The Story of Stuff

I have been feeling increasingly conflicted about contributing a significant portion my life’s energy to building the status quo. Our consumerist society is destroying the planet on which everything else is based and I’m helping it by making it easier for people to buy anything and everything online. I used to think ecommerce was a rather benign industry as we are not causing direct harm with the products and services that we produce. I was able to defend the belief by limiting my world view and denying the reality that our business model depends on growth and consumption. Elastic Path is thriving because we are riding the endlessly upward trend of economic growth. Can this growth continue unchecked? How long can it go before we start running into the limits of what nature can provide?

My time at BGI has facilitated a rapid expansion in my awareness of what is going on, on countless fronts of societal and environment degradation. I am torn between wanting to be actively working on creating the solutions that will lead us to a sustainable and peaceful world and the security that my current job offers. I think this is a dilemma that most people face on some level or other. I don’t know how much longer I can resist the calling.

We all obviously need stuff and need an effective way to find the stuff we need. Ultimately it is the design, manufacturing, use and disposal of stuff that is the problem not ecommerce. It will take millions of people to give their time, skill and creativity to evolving those systems that are currently leading us to the brink of devastation if we are to avert wide scale tragedy. I must find a way to become an active part of the green revolution.

This rant was inspired by:

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