To preempt complaints about the title (with shouts of “Boo! False advertising!”), I should probably include an alternate title or subtitle this early: An Allegory for Historical Materialism and Modern Political Economy. Or maybe this: Science Fiction: Utopian and Scientific.
But let me get straight to the point and answer my own question: What are the six stages in a product’s life? I can think of six. There may be more if you add regional variations, or less if you see enough commonalities. But I’ll stick with six:
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them — Chief Seattle of the Dwamish, in his 1855 letter to US President Franklin Pierce.
When I’m billeted at a local seminar house or resort, or at a hotel in some foreign city, I often notice a small, courteously worded card posted on the bathroom door or by the bedside table. It basically says, “Please conserve water” followed by some practical suggestions.
I take heed most of the time. But sometimes I forget. I leave the water on, warming it up while I go fetch something. Or in a wintry city, after I’ve rinsed down, I let the steaming shower relax me for much longer than necessary. Sometimes I tell myself that “the hotel bill has been paid for, anyway.” So I should be able to fill up the bathtub with hot water to the brim as often as I liked, even doze off in it if I wanted to, like some Hollywood royalty, and it’s none of your damn business to tell me otherwise. Continue reading “The Zen of saving water, even dishwater”