Monday, August 18, 2008

Some notes

Just some notes and alerts of posts to come... John Maxwell from Jamaica making a point in a commentary hung up by fsjl that the cost of transporting products from cheap labour markets is eroding their competitiveness. If I understood rightly, he was debating the virtues of building a large container facility in the port of Kingston when it's entirely possible that rather than more and more, fewer and fewer imported commodities might in future be arriving from foreign. Well worth thinking about! I think folks everywhere have become aware of the burgeoning cost of moving a product from point of origin to point of sale, hence the movement to encourage people to buy food from local farmers and other products from local artists, craftspersons, artisans. I just saw a news report of a plan to ban the sale of water in plastic bottles in certain civic spaces in Canada because of the cost of moving the bottles from point of production (a spring in France, say) to the consumer. Ecologically unjustifiable, it was felt, given the potability of water in Canadian towns and cities. It's a good thing, this being nudged into closer contact with our communities. As for upcoming posts, we'll do one soon on the action of a team of young people in Western Canada who walked out on a sports competition (in which they were doing well) as a matter of principle. They deserve to have their story told. Far from being factory products, automatons being turned out on a production line, they're true sportsmen who have grasped an important lesson, one that will serve them well in hard times to come. They know it isn't who wins (they've given up the possibility of that) or loses, but how the game is played. Indeed, it's often hard to determine who the winners and losers are, so it's as well to focus on playing a fair, well-fought game. The game in the end is named life. Perhaps, too, comments on a couple blogs... Inshallah. Geoff Philp, I notice, says Jahworld is one of his five favourites. Thanks, Geoffrey. From you, that's high praise.

18 comments:

geoffreyphilp101@gmail.com said...

I simply enjoy reading JahWorld.

clarabella said...

Thanks, Geoff. I'm glad you do. Maybe one day it'll be a little more like the resource that your blogspot is! I aspire to that. We just heard from Florida folks that Fay has fizzled. I hope she breezed by you too. Enjoy the rest of your break and be well, safe and happy.

Jdid said...

transportation costs are going to change the way we live completely if things keep going as is. not only in terms of good movement but also in terms of people movement.
city building may even have to change as the work commute becomes cost prohibitive from suburb to downtowns. i see alot more decentralization in our future

clarabella said...

Hi jdid: Agree with all you say. How do you feel about decentralization? Do you think it will lead to narrow, inward-looking, intolerant, ghetto-type communities?

FSJL said...

It's certainly on my required reading list.

FSJL said...

John sends me his column every week with instructions not to post it in public until after it has appeared in the Jamaica Observer. I'm happy to give him a wider audience, since he generally has something sensible to say, and I generally agree with him. In fact, I find myself agreeing more and more with him as I grow older.

clarabella said...

fsjl: thanks for clearing up how it is that John's column appears on Stanmore Hill. (Where's Stanmore Hill, by the way?) People like John, Mutty, et al are truly keepers of modern history and separators of wheat from chaff. We don't appreciate them enough.

Jdid said...

I'm hoping decentralization leads to more community focused living think small villages back home. hopefully it also leads to new possibilities cause if we become self contained or partially self contained alot more tasks will have to be completed closer to home and alot more services provided

can see real issues with a central government taking your tax money though.

FSJL said...

Pam: Stanmore Hill is located five miles from Malvern (about a mile from Mottie's country home). It's the farm my father bought when he brought us all to Jamaica.

clarabella said...

jdid: Have you ever read a book called SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL? I like city living, but I feel that even in a city – esp one like Toronto – it's possible to live life in small communities where people support each other and jobs are kept near to home. Problems and disputes should be more readily resolved as well. I agree that there would be tax issues though – but surely a way around them, or through them, could be found?

clarabella said...

fsjl: Thanks for the info re Stanmore Hill. I kind of guessed it was your farm in the country. Is it still in the family? And I forgot to ask: a while back, you mentioned that something was on your 'required reading list' but I never got what it was...

FSJL said...

Your blog is on my required reading list, Pam. Stanmore is no longer in the family. My younger brother sold it a few years ago, and the income goes to support our mother.

clarabella said...

fsjl: I am privileged to have you as a reader, Prof. Thanks for support, as ever. How is your Mum? Where is she? In Jamdown? In the country or in town? If she's there, she must miss you...

FSJL said...

My mother's in Spain, Pam. A long way from Jamaica, but very close to her family.

Jdid said...

havent read small is beautiful. who's it by? sounds interesting

clarabella said...

It's by E.F. Schumaker, published by Harper Perennial in 1989 and still holding its own! It's at 16,485 in amazon.com's Bestsellers in Books. Not bad for a book that's almost twenty years old!

FSJL said...

Pam: A small point of correction, Schumacher (note spelling) first published Small is Beautiful in 1973.

clarabella said...

fsjl: Much thanks for the correction. It's not a small point... I could have sworn I'd copied the spelling of the surname, but both the amazons (.ca and.com) have it correct, as Schumacher. And I do REMEMBER Schumacher as the spelling, as I also remember having read it many years before leaving UWI, which was in 1988, so it would have had to have been published before 1989. This time around, I should have trusted my memory!