Consumed Media

May 2021

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Things that stuck with me:

While this is definitely the least compelling read I've completed as of late (it is clear this is a book that is meant to be cited and not read cover to cover), it still had some interesting ideas. I think it does a good job of showing just how messed up the focus of our current economic system is, and the history behind it.

The one of the things that really made an impression is how messed up it is that wealth begets wealth. If I already have money, I can invest money in shares of McDonalds. Shareholders, who hold massive sway in publicly-traded companies, have a vested interest in McDonalds growing year over year, making more revenue, more profit, as way of making the share price soar even higher, netting them money.

How is McDonalds going to acheive this growth? Through deeply unethical business practices; any corner cut or food addiction created is a dollar in shareholder's pockets. Factory farming, not paying employees a living wage, and producing food as cheap to make and addictive as possible. This sort of business is not good for the human race as a whole, only for shareholders. The shareholders get to make an income doing literally nothing (besides being fortunate enough to already have enough money that they can invest in the market) while the employees of McDonalds get worse and worse working conditions and wages to squeeze every ounce of value out of their work to be delivered to those shareholders. Its serfdom! And in the end, our world will be desolate, polluted, and unhealthy - all those gains are for nothing if the whole world collapses as a result!

On a more positive note, the book also taught me about time banks, which are collectives of people that perform services for each other solely on the basis of time. I may spend an hour mowing someone's lawn, and in return I am paid a "time credit", which I can redeem for an hour of someone's time who provides a service that I need, like a ride to the airport. I found a local one and Mo and I signed up! I should be a blast.