Changes happen, sometimes fast and sometimes slow but the interesting point is what changes. Often changes are skin deep or partial. I have been reading some of Asimov’s Robot series and the parallels in conversations to our society are still relevant. He shows this same point in the 50 worlds and their relationship with Earth, each other, and in particular with robots. When you look back in your own lifetime you will see many changes. Examining history beyond that reveals many more. But how many of them are complete changes in society and not overlays? How many fluctuate and move through various parts of society, thus never really uprooted? One of these is the sense of other, of the group beneath. Who that group is varies by place and time but there is a villain, a scapegoat, and an inferior. These may be each a separate group or combined in a complicated image of what a group is.
Today, I received my Christmas present – a Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch. Very cool, I have wanted one for a long time. We are getting it set up now but I may need to pull my desktop out of storage for much work, my laptop just doesn’t have the art tools on it. I have been actively working on development of a card based board game, Steampunk theme recently and I want to work on the art. Thus, the Wacom… I have been reading about the tablet since we got home and looking at how to set it up. It seems really neat, I am still amazed at how much they usually run (Craigslist is my friend on this one). They are a great tool, and very entertaining, but this business model that everything is worth the maximum amount you can convince someone to pay is somewhat absurd and dangerous to me. I understand trying to make a profit, but it has gotten so inflated that each step of the economy must inflate more to cover the cost of the other falsely inflated prices and the end result is a stack of numbers beyond logic.
I felt the same way about a company I worked for in Hawaii. They were a pointless business, falsely inflating the price of construction, and they were one of several unnecessary steps in the process. The result? Insanely high construction cost and building purchase costs. Not the only factor of course, but an important one. We talked to suppliers that supplied items they marked up from manufacturers. We took their price, marked it up and bid to sub-contractors that took that, marked it up and bid to general contractors, who marked it up and bid to architects, who marked it up and bid to owners (sometimes there was another couple steps in this process). You see my problem with the result? Remove some steps and the price drops to half with no change in design, quality, product, supply, source, or anything else. We see this in the grocery store and gas station every day. I have heard recently of a new plan already approved to take chickens killed and pre-processed in the states, ship them to Chine to finish processing, and then ship them back to the states to be sold as fresh or frozen chicken. How bizarre. I am not certain where one should start on the flaws in that one, economy or not.
But, back to the Wacom: Soon, I shall be learning a new tool and working on the project full steam. It might be nice to have another artist for some areas I am uncertain of my skill in, but I have learned so many others, what is one more. Now to find a safe way to keep the Wacom on my desk when it is not in use…Cats.