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The key question about running a green, lean global economy is eradicating waste without also killing innovation.

In my ideal world, we overhaul patent: if you build a category killer, you get royalties forever, but anybody can build on top of your design. No innovation lock!
It's easy to identify what is perfect, but once the Perfect Form is reached, how do we stop the manufacturers of the imperfect form soldiering on?

It's a propagation-of-best-practices question like encouraging users to upgrade software.

Remember how long it took for IE6 to die?
Consider the sheer number of tools configured on Swiss army knives… or punch a few buttons on here and hit "select" to see which object have that tool combination

Is this innovation? Customization? Waste?

This is all over. But why?
Is this the "genius of capitalism" in progress, or is this just wasting everybody's time?

Compare… to…

Do we just manufacture every variation and let "the market" sort it out *forever* or does (for example) AI come in and organize?
If I seem to be obsessing over the detail, consider this: 8 billion people, most of them poor, most of them missing vital tools they need to achieve happiness (like a decent frying pan, or a safe toilet), and a global economy which keeps imploding because we misallocate capital.
One approach: really efficient secondary markets. If I buy a multi-tool and it doesn't do quite what I want, but I can get 80%+ of value for it online because we trust the description absolutely, and our "shopping agents" list second-hand before new by default, maybe that works?
After all we could do pre-viz for products, and marshal consumer opinion at scale pretty easily. What happens when Wenger does a Kickstarter for a new Swiss Army Knife range, and people can vote with dollars for what they want produced.

This, plus excellent resale markets maybe?
The effects are small at the consumer capitalism level, but those little inefficiencies are keeping great goods out of the hands of ordinary people all over the world.

Same thing with clothing. 99.8% of a t-shirt with a hole in the front is undamaged. But we throw it all out.
We have pervasive patterns of waste which are locked into the economy by social norms: how and when products are designed, manufactured, and paid for, and the taboo against repair in favor of replacement.

There must be a better way: a bit like vegetarian/vegan > meat, these days
I mean, I redesigned housing, right? is no joke, it's just nobody will let people live in them in the first world, and the technology transfer to the third world has been too damn slow so far.

I wanna do that for everything else, really. So much to do.
I am impatient to redesign the material layer of the world into something which produces happiness not just for this generation, but for every generation subsequently.

Poor people *can* own great things: just look at how amazing cheap android phones are these days, or e-bikes.
I think it's possible to embody wisdom in objects.

Just as Escher turned mathematics into art, I think we can embody wisdom about humankind's relationship with nature as engineered or crafted objects.

I don't like the story my possessions tell about the world, no not at all.
Are we ready to actually solve some shit here?

I’ve been ready for years.

Covid and the American collapse were inevitable. Now we just have to push as hard as we can, while the old order is in trouble, to fix everything within reach.

The material base layer is in deep trouble.
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