Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Evening in Portland

I have been spending several days going through my son's garage. We are having a huge sale here in a week. It is strange to see so much stuff.  People in the States have a lot of excess stuff.  Garages are filled with things no longer used or needed.

I remember seeing a photography book about just that subject. I don't remember the name of it or anything else about it except the photos. They went around the world and had families take everything they owned and put it all in front of them. Most of the families just had a few things. Can you imagine that happening in the average home in the United States? It is taking a tremendous effort for me just to organize the garage full of things. I can't imagine taking everything out of the house and putting it in front of me just for a photo. I think another book was done like that but families put out what they would eat in a typical month.  It is shameful to see the difference between most of the world and the tremendous wealth here.  Do you think we are that much happier because of our abundance?

I am reading a book by A. J. Jacobs, The- Know-It-All, One Man's Humble Quest to become the Smartest Person in the World.   I like his writing. He is very funny. This book is about reading the Encyclopedia from A to Z.   He wrote about a theory of economics called Marginal Utility Theory that says that consumers differ in the amount of satisfaction they derive from each unit of a commodity. Someone with a lot of something, let's say slices of bread, doesn't appreciate it much if he is given another slice of bread. A person with only two slices of bread appreciates that extra slice much more. So maybe poor people are happier with the little they have and appreciate it more when they get more? I don't know. All I know is that organizing a garage sale is a lot of work....


  1. So, what's with what happened on Friday evening?

    Glad you're getting through the piles, though. They really do keep multiplying. I've cleaned out the ENTIRE house - but there's still more stuff around the place. It's amazing....

  2. I am guessing this is from Gayle??? Hope to see you next week. P