I found Cline’s article highlighting different uses of the machete very interesting. Society links any weapon to a negative connotation and of course to a certain extent I have to agree I’m one of those people. We can agree SO MANY items are deemed “bad for you” or “dangerous”, even bottled water kills our environment with the plastic produced. But at what point do we ignore the bad things that come out of producing goods for our environment? I think the questions asked from this blog post may be one of the most complicated ones to answer. Why are we mass producing without looking into long term damaging effects on the world? Why do we protest against something that is deemed a weapon but ignore other tools that are just as detrimental to our people? Hopefully I can answer these in the next few paragraphs.
In the end of Cline’s article he poses the question, “Can an iPhone ever bear the same gravitas as the machete?” and technically I believe it can. While we can’t kill someone with an iPhone the same way we can a machete, the iPhone is a multipurpose tool that can “summon” just about anything. Smart phones in general have the power to order those machetes, say hateful things and cause damage to the environment. It is a useful tool but with new models coming out every year, the “old models” are sometimes never done away with properly. Even companies that “claim” to recycle iPhones, only recycle the important parts and the rest are sent to landfills with hazardous materials. So some companies that claims to recycle your phone is basically just the pass off between anywhere in the world and China. In an article I found that really illuminates the China landfill process, there is a staggering fact that China has 3.62 million tons of electronic waste ONLY from Chinese consumers and China also imports other electronic waste. This article was written in 2011, I can only imagine what the numbers are at now. So I’ll go back to my question WHY would we do this? After all we know some materials are damaging but we continue to be careless about our waste. I’ll say what a professor told me once that I’ll always take with me “Follow the money and you’ll find the motivation”.
There are few people in this world that care enough to not use items that cause harm to the environment. Whatever is not being done to protect environment is not done because not doing it makes a lot more money. There is a profit run by these companies and they will not simply stop operating because of moral standpoints. Take for instance the Keurig, the founder himself admitted he regrets putting his product out there because of its waste. Producers choose to not understand the long term dangers and consumers only understand immediacy. Like Morton says in his article “The Contemporary Condition”.. “Global warming is far more real, while things like weather—things that appear to be immediate in our experience—are actually the abstractions! Local weather is a kind of snapshot of larger processes, a snapshot that’s pretty much out of date by the time you notice it.” This example links to anything we use, just because we don’t see the hazardous effects, it does not make it less real.
Unfortunately, we as humans can only see things in relation to ourselves. If its affecting us like say Guns or Pitbulls, we blame the product/animal and not the human. Although I strongly believe in a bigger handle on gun control, when guns are used by responsible people there should not be an issue. A machete should not be banned because it is used in improper ways. As long as we are living, people will always find dangerous uses for things that are tools. Everything is uncontrollable and it is up to consumers to exercise the little control they have over items. There is a fine line between tool and weapon in all objects that are produced on this earth.
*NOTE: I also recommend reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s “On Truth Lies in a Nonmoral Sense”, basically highlights all of our selfishness to the world.
Link to essay : http://ieas.unideb.hu/admin/file_7421.pdf