Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Watch Southern Hemisphere (via bifurcated rivets)

Comments: WS1

Another piece of "must have" bling for the "socially conscious" yuppies to wear in order to say "Look at me, I've arrived". A complete waste of... everything... in my book, but oh-so-apt...

Don't mind me, boynton, I'm just being me...
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 09:23 AM

I'm not a Yuppie - despite the internet connection we all share, just a web window shopper.

I think in this case, Gerry, the bling does seem to have another mission, in part.
Or at least the company:
"The Think the Earth project is a non profit organization founded to promote Earth awareness and provide aid for distressed children"
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 10:01 AM

Yep. Wonderful. And it's a limited edition piece. I'd want to know who paid for the design, tooling-up, manufacturing, and marketing costs. Until I know what portion of the retail price actually makes it to the promotion of earth awareness or towards aiding distressed children, I'm going to assume it's bling aimed at the rich who are feeling a tad guilty.

Anyway, what do they mean by "Earth awareness" (could mean oil prospecting) or "distressed children" (could mean buying Lear Jets for their kids). Has anyone done any great probe into this mob?

Might be more effective for the Guilty Rich to donate $795 to the charity of their choice and spare the environment the damage done by the manufacture of yet another piece if utterly redundant bling bling for those with too much disposable income.

Come the revolution... :-)
Posted by at March 17, 2005 10:27 AM

Oops. That last one was me.
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 10:35 AM

I am a tad skeptical too, but their web site has some information.

It's lucky for the rest of us that we can watch the watch on the web.
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 10:37 AM

It's a nice watch... (grins, ducks, and runs back into the black, ominous night from whence he came, cackling madly all the while..)
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 10:40 AM

Ok, time to get serious. Here's what I've noticed so far:

(1) Lost Times are retailers who don't claim to donate anything to charity themselves. They merely list Think The Earth project (TTEP) as the manufacturer. In other words only a portion of the wholesale price goes to charity.

(2) Lost Times also have a northern hemisphere model which sells for $595 ($200 dollars cheaper). This indicates to me that due to fewer southern hemisphere models expected to be sold (which is realistic), the price difference can only be justified if tooling-up costs are passed on to the buyer. In other words, tooling up costs are deducted from the amount given to charity. this indicates very strongly that the same would apply to the design and manufacturing costs.

(3) This is the TTEP's first item put up for sale. This org is brand new. This increases my suspicions of it being a rip-off.

(4) TTEP's "concepts" are perhaps oxymoronic:
(a) "ecology and economy in coexistence"
(b) "Contributing to society through business"

I could get really into this topic, but to spare you, I'll leave it here (unless you're silly enough to ask me to elaborate). :-)
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 12:27 PM

Yes it all seems like a wearable bit of greenwashing now.
Your third comment says it all really, and was my first thought when I saw the watch. I think you can probably guess my charity of choice.
(Buy a $10 watch (from markets or op-shop)and give $785 to GRASP) ;)

on 4) Not well versed in this, but I read Paul Hawken years ago, and would hope there is a third way possible - "a restorative economy"? Otherwise may as well just jump off the train and buy any old bling that's on offer...
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 01:32 PM

Wow, that sounds like the economist I've been dreaming about. But I fear that Hawken gravely overestimates the willingness of business to function from anything other than the profit motive, being, as it is, driven by shareholders whose sole purpose of owning shares is to see a profit. Also, the corporations that most control the WTO (which controls global business legislation these days) are exactly those who least attract ethical investors.

Sorry, boynton, but I fear we're all headed for The Mother Of All Stockmarket Crashes in the not too distant future. Even Howard fears this. Which is why he's now scurrying around trying to force the states to change their superannuation laws so that it's no longer compulsory to put your retirement money into a super fund. That way, when The Crash comes, Howard can smuggly say "Well, don't blame me, I gave you the choice to put your money somewhere else." (Such as 'bricks and mortar' which would boost Howard's economy again.) But I digress...
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 02:11 PM

"The Ecology of Commerce" was a great read, containing one of the best summaries of the damage done (over a couple of pages as I recall) which winded me for a week or so - but also provides an alternative vision. It's been a while since I read him, but some more here:
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 02:27 PM

Boynton, have I warned you before about talking to strange economists?
Posted by Scott Wickstein at March 17, 2005 04:03 PM

Not on my watch? ;)
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 04:05 PM

Ok, I'm sold. I've ordered it from Gleebooks. It'd better be worth it, boynton! Shit, talking to you gets expensive! Grrrrrrr :-)
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 04:11 PM

I'd be interested to read a report - I hope ;)
Cheaper than a watch, anyway.

(I borrowed "Ecology of Commerce" from the Library. Although it's one of those books I would buy if I ever saw)
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 04:25 PM

Yeah, sure... "Crazed Vietnam vet reviews Paul Hawken's book - read all about it!" Bwahahaha...
Posted by Diogenes at March 17, 2005 04:42 PM

Have we got a "negative" person in the air.

Don't worry be happy........
Posted by at March 17, 2005 08:52 PM

I'd say "Challenging" - in the best sense of the word, which has made me reacquaint myself with some old ideas.
Posted by boynton at March 17, 2005 11:09 PM

Hawken's book has arrived and I've started reading it. I'm glad I bought it rather than borrow it from a library bcause I think it's a book I'll be going back to repeatedly.

Using the search function on Quiggin's blog produced zero results - I don't know if this means that Quiggin has had nothing to say about Hawkens but I would have liked to know his opinions on Hawken. Too daunted to leave a comment though.. :-(
Posted by Diogenes at March 21, 2005 10:00 PM

Glad it seems worthwhile, Gerry.

I don't know how it rates among the academic economists at all. Having no background in the field, I guess I read it as an ecological vision of capitalism?
I am often too daunted to Post comments around the place. Should be a blog for unposted comments - the rejected out-takes.
Posted by boynton at March 22, 2005 12:05 AM

Thanks for bringing the book to my attention. It's very informative for one such as I and I'll be interested in how he thinks this monster can be brought to heel. I suspect he's a bit utopian, but it'll be interesting to see what solutions he proposes.

In 1993 he was saying much the same things as Joel Bakan says in The Corporation eleven years later.

I'm going to enjoy this book. Again, Boynton, thanks.

On the other matter, there is a blog for unposted comments - it's the blogger's own blog. (Sorry for stating the bleeding obvious - again.)

Gee I hope I don't get smacked down by any more humanitarians. I'm still feeling pretty punch drunk.)

I'm ever so sorry for coming in here and lowering the tone of your blog. You really mustn't encourage me you know... :-)
Posted by Gerry at March 22, 2005 09:26 AM

Ok "Jo, Dave, John Leonard, Les, Elle, Georgia, Gorgia etc".
Your last comment (since deleted) is the giveaway.
Any pretence of civility has gone, and you've turned out to be as tedious as Spam.
For the record - you are wrong. I am as straight as you claim to be (when you write with your old married man moniker, anyway)
I was going to write a hand-wringing "luvvie duvvie" post about what to do with Trolls, but now there is clearly no need.
Any respect I have shown you over the last few weeks has clearly been a waste of my time - and that of my readers.
You can take your scribbling tendencies elsewhere now.
Luckily for us all there is a Delete key
Posted by boynton at March 23, 2005 10:08 AM

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