Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reuse, and Societal Norms

Instead of valuing reuse like valuing recycling, society seems to attach a stigma of poverty and lower-class status to it. If you have money, why would you want to wear a shirt that someone else has given away?

My parents definitely have this mentality. I suspect that they may be particularly sensitive to this, as they've worked extremely hard to go from being very poor immigrants to where we are today. I should be dressing up, aspiring to be high class, not reusing.

On the other hand, I have, for some reason, grown much more radical ideas concerning reuse and appearances. Reuse@mit is amazing. I wear other people's cast-off shirts for activities that I know will destroy my shirt. My bike frame and front bike wheel are from different salvages, and my bike is painted in ghetto coloring to discourage theft.

This is possibly due to my indecisiveness at spending money. Since I've made so few purchases in my lifetime, and since some of those have bit me (due to my inexperience), I'm even more reluctant to spend money. Is it the best deal for my money? Is it a good investment?

For some reason, I find it difficult to internalize that time is more valuable than money. Buying all the recommended textbooks, even used, would save me much time and improve my grades, perhaps helping me earn a scholarship that would make the textbook costs 1000x worth it, but I can't seem to rationalize this to myself. Right now, I walk around without a bike lock, because what if I buy the kind of lock that can be jimmied open with a bic pen? What if I drop $30 on a worthless lock? Instead, I leave my bike lying around unlocked...

Or build projects -- op-amps cost <$1, but there's shipping. So I should wait until I have a giant list of things I need to buy, right?

So you see, I fail as a maker.

Anyway, now you should agree, society is bent on destroying the environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment