In passing…
March 28, 2008, 11:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

While it has nothing to do with what this blog is notionally “about”, it seems a good idea to link to this fine piece about Google by Tom Slee, for reasons that may become apparent to any reader who clicks through, and if you are a reader with a blog I urge you to do so too (especially if by chance your blog is a searchblog). However, by happy coincidence, I find that Tom’s fine self-pimped piece about toilets says wise things about how to drive environmentally friendly innovation which fit into the themes of this blog on their own merits:

The story shows that the state/market dichotomy is false, and that the phrasing of the question is at fault. Posing the issue as “state versus market” loses touch with reality in the face of this intricate cross-pollination between municipalities, the US Environmental Protection Agency (who is likely to develop a labelling system based on the Veritec tests), Veritec itself (which is a private consultancy) and quasi-state bodies such as the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association. The closer we look, the more dependent on the specifics it becomes…

Perhaps the message is that, when we look closely enough, economics falls apart and gives way to sociology and psychology. Perhaps it is that history is, after all, made by individuals, specifically individuals who are prepared to spend hours developing “test specimens” and flushing them down toilets over and over and over again. Perhaps it is that we need to seek a Buddhist-like middle way between the Scylla of the market and the Charybdis of the state, but a middle way that has a more human side to it than the metric driven public-private partnerships.

On the basis that this could be taken to mean “let a thousand flowers bloom”, here are some photosynthetic toilets as a final adhesive with which to cement these ideas firmly into the fabric of this blog.

Image from (nz)dave under a creative commons license


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