A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Health Care, Part II: Sort of

I fooled around on the internet this evening and put up a new template on the website (kind of has a summery feel to it!). As no one commented on my original post on health care (here), I figured that no one was really interested in part two. If you do want a good summary of the constitutional issues, I read one in a tax journal and it's rather lengthy, so I can email it to you. It's by a conservative and I don't agree with all his points but it's a good summary of the pros and cons. Go Health Care!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stuff: To Have, To Hold, To Cherish

During a semester in college, I worked as a research assistant for a political science professor studying the history of currency. It was fascinating to study why people assign value to certain things - cowrie shells, shiny metal (versus other types of shiny metal), or certain glittery rocks. At its heart, this is somewhat arbitrary and becomes an "emperor's new clothes" type experiment. If everyone else assigns value to something, you begin to assign value to it too. Today this is even more bizarre - why do we assign such value to little pieces of paper and ink with the US seal on them? Humans seem to have a tendency towards accumulation of "valuables" and stuff. Why do we care so much about stuff? Beyond a certain basic level of need, stuff isn't necessary for survival.

People like stuff. They like acquiring more and more of it. What can we do to combat this? We live in a society where life is about 'consuming' - using up resources. I think that can replace the more important, and more lasting, things in life. While moving, I realized I have fallen victim to this - I have lots of stuff, too many clothes, and after I moved I bought more furniture.

So, how do we combat this tendency to accumulate stuff? (assuming we should?)