About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Response To A Query About My Cuff Link Design

Hi Penny,
I agree entirely with your perspective. Having two grown boys, I remember well making my employment decisions based on their needs when they were young. It certainly paid off for me, not in money, but in the results of their upbringing. I could not be prouder of either one of them. I am a fortunate man indeed.

I was able, because of those same decisions to take care of my father personally after he suffered a massive stroke, which paralyzed one side of his body. He ultimately recovered fully and lived another seven years. I was his sole caregiver. This experience made me rather determined to do my best not to put my children through the same sort of thing, particularly before their children are grown. (My youngest grandson Cheval is autistic.)

I have mixed feelings about outsourcing labor. I realize that there are some practical reasons for it, but I am in full agreement with you that it is better to find other ways. Too that end, my emphasis as an inventor and innovator has been on finding ways of reducing labor by design.

It was for that reason that these cuff links did not really seem to me at first glance to be all that inventive. It is only upon reflection that I realize that they could really impact the course of events in men's fashion.

One of the negative impacts of the industrial mode of thinking is that we wind up with millions of identical copies of junk for the masses. Even if the design is artful originally, after seeing it reproduced everywhere, its' impact is totally lost.

When I attend a wedding or a formal event, I see a bunch of groomsmen wearing identical tuxedos with identical cuff links and identical bow ties and even identical shirts. As you may have noticed, I am not one who blends in easily or willingly. Although I wear tuxedos routinely, I like to think that there is nothing routine about the way I do it. There is also a singular lack of variety in bow ties readily available for under thirty dollars. I therefore make my own bow ties too.

I do not believe that this movement toward uniqueness is unusual in me. The impulse is widespread, but I just have it in a somewhat more pronounced way.

Fortunately the cuff link design lends itself exactly to this sort of design adaptability and to keeping the labor to an absolute minimum.

It is design innovation that can save us to a certain extent from the monetary drain on the industrial societies caused by using third world labor.

On the other side of the coin, we also need to give some thought to our responsibility to help the poverty stricken populations. Not by exploiting them directly or indirectly as starvation wage laborers, but by innovating ways for them to be able to live less desperate lives with reasonable nutrition and sufficient potable water and adequate shelter and rewarding employment.

No day passes in which I do not think of the plight of the abjectly poor and starving and afflicted people of the world. And the other problems we face are of such magnitude and variety that we are really just overwhelmed.

And we, as members of an affluent society, are just as close to disaster as our poverty stricken fellow humans. I realize that it does not seem so. We distract ourselves from this fact with what amounts to utter nonsense. Outsourcing of labor will not solve anything. It simply delays the disaster.
Innovation is one of the answers but it is fraught with problems. Even so, it is still okay for us to be chatting about cuff links and jewelry. We will not make the world a better place by stamping out all luxury. A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down.

Dickens wrote perhaps the best opening line in any piece of fiction ever. I will close with it now.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, ..."


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