In our brave new world, progress is the process of inventing and creating products and services that can be sold at a profit to the consumer. Here, profit takes precedence over all other values, and so marketability is the primary form of aesthetic value. Thus, the product that sells the most IS the best. Therefore products are offered in a narrow and censored range that appeals to the widest possible number of people; not because they were superior but because that is where the crowd converged. Status is measured in the sheer volume of generic products a person has bought. The crowd, which always exhibits the lowest common denominator of human behavior, and which is easily manipulated is somehow thought to be wise. Individuals become authorities simply because they are famous. Popularity is a virtue and appearance is everything. Brand names dominate because they confirm the fantasy world inhabited by the consumers. Everything becomes a matter of opinion: People are guided by what they “feel”, not by what they think. And they are judged by what they say, and not by what they do, and mistakes are always somebody else’s fault. Maturity is measured by conformity. Professionalism is measured by productivity rather than independent and sound judgment.

Hmm…

Progress should be the process of inventing products and services that make life better for consumers and producers alike. Here, sustainability and viability takes precedence over all other values. After all, what does it matter if our grand children inherit an unlivable word? Production becomes an art rather than an automated science, where quality is an inherent factor and exquisite craftsmanship is offered in a wide range of works. Decadence and human expression is treasured. Conformity is dead. Status is bestowed in terms of the quality of the craft, the wisdom of judgment, and the soundness of character rather than image, brand, and quantity of consumption. Individuals are recognized based on merit and character rather than popularity and marketing. People think! There is a distinct difference between facts and beliefs. Judgments are reached by reason. Maturity is measured by wisdom, and character is not defined by what is said but by what has been done.