Sunday, 16 August 2009

Little bits

This one time when I was pretending to be an artist, my definition of art was vaguely something that makes the viewer see things in the way the artist wants them to. I thought it was quite neat.

So the other week, when I saw MJ Hibbett's Dinosaur Planet, there was this song about how scientists all add just a little bit to mankind progress rather than great huge bits that get on the news, when I heard him play it, I instantly thought of this blog post about sliced bread that I'd read months before.

Here's a video that's recently appeared on YouTube of the song "A Little Bit" from Dinosaur Planet recorded at the Edinburgh Fringe

And here's the relevant bits of the blogpost on Cafe Hayek
In fact, think of human material prosperity as being like water contained in a gargantuan swimming pool. The higher the “water” level, the greater is our prosperity. Call it the “prosperity level” in the prosperity pool.

How is this pool filled? Mostly, small drop by small drop. Countless people line the edge of the pool, each dripping in a drop or two of additional “water” – additional prosperity – from time to time. Very few single drops have any noticeable effect on the prosperity level. Had water noodles never been invented and produced, no one would have noticed. Ditto for almost everything else that comes available on the
market – new shades of paint color for homes; improved quality of stereo speakers; improved food-freezing techniques; slightly longer-lasting light bulbs; a new fusion cuisine; a more-efficient machine for weaving fabric; improved corkage for wine. The list is practically endless.

A very few drops are large – say, the polio vaccine, and Henry Ford’s innovation for producing automobiles. But almost all drops are tiny. These tiny drops, though, together result in an enormously high level of material prosperity.

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