Tues. May 15, 2018 – in a handbasket

70F and saturated. Gonna be hot today too.

Spent most of yesterday driving, and the rest picking thru the detritus of one of the richest civilizations in the history of the world. Maybe. Anyway, as Sarah Hoyt pointed out a long time ago, only in a rich society do you have ‘thrift stores’ as they exist in America. People give away their excess stuff, to others who then SELL it. A good percentage of it was never used and still has the tags on, a larger percentage was used once and put away, some was well used, some is worn out, stained or broken. Maybe it’s a bell curve, I don’t know, but suspect it is. The top and bottom might not be the right size as the best stuff gets skimmed and the worst gets binned.

Still, an amazing amount of ‘stuff’ gets donated to thrift stores buy people who just need to get rid of ‘stuff’, often so they can buy new ‘stuff’.

I suspect this can’t go on forever, and I fear that at some point, we’ll be back to a place where you wear your one or two sets of clothes until they fall off your body, and then sell the scraps. Hope not, but history says otherwise.

Today, I get to do my part as a reseller- catalog, photograph, measure, weigh, and describe the ‘stuff’ I picked up and move it along to the next owner. The efficiency in the system is increasing every day, and it makes it possible to replace the small part, cable, or device you want, without buying new. Or replace your childhood ‘stuff’. Or keep your aging business system running for one more budget cycle…. but some days I feel like I’m picking thru the carcass of a once mighty giant.

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