efficiency

That one who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day in which he lives, needs to reorganize his life. And the sooner the better, for pure enjoyment throughout life has more to do with one's happiness and efficiency than almost any other single element.

There are five tests of the evidence of education - correctness and precision in the use of the mother tongue; refined and gentle manners, the result of fixed habits of thought and action; sound standards of appreciation of beauty and of worth, and a character based on those standards; power and habit of reflection, efficiency or the power to do.

Even if governmental conduct of business could give us more efficiency instead of less efficiency, the fundamental objection to it would remain unaltered and unabated. It would destroy political equality. It would increase rather than decrease abuse and corruption. It would stifle initiative and invention. It would undermine the development of leadership. It would cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of our people. It would extinguish equality and opportunity. It would dry up the spirit of liberty and progress.

If the Day of Judgment came tomorrow, and God asked us what we had made of His revelation, of His grace and our freedom… we would be hard put to it to explain the advantages of a machine civilization whose highest efficiency is used for murder and slavery.

We are in the grip of a scientific materialism, caught in a vicious cycle where our security today seems to depend on regimentation and weapons which will ruin us tomorrow… the intellectual achievements of great scientists are being perverted by the material exploitation of industry and war…I have lived to experience the early results of scientific materialism… have watched pride of workmanship leave and human character decline as efficiency of production lines increased… I have seen the science I worshipped and the aircraft I loved destroying the civilization I expected them to save.

We are in the grip of a scientific materialism, caught in a vicious cycle where our security today seems to depend on regimentation and weapons which will ruin us tomorrow… the intellectual achievements of great scientists are being perverted by the material exploitation of industry and war…I have lived to experience the early results of scientific materialism… have watched pride of workmanship leave and human character decline as efficiency of production lines increased… I have seen the science I worshipped and the aircraft I loved destroying the civilization I expected them to save.

The requirement of maximal efficiency leads as a consequence to the requirement of minimal individuality.

Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.

Technique has taken over the whole of civilization. Death, procreation, birth all submit to technical efficiency and systemization.

Openness of mind means accessibility of mind to any and every consideration that will throw light upon the situation that needs to be cleared up, and that will help determine the consequences of acting this way or that. Efficiency in accomplishing ends which have been settled upon as unalterable can coexist with a narrowly opened mind. But intellectual growth means constant expansion of horizons and consequent formation of new purposes and new responses. These are impossible without an active disposition to welcome points of view hitherto alien; an active desire to entertain considerations which modify existing purposes. Retention of capacity to grow is the reward of such intellectual hospitality. The worst thing about stubbornness of mind, about prejudices, is that they arrest development; they shut off the mind from new stimuli. Open-mindedness means retention of the childlike attitude; closed-mindedness means premature intellectual old age.

Faced with the admitted difficulty of managing the creative process, we are doubling our efforts to do so. Is this because science has failed to deliver, having given us nothing more than nuclear power, penicillin, space travel, genetic engineering, transistors, and superconductors? Or is it because governments everywhere regard as a reproach activities they cannot advantageously control? They felt that way about the marketplace for goods, but trillions of wasted dollars later, they have come to recognize the efficiency of this self-regulating system. Not so, however, with the marketplace for ideas.

Does man exist for the sake of society? The ultimate worth of a person would then be determined by his usefulness to others, by the efficiency of his social work.... Such service does not claim all of one’s life and can therefore not be the ultimate answer to his quest for the meaning of life as a whole. Man has more to give than what other men are able or willing to accept. Man’s quest for a meaning of existence is essentially a quest for lasting... The way to the lasting does not lie on the other side of life; it does not begin where time breaks off. The lasting begins not beyond but within time, within the moment, within the concrete... The days of our lives are representatives of eternity rather than fugitives, and we must live as if the fate of all time would totally depend on a single moment.

A country that displays an almost ruthless commitment to efficiency and performance in every aspect of its economy, a country that switched to Japanese cars the moment they were more reliable, and to Chinese T-shirts the moment they were five cents cheaper, has loyally stuck with a health-care system that leaves its citizenry pulling out their teeth with pliers.

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.

Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.

Many people complain about government waste, but I welcome it…for two reasons. In the first place, efficiency is not a desirable thing if somebody is doing a bad thing.…Government is doing things that we don’t want it to do; so the more money it wastes, the better. In the second place, waste brings home to the public at large the fact that government is not an efficient and effective instrument for achieving its objectives. One of the great causes for hope is a growing disillusionment…with the idea that government is the all-wise, all-powerful big brother who can solve every problem that comes along.

Experts often arrive at different results, both in fundamental matters, and in application who does not know of at least one case in his family where one doctor recommends a certain operation, another argues against it, while a third suggests an entirely different procedure? Who has not read of the debates about nuclear safety, the end of the economy, the effects of pesticides, aerosol sprays, the efficiency of methods of education, the influence of race on intelligence? Two, three, five and even more views arise in such debates, and scientific supporters can be found for all of them. Occasionally one almost feels inclined to say: as many scientists, as many opinions. There are of course areas in which scientists agree- but this cannot raise our confidence. Unanimity is often the result of a political decision: dissenters are suppressed, or remain silent to preserve the reputation of science as a source of trustworthy and almost infallible knowledge. On other occasions, unanimity is the result of shared prejudices: positions are taken without detail examination of the matter under review and are infused with the same authority that proceeds from detailed research.

Because the restorative economy inverts ingrained beliefs about how business functions, it may precipitate unusual changes in the economy...the restorative economy will be one in which some businesses get smaller but hire more people, where money can be made by selling the absence of a product or sevice, as is the case where public utilities sell efficiency rather than additional power, and where profits increase when productivity is lowered. Corporations can compete to conserve and increase resources rather than deplete them. Complex and onerous regulations will be replaced by motivating standards." (This is exactly the situation where we are now at with R2000 and masonry heaters. We have the option of adopting an enlightened approach to change, favouring collaborative efforts to redesign codes and standards for everyone's benefit).

Growth is a pressing moral imperative for those whose needs are not being met, and industrialized countries have not yet found ways to maintain their standard of living, without continued economic growth. One hopeful strategy to deal with this dilemma involves massive improvements in the efficiency of economic activity so that growth in consumption of goods and services is "decoupled" from growth in the use of energy and material. In theory, this should permit an increase in consumption to be accompanied by a decrease in resource use. In fact, this "dematerialization" of economic goods and services must proceed faster than economic growth to produce the necessary reduction in humanity's total load on the ecosphere. The political attractiveness of this approach is self-evident - it enables the rich to maintain their high material standards while freeing up the ecological space needed for the poor to increase theirs.

The area of a population’s theoretical eco-footprint depends on four factors: the population size, the average material standard of living, the average productivity of land/water ecosystems, and the efficiency of resource harvesting, processing, and use. Regardless of the relative importance of these factors and how they interact, every population has an ecological footprint and the productive land and water captured by EFA represents much of the ‘natural capital’ (productive natural resource base) required to meet that study population’s consumptive demands.
It is important to recognize that population eco-footprints constitute mutually exclusive appropriations of productive capacity. The biocapacity used by one population is not available for use by another. All human populations are competing for the available productive capacity of Earth.