Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Could this be your life?

I've often blathered about a vision for a sort of simulator for visualizing and "trying out" future lifestyles. It may become the focus of my masters thesis if I can buckle down. A career plan builder is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't really go far enough. Could This Be Your Life? is an interesting take on the concept. It's not exactly a rich experience, but yields some interesting results.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Collective Values and Styles of Living

I'm seeing how the Lifestylism tagline doesn't really encompass my vision for the concept. It's great that we're "creating the lives we want" by making choices that reflect our real values in a more holistic way, attempting to integrate our work, leisure, learning, spiritual needs, and relationships when we project our lives into the future. The potential gaps in this approach:
  • makes the assumption that we have a clear sense of what we value in these areas
  • assumes that when our choices are aligned with our values, the result of those choices will also be good for our communities and society as a whole
  • implies that choices aligned with our values will actually yield "lives we want", when most of us tend to want way too much to begin with
  • ignores the interconnectedness of our choices with the decisions and values of the people and organizations around us
These issues are ones I attempted (poorly) to articulate when I worried about lifestylism being inherently selfish. There's something in the collective values of communities and organizations that hasn't been covered here yet, but it's of vital importance. Lifestyles seem intensely personal, but communities and organizations also have values and styles of living that may or may not reflect their values very well.

What triggered these thoughts was an excellent article from Dave Pollard, who I read often, but haven't linked to yet. This one is a great introduction to his take on personal responsibility in the way we set up our lives: What I'm Doing to Help "Save the World".