Overall Appreciation Category Explained:

Taking our inherited gifts for granted and wanting more is efficient.

Appreciation is inefficient. Therefore, it is the antidote to efficiency.

I have chosen articles for this section from writers who agree with me, such as:

”While efficiency, at least as envisioned in American society, always starts with wanting more, appreciating may start both with valuing more what is already here and with wanting less.”

Robinson, John P., and Geoffrey Godbey.  Time For Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time
U.S.A: 1997
ISBN 0271016523,

Page 316

To be happier and wiser, it is easier to increase appreciation levels more than efficiency levels. Only by appreciating more can we hope to have a sustainable society. While efficiency, at least as envisioned in American society, always starts with wanting more, appreciating may start both with valuing more what is already here and with wanting less.

Toynbee, Arnold From Eben Fodor’s  Better Not Bigger
ISBN 0865713863,

Page 104

True growth is the ability of a society to transfer increasing amounts of energy and attention from the material side of life to the nonmaterial side and thereby to advance its culture, capacity for compassion, sense of community, and strength of democracy.

Kohn, Alfie.  No contest
U.S.A  1986
ISBN 0395393876,

Page 67

The economist Fred Hirsch pointed out that each individual in a crowd is able to see better by standing on tiptoe, particularly when others are doing so. But everyone would do better if no one stood on tiptoe.

“From Cradle to Grave”  Lexis Nexis Xchange
May 1997
ISSN 01617389

Page 6

As Israel Kirzner, professor of economics at New York University, has said, “It is the individual who has goals and who deliberately deploys his perceived resources in order to achieve his goals most efficiently, so far as is possible. To transfer this important concept of individual allocative choice to society as a whole is, at best, to engage in metaphor. Society, as such, neither possesses goals of its own nor deliberately engages in allocative choice.”

The Case Against Efficiency By Nicols Fox
Sunday, February 15, 2004;

Page B01

As an idea, it seemed the model of efficiency. Stew up an assortment of unwanted animal carcasses and call the resulting material rendered animal protein. Include it in animal feed and you’ll see increased growth and, in the case of dairy cows—never mind that they are natural herbivores—increased milk production.

It might have been recycling at its best, wasting nothing, but it turned out to be efficiency at its worst. Feeding diseased animals back to animals led to Britain’s epidemic and North America’s outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. Fed the same material, some domestic and big zoo cats contracted the feline version as well.

Even with the assumption that cooking would kill any pathogens, common sense might have predicted a bad outcome from such an unsavory practice.

Neil Postman,  Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Alfred A. Knopf
New York, 1992

Pages 183-85

A resistance fighter understands that technology must never be accepted as part of the natural order of things, that every technology—from an IQ test to an automobile to a television set to a computer—is a product of a particular economic and political context and carries with it a program, an agenda, and a philosophy that may or may not be life-enhancing and that therefore require scrutiny, criticism and control. In short, a technological resistance fighter maintains an epistemological and psychic distance from any technology so that it always appears somewhat strange, never inevitable, never natural…. [Resistance fighters]

(1) pay no attention to a poll unless they know what questions were asked, and why;

(2) refuse to accept efficiency as the pre-eminent goal of human relations;

(3) have freed themselves from the belief in the magical powers of numbers, do not regard calculation as an adequate substitute for judgment, or precision as a synonym for truth;

From  “The Next Industrial Revolution”  by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
in The Atlantic Monthly
October 1998

Eco-efficiency is an outwardly admirable and certainly well-intended concept, but, unfortunately, it is not a strategy for success over the long term, because it does not reach deep enough. It works within the same system that caused the problem in the first place, slowing it down with moral proscriptions and punitive demands. It presents little more than an illusion of change.

Relying on eco-efficiency to save the environment will in fact achieve the opposite—it will let industry finish off everything quietly, persistently, and completely....

Eno, Brian.  “The Revenge of the Intuitive.”
Wired January 1999

Page 176

The trouble begins with a design philosophy that equates “more options” with “greater freedom.” Designers struggle endlessly with a problem that is almost nonexistent for users: “How do we pack the maximum number of options into the minimum space and price?” In my experience, the instruments and tools that endure (because they are loved by their users) have limited options.

Intuitive actions confine the detail work to a dedicated part of the brain, leaving the rest of one’s mind free to respond with attention and sensitivity to the changing texture of the moment. With tools, we crave intimacy.

Krishnamurti, J.  “Listening to the Silence.”
Parabola May, 1990

Page 79

If you listen both to the sound of the bell and to the silence between its strokes, the whole of that listening is attention. Similarly, when someone is speaking, attention is the giving of your mind not only to the words but also to the silence between the words. If you experiment with this you will find that your mind can pay complete attention without distraction and without resistance.

If technology becomes a tyrant, she ousts it  By Ross Atkin
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
From the May 14, 2003
edition -


Nicols Fox, a professional reviewer and essayist, writes on a computer and submits her work to editors by e-mail. She is, after all, a citizen of the 21st century. But stop by Ms. Fox's home in Bass Harbor, Maine, and you may see her clothes drying on the line - even in winter. Drop in at night and you might find her reading by candlelight or oil lamp. Television? Well, she has one with rabbit ears, but a layer of dust covers the top.

"What I find is, too much technology is very unpleasant," she says, speaking from her Rue Cottage Books shop in Southwest Harbor, Maine. "If we're having to think all the time if our mechanical screwdriver or cellphone is charged, where the batteries are for this and where the batteries are for that, it's a very stressful life. If we can just get rid of some of these things, we can get rid of stress."

Edward Luttwak, cited in Corey Robin’s “Ex-Cons: Right-Wing Thinkers Go Left!”
Lingua Franca 11,1 (February 2001),

Pages 24-33, 32

I believe that one ought to have only as much market efficiency as one needs, because everything we value in human life is within the realm of inefficiency – love, family, attachment, community, culture, old habits, comfortable old shoes.

Activity is the goods for true satisfaction By Ross Gittins February 18, 2004

Doing things, not buying stuff, has proved to be a superior pathway to pleasure in life.

A strange thing about economists is that although their ministrations exalt consumption above all things, they show remarkably little interest in it. They’re obsessed by maximising it, but utterly uninterested in studying it. They have no interest, for example, in increasing the efficiency of our consumption. It’s assumed to be satisfying and that’s it.

But I think if we’re going to live in a society so preoccupied with consumption - as we surely do - it makes sense to give attention to the efficiency of the act. And for this, we have to turn to the psychologists. They’ve become quite interested in consumption as part of their burgeoning study of happiness.

Celebrating Consumption,  Bruce Nordman
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,

90-4000, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA 
Phone: 510-486-7089; Fax: 510-486-6996
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This paper describes consumption as I have come to see it, presents some background on why, and what this may suggest for the future. The underlying assumption is that we can significantly improve well-being and reduce environmental damage by changing consumption processes in ways not necessarily apparent from production measures. Drawing attention to these benefits will require acknowledging the importance of consumption efficiency and investing resources to increase it.


The point of engaging in production is to add value by consuming some resources (land, labor, capital, etc.) to create useful materials or products. Production usually involves much trade and many institutions to conduct, organize, and facilitate it. Measurement is readily accomplished by counting both mass and dollar quantities that are traded.

The Dubious Rewards of Consumption  by Alan Thein Durning
New Renaissance magazine Vol.3, No.3

The avarice of mankind is insatiable,” wrote Aristotle 23 centuries ago, describing the way that as each desire is satisfied, a new one seems to appear in its place. That observation forms the first precept of economic theory, and is confirmed by much of human experience. A century before Christ, the Roman philosopher Lucretius wrote: “We have lost our taste for acorns. So (too) we have abandoned those couches littered with herbage and heaped with leaves. So the wearing of wild beasts’ skins has gone out or fashion....Skins yesterday, purple and gold today—such are the baubles that embitter human life with resentment.”

Nearly 2,000 years later, Leo Tolstoy echoed Lucretius: “seek among men, from beggar to millionaire, one who is contented with his lot, and you will not find one such in a thousand....Today we must buy an overcoat and galoshes, tomorrow, a watch and a chain; the next day we must install ourselves in an apartment with a sofa and a bronze lamp; then we must have carpets and velvet gowns; then a house, horses and carriages, paintings and decorations.”

No denying the costs of efficiency
Business forum
Star Tribune.com Minneapolis - St. Paul
Published April 11, 2004

Every day, Gary pedals past our house on a decked-out three-wheel bike that hauls all of his work gear behind him. My kids have become expert Gary spotters—running to the window and pointing him out as he rides by. They are especially excited in the winter, when an unrecognizable, bundled-up biker passes us.

Gary has chosen to use his bicycle as his only means of transportation. This amazes me for two reasons. First, this is someone who, at least on this particular issue, is living his values. And second, giving up something so convenient as a car is virtually unfathomable to me. But that is where my problem lies.

I am at a crossroads when it comes to efficiency. As much as I love the thought of doing something in less time with less work and better results, I am also repelled by it.

John Steinbeck,  East of Eden
New York
Putnam Penguin
ISBN 0142004235

originally published by Viking in 1952

Pages 130-1

Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then – the glory – so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.

I don’t know how it will be in the years to come. There are monstrous changes taking place in the world,forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. Some of these forces seem evil to us, perhaps not in themselves but because their tendency is to eliminate other things we hold good.

Dan Charles  “Leaping the Efficiency Gap”
from Science
14 AUGUST 2009 VOL 325

pages 804 – 811

Experience has shown that there is more to saving energy than designing better light bulbs and refrigerators. Researchers say it will need a mixture of persuasion, regulation, and taxation

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO IN BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, TWO YOUNG physicists named Steven Chu and John Holdren were present at the birth of a campaign to curb Americans’ appetite for energy. They saw their colleague Arthur Rosenfeld abandon a successful career in particle physics and set up a new research division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) devoted to energy efficiency. Then- Governor Jerry Brown and state regulatory agencies adopted Rosenfeld’s ideas with astonishing speed. California canceled planned nuclear power plants, passed pathbreaking efficiency standards for refrigerators and buildings, and ordered electric utilities to spend money persuading their customers to use less power.

Today, Chu, now the U.S. secretary of energy, cites Rosenfeld as a model for scientists and California as a example for the nation. He points out that per capita electricity consumption in California stayed flat for the past 30 years yet rose 40% in the rest of the United States….