02 August 2007

Small Is Beautiful

I'm about 1/2 way through E.F. Schumacher's wonderful book Small Is Beautiful. I'm really, really, really enjoying it. It's not so much that he's a genius or an amazing writer as much as that he is a genuine human, and he writes with real warmth, insight and relevance.

The book is about macroeconomics, and it's downright engaging. He talks about things like courage, romance, faith and hope... but not in an irritating, wishy-washy, touchy-feely way. In a regular human way. Without using the word "distributist," he lays out a very strong case for distributism.

And, imagine my satisfaction when I read the following line:

"Any third rate engineer or researcher can increase complexity; but it takes a certain flair of real insight to make things simple again."

Hmmm... where have I read that concept before? In my own Simplicity Cycle book, perhaps?


Lisa said...

Dan... I'm sorry but you are one weird guy! *I say this with affection* but you are really really really enjoying a book about MACROECONOMICS? Really?

Dan said...

I am indeed (both weird and really really really enjoying the book).

It's actually about so much more than macroeconomics. It's about how human beings could/should interact at the most elemental levels of production and consumption.

And one thing I really love about it is how the whole Web 2.0 thing seems to offer the possibility of accomplishing some of these "shoulds," like putting simple-to-use, high-quality production tools in the reach of large numbers of peope.

He talks about moving away from mass production and towards "production by the masses." YouTube, anyone? Blogosphere? Lulu.com?

It's wonderful stuff...