and consumers of the products or media being produced. YouTube is another great example of prosumption.
Actual prosumption, though, through mass customization of mega business for the consumer has not been met with their initial assumptions.

I would like to address some disconcerting fads that large corporations have begun to incorporate into their profit systems.

I hadn’t heard of prosumption until the other day. I came across this scientific article because of a fellow blogger. I am now more aware and would like others to be a bit more aware as well. We can not make fully informed decisions in our society if we are not fully aware of the mechanisms at work.

Most likely you have prosumed and you didn’t even know it. You know those oh so convenient check out lines where you get to ring up and bag your own groceries? Yep, you were not only consuming the goods from the store, you were part of the production process when you did the work of a cashier and bagger. Prosumerism is also present when you use your internet connection and your computer to shop around on the internet. You check yourself out and your goods arrive at your doorstep.

These things seem like great innovations. They are convenient and help you get through your day with less hassle, but in the long run are they really helping out our society as a whole?

When you choose to use the self checkout, are you getting a discount for doing the extra work? Not likely, you are paying the same prices as those using the cashier’s line. You can argue that is was quicker, but did the store under staff their cashiers on purpose? Did they artificially create longer lines? Were you essentially forced to use the self check-out? These are the things that we need to be aware of in our technologically advanced capitalistic society.

When we are not aware of what is going on, that is when we are open for exploitation.

All of big business is set up to make a profit. They are going to use everything they can to make more profit. If this means using less cashiers and more self-checkouts then that is what they are going to do. At first it seems great. We are moving forward as a society with the use of these machines, but what happens to that cashier who can’t make her house payment because her hours have been cut?

Think about all of the bookstores that went out of business since the advent of Amazon?

It seems our technology in the wrong hands (or wrong economic model) is a double edged sword.

I like innovation. I like the new things that we have created as a society, but I do not like the golem corporations that keep sucking up all the money and funneling it to the top. It definitely is a vortex.

I do not mind sometimes ringing up my own groceries and bagging them. I do however mind having my labor exploited for the bottom line.

Be ever vigilant my friends and we as the prosumer can begin to turn the tables.

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Has Your Lifestyle Been Designed By Marketers

20150407_173213-2-1

My husband moved up in the world of business about a year and a half ago. We did like most Americans and began spending more money. We decided to expand our family. We bought a new vehicle, and we decided to buy a larger house….this on top of just spending for spending’s sake.

Then we stopped ourselves and my husband quit his job on Friday after a culmination of synchronistic events.

Why?

Because he wanted to stay at home more. We need him and he wants to be with us. Yes, I do have an art business I run out of my home, but it is still scary as hell moving away from an 8:30-6:30 job. (Screw this 9-5 nonsense, he was always away longer)

I really appreciate the following article for its candidness. I promise to update you on my husband’s antics at home. He has been home for only a few days straight and already my baby’s first words are dada…go figure.

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek).

Have you quit you day job?

I want to know gory details.

A vaccine against magic

Just as a cautious businessman avoids tying up all his capital in one concern, so, perhaps, worldly wisdom will advise us not to look for the whole of our satisfaction from a single aspiration. -Sigmund Freud

We are the thing that creates change.

A vaccine against magic.

Nothing Skews Nature Quite Like Monsters and Zombies

http://screendwellers.com/25-years-of-they-live/

http://screendwellers.com/25-years-of-they-live/

“If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” Thomas Jefferson

I’ve had a number of synchronistic moments lately that have prompted my mind to wander through some of the chaos and try, in some way, to encompass it for a moment.  This of course usually takes my mind away from projects needing my attention.  It seems the best remedy is to try to write it all down and give it a place to resonate outside of my head.

The ruminating began with an idea I came up with in the shower.  This is my place of solace and meditation; a place where the buzz of life is drowned out by the repetitious pulsing of the water.  I am usually taken away and many of my ideas are allowed to grow in this space.  My idea however was for a painting project, and since I have discovered that talking about my ideas for projects gives me the same satisfaction of finishing my projects, I will hold back.  This way I have the desire to bring it to completion.  I will however dive into the underlying theme of the idea.

Freewill: the ability for humans to make choices unconstrained by certain factors.

Certain factors? Factors that cause constraints?

Let’s take the example of my choice not to drink and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  The choice if I’m honest about my intentions is constrained by an ethical concern for not killing me or other humans.  There is also the metaphysical constraint of my soul or karma, as well as legal and social constraints attached to that choice.  This choice then is not one of freewill by definition.

 Now, I have toyed with the idea, that the creation or arrival of freewill is essentially the originator of evil.  Yes, our ability to have freewill, choices without constraints, gives us the inherent ability to be evil.  Simply spoken, right?

I choose to harm others when I choose to purchase items from China who under a totalitarian communist regime mistreat their people according to my ethical principles of not harming other humans.  I enable China’s government to continue their evil by supporting those industries.  I also have the freewill to decide (of course in my favor) that this choice has constraints like convenience or lack of funds, but who am I kidding?  I want to ditch my responsibility to humanity.

I admit that social constraints are greatly influential…especially since humans are greatly social beings.  I try my best to be aware and responsible about the earth’s resources; such as not buying things I don’t need or redefining what are my actual needs, and buying used.  Sometimes, though, when in public places, I see the crisp new colors of the season, the flashy signs, and beautifully decorated displays and I want the satisfaction of buying new things.  I am an artist and I enjoy beautiful things…especially when compared to my dingy and faded clothing or accessories.  There is usually nothing wrong with the functionality of the things I own, just their social acceptance in most sectors of Western society.  The pull is great to want to be accepted and fit in.  Sadly the rules for acceptance are created by those who benefit the most from said rules.

Who is more in charge of the rules of Western society, other than those in control of the basics for human life?  I’m referring to the minimum basics; food, water, shelter.  Where is one able to take up shelter without having to pay some sort of tax, levy, or rent?  Necessity by Western civilization now includes cars, cell phones, running water, indoor toilets, three square meals a day plus snacks in between and maybe a coffee, etc.   Human survival has been undermined for profit.

I watched the documentary Death By China recently.  Now the documentary did have a poor narrative and was plagued with propaganda like imagery, but the underlying storyline was along the lines of how American corporations should be held accountable for moving production to China to make a buck.

The CEO’s interviewed talk about how they have the constraints of obligation and dedication to their shareholders.  This is really CEO’s and other corporate executives choosing of their own freewill to push the blame around.  They are choosing to look at the situation in only one way.

We are given that with freewill; the ability to perceive a situation the way we deem fit, hence the creation of evil.

This brought me to thinking heavily about the people that make these choices.  They must become so swept up by the constraints of materialism that their choices are no longer their own.  Or are they?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4fyjjlm65s

These people continue to make these choices because they have removed the element of humanity along with its constraints of empathy and compassion for its fellow humans and other species.  They removed this element by creating entities where these constraints are no longer present.  These created entities are corporations.  They are separate legal entities that have legal rights and liabilities, which stand separate from the employees and shareholders, yet they have no human component for emotional response.  These are the Frankenstein’s of the 21st century and they are being created and ran by people who choose to perceive the world in such a way that evil abounds.

A few examples of said evils, in my opinion, are conventional beef production, Chinese manufacturing practices, ecosystem contamination, publicly traded prisons, Human trafficking, sexualization of children,  life in garbage dumps, greed, homelessness.

The creation of entities in my opinion is similar to the writing down of laws and restrictions.  These actions or thought patterns takes away an awareness of the human connection.  It essentially removes the connection between beings.  It creates a formality, wherein one is not responsible for their actions as long as they followed the “rules.”  Once these barriers are erected, humans have the freewill to choose not to have an emotional response toward another being.  They can conveniently just accept the pre-conceived ideal of how to act or react to the situation at hand.

These corporate entities, once created must then be tended to.  They have an ever growing appetite for expansion, along with expanding rules and regulations attached.  Creating an increasingly complex system with more service-type jobs where one serves the corporate entity.  This expansion must continually be fed, and since these are not true beings, their feeding is only based on their principles and not humanities or the Earth’s for sustainment of life.  I hope you understand where I am getting at with this.

There are quite a few instances where non-stop growth is not a good thing.  I will only name a few: cancer, gigantism, obesity, mice.

It amuses me how we as humans mimic many of nature’s systems for use in our technologies because of its genius and efficiency.  We have yet to harness many others, but still we fail to pay attention to nature’s obvious fail-safes.

When over population begins to decay and diminish life in an area, a death occurs in nature that resets the clock for life to grow again.  And nature has a knack for continuing to flourish in spite of adversity.

We are all still here and alive at the moment despite asteroids, earthquakes, tsunamis, and ice ages.

Human, though, continue to pollute the world. Then when nature is so saturated with toxins that humans are having difficulties producing young or are dying of cancers, we just continued to march to our own drums.  Instead of correcting the contributing factors, we just find more ways around the truth.

Why?  We have the option of freewill.  We want that cup of coffee, that new shirt, the fancy car, those gifts to know just how much we are loved.

I really think that for anyone to gain a higher perspective about this world of ours, we must first gain a healthy respect for the world and its laws.

Who’s to say that if we quite down and stop asserting our dominion over nature, that nature might just show us a grander view of our place on this world.  We don’t have to venture far to find truth and meaning in life.  It is before us.  It is us.  It dwells within every minute piece of the whole.  It is the thing that holds it all together.  Whatever you may want to call it, it does exist, because we exist.

This is the thing that with our ability of freewill we are able to shield ourselves from it by creating barriers such as corporate entities.  We are able to perceive the world around us how we choose.  The only problem is that eventually we will freewill ourselves out of well-being and earth all together, that is unless the idea of living in a dystopian future is your idea of living.

These barriers or walls that cut off the connection begin to distort the true nature of things.  The distortions bring about bizarreness in nature.  These distortions are skewed, twisted, cancerous, actions and intentions.  Things such as pedophilia, deliberate sickness, and just doing evil shit about sums it up.

We as humans need to open the blinders on these monsters created by monsters.  They will eventually get out of hand and begin eating everything up in their path.  It will be an all out zombie apocalypse.  Accept, of course, the zombies were never human to begin with.  (yet we still gave them constitutional rights).

The Encompassing Ego…with order there must be chaos

rustic compass

I try to help nudge open the minds of those around me with one action at a time.  This is how I live my life; trying to be an example of what happens when someone just is, which is quite difficult in our technology and service driven world.  I like for one moment to run into the next without much planning ahead or thinking about how my action will be perceived by others….

…that is what I like to tell myself anyways.

What was just written was my ego trying to make its identity fit into some kind of role.  The persona I relate to which helps me remember my story and give meaning to my life, the one I have been creating since the birth of my avatar.

Although we are told when we are young “We can achieve our dreams” no one specified that our dreams mustn’t hold our only value and true worth.  We should also be told the we must have understanding of ourselves beside our actions for the ego.

I just got off the phone with my father who I haven’t spoken to since last weekend.  I speak to him every weekend and we have long conversations about life in general.  Sometimes he is coherent; sometimes he has had way too much to drink.  Most of the time he gets offended by something said or misconstrued.  Today he was angry because I didn’t call him on Father’s Day.

I explained that it was a day that only brings more pain than joy for those who have had losses in their lives and that should one day hold so much baring on one’s character.  It has been turned from a day of commemoration to a day of counting up grievances so that they can be doled back out, much like any other commemorating day in the eyes of divisionalized corporate societies.

He didn’t much like my explanation, so I asked him if I was wrong to not speak to him that one day when I speak to him every other weekend of the year.  He couldn’t answer.  I also asked if my sister who called him that one day yet ignores his calls throughout the year was now somehow “off the hook” because she called on this special designated day.

To me, how can someone came up with a day that was soon adopted commercially and is synonymous with one attending a weekly church service to make them feel good about themselves.

The feeding that ego again is what it is all about.  We all want to be heard, we all want our experience to be known, we all want to be honored, and we all want someone to celebrate us.  How can anyone be trusted when the actions that they pursue are for the ego?

It is trust that is no longer valid when one lets go of the ego and no longer has the need to be offended.

My father quickly changed the subject from my infraction to his ego over to what my current status is on some projects.  Well mainly just the project that involves a metal sign created by my late grandfather.  It once traversed the entrance to his family’s land.  This was the land which had been in our family since the inception of U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants given out to veterans of the Revolutionary War; lands that were slowly sold off in small parcels when economic times became rough and eventually succumbed to being completely lost when my grandfather died and his new wife decided she no longer wanted the upkeep, but rather the money it was worth.

June 075My uncle removed the sign from the property, repainted it and had it lying in his backyard until his wife decided to leave him, take his home, and sell it.

It has now been resting and rusting away in my uncle’s former neighbor’s yard until I rescued it a few weeks ago.  My plan is to sand it down and repaint it to keep the rust from eating it to nothing.  Although there is no longer hundreds of year old family land for it to grace the entrance, there can be a resurrection of it amongst my vegetable garden in the suburbs.

This is I do believe is something to commemorate, or maybe not, since it means the passing of a way of life that may never again be seen in this country.

(I wonder what ever came of the old family graveyard tucked away in the woods on that property?)

I informed my dad that the sign is patiently nesting between my corn and grapes awaiting its make-over, and that I have more pressing projects before the grinding can commence.  He wasn’t impressed.

 He scoffed at my involvement with People Against the NDAA .  He told me that I can’t change the way things are.

Really? What happened to father’s telling their children that the world is at their feet?

Man, there could be a long list of achievements that never were if their inspiration came from father’s like mine.

I see my future to be bright and I will not allow there to be anyone with the authority over me and my family that of sovereign action.  Do people not realize that laws create futures?  These are the parameters we are setting for our children’s achievements.  This is when that inspiring adage “Be all that you can be” warps into “Be what we say you can be or move out of our way.”

I continue loving my dad for the human that he is and leave the inspiration to those who stood up for something like Samuel Adams who said, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

That is if I can trust the intentions of those who wrote the history books.

(Damn ego)

The long road of life…

The road may be long, but it is also filled with many sites.

The road may be long, but it is also filled with many sites.

“To summon angels is one thing. To be an angel is another. The latter will get you and the world far more mileage. The earth is not a place where angels thrive. It is a training ground to become one.”

http://omtimes.com/2013/05/the-truth-about-fairy-tales-from-the-heart-with-alan-cohen/

 

I dream therefore I fix my problems…

It speaks for itself

(was looking for a post and saw that this was still a draft…not sure why I never posted it so I will now  It is from October of 2012.)

The other day I had a few moments between errands and I stopped off at the local Goodwill Bookstore for a peruse. I know that this is not an easy task with a two year old, especially if I actually want to leave with decent read, but I had the urge to find something new to read. After 10 minutes of hearing my son on the other aisle pulling down books from the shelf and asking random customers “what this is?”, I just selected 3 books laid them on the check-out counter and chased my son through the back stockroom of the store. Some days I seriously doubt my sanity will last till this one makes it into adulthood.

That leads me into one of the lucky frantically chosen books. I love the Goodwill on all levels. It satisfies my need to do good for the environment and up-cycle goods plus I get 3 new books for only 8 bucks…you can’t beat that. Well, you can’t beat it until I get one of those on my street that I have seen popping up in Memphis. I may just have to add another project to my I’m-not-procrastinating list.

One of my books I bought was Dreams: Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist. I have been mulling over for the past few weeks what I want to be when I grow up, still. I will turn 30 in a matter of a few days and my Saturn return has been a doozy. At the beginning of my 28th year I was struck with an illness that forced me to choose between my job and my health. I reluctantly chose my health. See, I took the safe route and received a degree in Business and Communication (Public Relations) instead of pursuing my dreams to become an artist and researcher.

I of course over thought the whole situation as I normally do. I wanted to prove myself to my family and I suspected a business degree over an art degree would duly impress. It has not. I have now only run into the fact that I have the talent and urge to be an artist with no degree in a society that clings to higher education over talent as a value meter.

Or so I think anyways. I think that I think too much. Actually, I know that I think too much, but I color my comments so as to trick myself into believing that I just think that I think too much and don’t really know for certain that I think too much. See, told you I even go as far as to come to conclusions for other people all the time. Boy can other people come up with the rudest of comments in my conversations. They are the evil doers and I am the old wise one with the great one-liners. This is why I never attend social events. Why would I, I have all that at home without the fear of looking like a foolish ass in front of everyone. Of course I know that this is illogical, but I can be very convincing otherwise, and I only came to the above conclusion after reading about toilets in my new book.

See, I am still learning from those odd moments. Apparently when toilets or commodes come up in your dreams they represent cleansing of bad habits is needed. I have been writing my dreams down for three days now after beginning this book. These are long elaborate dreams that I have that I hope to gain insight from about my life, and all the time I ignored the toilet scenes and left them out. Even in my recall I was avoiding my problems. That is until I hit that part in my book about the toilet dream. It was like my mind instantly recalled every toilet dream I had had for the last six months, which turned out to be quite a lot. I have been dreaming about needing to pee and something being totally wrong about every toilet that I encountered…dirty toilets, blocked toilets, broken toilets, exposed toilets…you name it I have dreamt it. The toilets got their very own page dedicated to them in my dream journal. My higher self has been trying to tell me for quite some time that my problem was in my face all along and I was avoiding it at every turn. My thought patterns have got to change.

So, this morning after my epiphany I pulled out The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety by Dr. William Knaus that I stashed away long ago to forget that I had convinced myself that I was not the problem and that it was just everyone else making my days unbearable. I was recommended the book and knew I needed to deal with the way that I look at the world, but I guess it takes the motivation of needing to pee real bad and not getting the satisfaction of a nice warm toilet seat.

I am off to work toward the day when I can say I finally peed in my dreams.

I will leave you with this quote of the day I saw while checking my proper use of doozy:

“A mind that questions everything, unless strong enough to bear the weight of its ignorance, risks questioning itself and being engulfed in doubt. If it cannot discover the claims to existence of the objects of its questioning—and it would be miraculous if it so soon succeeded in solving so many mysteries—it will deny them all reality, the mere formulation of the problem already implying an inclination to negative solutions. But in so doing it will become void of all positive content and, finding nothing which offers it resistance, will launch itself perforce into the emptiness of inner revery.”
-Emile Durkheim

The curiosity is still there under all the rubble of adulthood

Self-Defense Is a Weird Argument for Owning a Gun.

This one got down to the nitty-gritty and never once mentioned something that tugs at the heartstrings like oh so many others. We need deeper thought into issues in America and so many have other things they would like to do to occupy their precious hours than thinking deeply about pressing issues.

I had to re-blog this because it struck with me and below I have added my comment to the discussion.

I just started reading a book about memory and this syncs with it. We need to be able to question things and discuss them. If we can no longer question then we loose a bit of our humanity; our child like quality.

I do not think they just want to feed the cobras. I think they do feel as though if they don’t win then they will have the cobras taken, as well as their own and they didn’t do anything wrong.

The argument is really, “Do you understand where I come from?” They just want to be heard and have their rights. They feel the need to defend themselves against those who would blame their ideals or beliefs on such atrocities. They are only human and somehow are being treated as their beliefs are responsible for deaths. It is a human tendency to want to fit in and having one relate with you is a quick fix to that want.

I don’t walk around all day with a cell phone. I quit smoking three years ago so that I don’t get cancer in 30 years, so I disconnected my cell phone two years ago for the same reason, payed the cancellation fee, and walked away, but when I tell this to people they begin the same questioning. What would you do if your car broke down; wouldn’t you want one then? They feel threatened that somehow my belief is threatening theirs.

I understand that some people feel the need to have the things with them that may be needed just in case of an emergency, but really the argument is about defending ones right to have a belief or ideals in the first place without them coming into question.

I splurged a bit on Christmas decorations this year…

I bought a wreath for my front door.

I bought a wreath for my front door.

We try to do our part and help out the environment by living off of aftermarket parts so other than food we stay away from buying new. This helps keep stuff out of landfills and in the west is not hard to do. I am not preaching. Everyone in this world has their part and I feel very comfortable with living my part and feel the same way about others. Well, expect for those that believe they must hoard. That is a little extreme and quite awkward. Someone should take those hoarder people who are trying to overcome their perspectives (psychology might view this predicament differently) and ship the entire contents of their house to a 3rd world country and let them hand it out. This way they stuff goes to people who will appreciate it instead of being hauled off to a dump, and the people who spent a decade or two collecting will feel as though they have accomplished great things; which they will have because some of them could clothe a whole village.

Sorry, for the tangent.

I found the wreath at CynDecor. There were so many that I thought were just awesome, plus she was local. My favorite color is green so I had to go with the green, and I thought this would look good against my green door. I’m not sure if it does or not, I just thought that. The key was also such a cute idea especially since I don’t have a chimney and my children usually want plausible explanations for their questions. So far no question yet about its size. I am crossing my fingers.

As I took this picture I marveled at the sunrise. I am not sure what’s the best way that a house should face, but my which faces directly East gives me the sunrise in my living room in the mornings which is great for beginning the day on the couch with a good book and a hot cup of coffee.

The cat always looks at me like I'm weird.

The cat always looks at me like I’m weird.

Then it gives me the most beautiful sunsets in the evenings through my dining room windows and through the kitchen window while cooking dinner. I just thought I would share.

There were so many I had to narrow it down.

There were so many I had to narrow it down.

It is always so amazing to watch while cooking.

It is always so amazing to watch while cooking.


This one was from the dining room, I had to add the words because I saw an angel.

This one was from the dining room, I had to add the words because I saw an angel.

I must now get to listening to my Red Ice Radio and get to painting. Christmas is just around the corner and those portraits aren’t going to paint themselves.