Great Work

A lot of people say that the quality of merchandise is not as good as it used to be. Cars aren’t made the same way: guitars, televisions, sneakers, shirts, etc. I think everyone has had the experience of buying something in the past that was indestructible and fun to own and use, and everyone has had the experience of buying something new that was a total piece of crap.

I believe good work comes and it goes. For every success we have in the past, like how awesome guitars were in the 50s and 60s, we have another success, like how awesome computers got in the 90s to counter it in the present.

My question is what makes for successful work? How and why does it appear and then why does it go away?

Here is a place to start. I watch a lot of inside the actor’s studio on Bravo TV. I think I heard someone say that for a movie to be successful there has to be 2 or 3 of 4 things. The things are the director, the script, the producer, and the cast. If 3 of them are there, the work will likely be good. If two are there, less of a chance. If less than two, the film will have no chance of being successful.

No one say because people are greedy and want to make money!

Quality products will always attract imitators who will sell a similar product of lower quality for a lower price, cheap shit.

Quality is expensive and prices always rise. Failure to account for price inflation can lead to dissapointment in purchases.

Many vendors of quality products go out of business because consumers fail to percieve the connection between price and quality and both fall prey to those who peddle shoddy knockoffs at low prices.

Movies are one of the few things where cost is almost irrelevant and the price to consumers is fixed regardless of quality. A great movie is not always a hit movie and visa-versa. Movies operate in a mysterious realm of their own.

The only things built to last a lifetime these days are hand-made by eccentric artists.

If you are referring to mass-produced goods; your question should be - " How and why DID it appear…"

It is gone for now, but it will probably return after all the fossil fuels have been spent and the cities have dissolved and re-coagulated into small Eco-towns and villages. Then craftsmen, once again, will be delivering their goods by hand, face to face.

The internet is doomed.

I hate computers.

I plan on being a Terran Leader in the forthcoming Artilect Wars.

My time spent here is simply an effort to ’ know my enemy ’ and learn survival skills.


It seems like your argument is that for work to be good it needs to be original. If a work is an imitation then it’s not good work. This makes sense because if the work is something we already have, then it’s less valuable then something we’ve never had before.

I disagree.

A system of mass production can be created that is good work. The design that is mass produced can be good work. The good system can mass produce the good design.

Toyota and Honda design good cars. Their systems for mass production are good too. They produce good cars. My Toyota has 200,000 miles on it. Old cars never lasted that long.

You fall into the camp I referred to in the original post. The group I still disagree with. Good work comes and goes.

It isn’t necessarily about ‘being greedy’ but simply about market forces.

A high quality object takes a lot of time to produce. Additionally, that means it takes a lot of labour and highly skilled labour at that! Throw the higher quality materials on top of that, and the final product is going to be very expensive to make. So, now you are limited by two things: 1) the price of production and 2) the price people are willing to pay. Because it is so easy to price people out of the market, fewer people will buy the expensive item AND to ensure that at least some people do buy the expensive item, the sales price/production cost ratio will be much closer to 1.

Shoddy products, on the other hand, cut a lot of the expenses that quality products have and have a wider market that they can sell to. So, proportionally, you are making more per sale as well as selling a whole lot more product. There is a certain threshold after which this breaks down, but marketing can help lower this point considerably.

Market forces drive products towards the lowest common denominator.

I see. If it’s cheaper more can buy it, but if it’s too cheap, no one will buy it.

Yup, that’s it.

Not too many people go grocery shopping at Super 8 or Lo Cost Foods unless they have to.

Budweiser sells better that BEER brand beer, even though they are functionally equivalent.


[size=134]Oligopoly + Planned Obsolescence = Cartel[/size]

On ’ cars ’ - Henry Ford was fond of the chinese proverb “Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice”. Perhaps he actually believed in that, before greed got the better of him.

Alternatively, horses have a working life of about 20 years and run on grass. A well made horse-cart could last a lifetime.

Shoes don’t get punctures.

When walking/running on grass or sand and in warmer climates, you don’t even need shoes.

" Great Work ?? " - Forget about it. What we need is " Good Work ".

" Good Work " is making things that we actually ‘need’.

[size=134]" What does this man-made-world make us need ? "[/size]

So, the work that you do isn’t good and you will never have the chance to make great work because of the man? Also, what do you think is wrong with making things to help out the situation we’ve already put ourselves in?

My whole point was that we need to ’ make less ’ first and foremost.

Unfortunately, this will involve more unemployment, which, for people living in apartment blocks and housing estates will be disastrous, unless they have some arable land or communal greenhouses nearby, to use as subsistence farmers.

" But I don’t know how to grow food. They didn’t teach me that in school ", they cry.

Of course they didn’t.

’ Don’t bite the hand that feeds ’ - everyone knows this, and that was their plan.

The modern world itself has turned into a human farm, where pathetic mollycoddled consumers are grown.

" Work, my little monkeys, work !! … If it makes you sick, I now have some medicine to sell you "… snigger.

Why can’t all people see this ? … Why don’t they care ?

No, that is not what I meant at all. What I was meaning to say is that quality, original or not, is often undermined by cheap imitation.

For example, I do fine carpentry and necessarily need quality tools. I can go to Home Depot and buy a combination square for about $12 and this will suffice for most people but is inadequate for what I do. The $12 combination square is not square, it is usually off by a half a degree or more and a 6 inch square is inconvenient for my application.

So, I bought a high quality 4 inch combination square that cost me $80. It is a ridiculously small thing to pay so much for. But this tool will last me the rest of my life and never go out of square. It will give me a lifetime of satisfaction.

The Starret corporation, for all I know, did not invent the combination square but they make theirs to the highest standard of quality.

But it is unavailable at Home Depot. When the last of the small harware stores goes out of business I fear the manufacturers of this square will follow. Then I will be complaining about the shoddy crap being foisted upon us and the lack of pride in manufacture these days.

I disagree. I believe that Oligopoly + Planned Obsolence = The Computer Industry. You have two major processor makers… Intel and AMD… and two major operating system makers… Microsoft and Apple… Just using those two groups as examples… it’s obvious.

Right, but when I say creativity or originality, I mean, uniqueness. The Starret co. didn’t invent the square, but improved on what was out there. They didn’t invent the square, but they created a way to mass produce it and make it better than the rest, somehow.

See what I mean? They’re not just repackaging and reselling the same crap. They take the idea and make it better. That’s originality too. It’s different than complete imitation with no improvement, or with “improvements” that don’t add anything, like heated car seats.

No, you don’t understand. When they started making them almost all manufacturers made a similar quality product. They are the only ones who survived.

A duopoly IS an oligopoly, as is a triopoly, quadropoly, pentopoly etc. So I don’t really understand what your disagreeing with.


Lately I’ve begun to take a very dim view of computers.

Could the latest souped-up computers/operating systems have been designed without the use of computers themselves? Of course not. Think about what THAT means. And watch ’ Building Gods ’ on Google Video if you can find the time [ 1hr 20mins ] - It scares the shit out of me. … 6827646234

There is nothing Great or Good about computers.’ WE ’ haven’t been making them without lots of ASSISTANCE for years now.

The war began a long time ago.

Spread the word.


Bullocks to you SirEbrum and all the rest of you haters. You all love computers. You love coca cola, you love buying stuff, you all want more stuff. You live for cash.

Further, whether you like computers or not is a little irrelevant. The question is, for you, what makes great work and how does it happen? You being the word. I like computers, you don’t have to.

If my words meant nothing, then there would be no reason for you to get upset.

Time will tell … Some can see further than others … I listen to these people.

DO YOU smoke a lot of crack…? … as your sig suggests. Or just too much of that child’s drink, Coca-Cola.

[size=67]My advice re. money would be to save every penny you make, and consider converting it all to gold coins.[/size]


You’re criticism is weak.

Coke is awesome, so are computers. Microsoft rocks. Cash rules everything. Come on get the money.

You’re a chicken, chicken. Either get the money or kill the money. Make a choice.

Interesting … Is that a quote from some low-brow ’ gansta-drug-dealer-movie '?

We all know how those stories end.