An excerpt from Sustainable Energy – without the hot air – David J.C. MacKay
UIT Cambridge, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9544529-3-3. Available free online
“One of the main sinks of energy in the “developed” world is the creation of stuff. In its natural life cycle, stuff passes through three stages. First, a new-born stuff is displayed in shiny packaging on a shelf in a shop. At this stage, stuff is called “goods.” As soon as the stuff is taken home and sheds its packaging, it undergoes a transformation from “goods” to its second form, “clutter.” The clutter lives with its owner for a period of months or years.
During this period, the clutter is largely ignored by its owner, who is off at the shops buying more goods. Eventually, by a miracle of modern alchemy, the clutter is transformed into its final form, rubbish. To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to distinguish this “rubbish” from the highly desirable “good” that it used to be. Nonetheless, at this stage the discerning owner pays the dustman to transport the stuff away. ”
He didn’t mention that many people, in the in between stage, often buy more stuff in which to store the stuff which they don’t use but are not ready to discard yet. That sure is a handy earner, selling stuff to people to keep their stuff in so as to make room for yet more stuff.
It’s a funny old world…