a world where we decide for each other

From this, one can make a deduction which is quite certainly the ultimate truth of jigsaw puzzles: despite appearances, puzzling is not a solitary game: every move the puzzler makes, the puzzlemaker has made before; every piece the puzzler picks up, and picks up again, and studies and strokes, every combination he tries, and tries a second time, every blunder and every insight, each hope and each discouragement have all been designed, calculated, and decided by the other.

Georges Perec quote on La Vie mode d’emploi

This quote was found in the midst of an post entitled Graveyard of Giants which illuminates some of the issues related to the ship-breaking industry.  The author discusses ethical and economic issues to expose some of our hidden assumptions about out-sourcing to developing countries and our faith in capitalism.  However, I think that this quote serves as the most powerful message he speaks. In a world that is as interconnected as ours, no one is alone.  No decision you make as a designer of ships, buildings, roads, systems, computers, accounting methods, of anything, affects only you.  The responsibility and title of “adult” may very well be the acceptance of this selfless idea.  So please dear world inhabitants, take this to heart and grow up.

Things that Matter

Well, in our society, we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can’t get involved in them in a very serious way — so what they do is they put their minds into other things, such as sports. You’re trained to be obedient; you don’t have an interesting job; there’s no work around for you that’s creative; in the cultural environment you’re a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff; political and social life are out of your range, they’re in the hands of the rich folks. So what’s left? Well, one thing that’s left is sports — so you put a lot of the intelligence and the thought and the self-confidence into that. And I suppose that’s also on of the basic functions it serves in the society in general: it occupies the population and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter.

– Noam Chomsky

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