Return to the Dark Age

Singapore 11th August 2010

Today’s I read a news report about desperate attempts by American state governments to save money that came as quite a “culture” shock to me…. Some states like California seem to be on the verge of bankruptcy (if that is even possible for a government) so any measure to safe money seems to be justifiable even if it means returning to the Dark Ages. Cities around America are literally returning to the Dark Ages by turning off parts of their street lights so saving electricity and maintenance costs. Other cities are contemplating the same. Some roads in other states are being broken up and returned to gravel as they can no longer afford the cost of maintaining the roads. Have we over industrialized our world?  Are we artificially growing a huge luxury and comfort bubble that one day will blow up in our face? It’s a scary thought.

It is in our nature to want more, better, finer, longer, etc, but where do you stop? Are we ever satisfied? I recently read an interesting statement about what people thought the computer age would do to our future with some predicting that with the arrival of computer technology we would be “doomed” to a life of relaxation and entertainment as there would be no more need for humans to do work. But quite the contrary has happened. The computer allows us to do more, faster and everywhere. While we used to go to work and come home to our families, modern age with wireless internet, mobile phones and messaging/ telecommunication facilities has created a life where work follows us home. Instead of less stress and more relaxation the computer has brought us more stress and a 24/7 lifestyle.

The article was muffled away in a corner on one of the back pages, but is in my opinion of great significance. The recent economic down turn may be at the heart of it all, and many optimists (like me) may see it as a temporary side effect. But somehow I feel there is quite some substance in this news report and as a lighting designer I should certainly be (and become more) mindful about where we are going and whether all these “bigger-and-better” projects we are involved with can sustain the sophisticated lighting designs we create and recommend….

11. August 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and the economy | Leave a comment

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