11 July 2007

Let's Get Small!

A while back, I wrote an article titled FIST, Part 5, which explored the fourth piece of the FIST acronym, Tiny (the others being Fast, Inexpensive and Simple). I really, really, really believe small is beautiful, particularly in economics. My favorite economic model is distributism, and I think this whole Web 2.0 thing just might help bring about a distributism revolution, if for no other reason than it has a better name. This is the first in a planned series of posts on this topic.

I love the fact that French Toast Girl is selling prints of her wonderful original artwork, with a little help from her kids. I received my order earlier this week and was really moved by how beautiful the paintings are. She's producing, printing and shipping them right from her house. Very distributist.

I love things like Lulu and ChangeThis, which are proving that you don't need to be a big publishing company to produce good quality books, particularly for small communities of readers. This is very distributist too.

The latest issue of Gilbert Magazine had a great quote from Chesterton on the beauty and excellence of small things:

"I have never been convinced that a giraffe is a better fireside playmate than a kitten. I cannot be got to see that a hippopotamus is certain to win a race against a grayhound. An invincible prejudice prevents me from admitting that whales served on toast are more appetizing than sardines.

"Nay, I cannot even persuade myself that the larger sort of sharks, are, as drawing-room ornaments, necessarily improvements upon goldfish. I cannot think that the gesture of pulling up a palm-tree is always easier or more graceful than that of picking a flower; or that it is always more enjoyable to die of thirst in the Sahara than to drink wine from a small vineyard or water from a village well.

In short, I am lamentably lacking in that reverence for largeness, or for things on a Big Scale, which is apparently the religion of the age of Big Business."

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