Basically, all I wanted was reply to a comment by Chris on my article about Kaizen, where I had discussed the endless and probably unreasonable wastefulness on many levels of our society. It appears, however, that my reply was not comprehensible enough. So here I write a separate post on it.

It is the wastefulness of resources that I dislike. One reason for my dislike is perhaps that I grew up in Swabia.
Yet, I find the waste of knowledge a good thing. Knowledge is the only resource you cannot waste enough of.

You should produce and consume as much as possible of it! And when I say knowledge, I do not mean technology. Technology is just a small part of applied knowledge. But it is worthless or even dangerous unless you also apply some control to the remaining knowledge.

I have no problem repeating yet again the citation by Bertrand Russell I feel so strongly about:

» Every boost in technology should also include a boost in happiness and wisdom «

To me, another beautiful resource is delight. In this area, too, I believe we should be wasteful both giving and receiving. Knowledge and delight seem like a basis of happiness to me. Consequently, I develop the following formula:

Delight + Knowledge = Bliss

The other, hard resources of our planet should be utilized as sparingly as possible. The amount of happiness someone feels is certainly not dependent on the number of resources he consumes.

In particular, there is no correlation between personal happiness and the amount of fossil energy you consume. On the contrary: in my personal experience, the less resources I consume, the happier I am.

(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu ““Nice Extravagance, Wrong Extravagance” or “Delight + Knowledge = Bliss””

  1. Chris Wood (Friday January 15th, 2010)

    Dear Roland, I admire the rate at which you produce posts for your blog, and I agree with most of what you write, and I am grateful that I can write comments completely uncensored.
    Evelyn has pointed out that confusion arose because “Verschwenden” normally means waste, but when you use it of knowledge, you mean something like “spreading”.
    Waste of knowledge occurs when books are burnt, or simply when somebody acts without thinking. There are other resources whose use should be spread, for instance when children use fresh air.
    I have already pointed out that Russell was wrong. There are advances that do not require extra wisdom. Russell was (understandably) obsessed with nuclear energy.
    I have already pointed out that knowledge is not required for happiness; “Ignorance is bliss. It’s folly to be wise”.

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