—Joshua Spodek's adventures in stewardship—

431: I sang every day for two months, unplugged (still going)


What do you do if you use less power? No social media? No listening to music? No TV? Sound like a fate worse than death? Inspired by guests on my podcast who find amazing activities to live by their environmental values, I committed to turning off all my electronics to sing every day. I've almost never sung in my life beyond Happy Birthday and The Star Spangled Banner so I'm mortified to play my remedial results live, but I love it. I know I'll keep going so today's recording isn't the end. I recorded singing a couple songs at the beginning. to record I opened the laptop, all other times I sang with the power off. At night I had to open the door to the hallway to read the words with my apartment lights out until I started singing outside during my daily walks picking up litter. So far I've spent zero dollars. The first two weeks I sang fifteen minutes a day. Later I shifted to at least one song, so a few minutes a day. Today's episode starts with my describing the experience and a few stories, then with neither pride nor shame, I play the "before" recording, then the "after." The track listing: Before 14:42 The Beatles, Across the Universe 19:30 The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps After 22:40 The Beatles, Across the Universe 26:28 The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps 28:44 John Denver, I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane 31:26 Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi 33:01 Spandau Ballet, True 36:12 The Cure, Pictures of You 38:54 Earth, Wind, and Fire, September 42:19 Woody Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land

429: What about jobs?


"What about jobs?" people often ask to counter proposals to constrain some activity. Today's episode answers. Here are the notes I read from: What about jobs? People out of work drain on society, not so happy Store near me that sells trinkets Of any value? I'd prefer a hug, shoulder rub, or make me dinner Many stages to make: plastic from oil, factory to make, transportation, store clerk Factory, put near landfill What about trucks and boats? Better to drive and sail around in circles Absurd, but actually better world paying to do worthless work with more hugs, shoulder rubs, and home-made dinners, oil in ground, people not displaced, skies clearer Classic historical case of buggy whips If legislated, people wouldn't die. People out of work now clamor to work. People love to serve. I don't know where people's faith in entrepreneurship goes. Constraints breed creativity. Need problem to exist to solve it. If you wait for planned jobs to exist before demand, will never happen. If you keep going in counterproductive industries, we'll destroy Earth's ability to sustain life and society. Economists are incredibly wrong in this area, especially free-market, Ayn Rand types. I'm studying Edwards Deming. Japan: government and industry post WWII did what would be anticompetitive in U.S., but transformed nation and world, more happiness and products, no shortage of competition. Have you seen pictures of Sao Paolo before and after banning billboards. So I'm pretty sure that if we outlawed just producing dioxins and PFOS and carcinogens and created some jobs programs to teach Initiative, which would be enough, or something better if you know, as other nations without our addiction problems do, we'd improve the world by everyone's standards, including the free-market, Ayn Rand types. I think at the root is a belief that people want to be lazy. I just don't see it in at least 99%. If last 1% say 5% scare you, are you really going to let your fears of 5% of people drive economic policy to ecological ruin? I would much rather have shoulder-rubs, dinner made for me, or to make dinner for her, hugs, and what entrepreneurs come up with than destroyed planet. Remember, all those trinkets mean extracting oil for materials, to drive factories, truck, boats, etc to deliver, $1.6B to haul away.

426: Why unplug?


I'm in my second month since I unplugged my fridge. Why unplug it? Not because I think its power makes anything more than a negligible difference. This episode describes why. Here are my notes I read from: The other two reasons I unplug the fridge. The first was after reading Vietnam and much of the world ferments, I was curious to learn fermentation. Second is reading how much backup power a grid needs to maintain perfect uptime. Resilience. Each bit after 99% costs a lot more. Alternatively, 95% requires almost no backup. Third is to learn and grow myself. Neediness and entitlement, especially to things that hurt others and nobody needed for hundreds of thousands of years, doesn't make me better person. Do you know anyone spoiled? Do you describe them as "You know what I love about Kate? She's spoiled and acts entitled."

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