Just saw a documentary on Netflix and there were quite a few things closely aligned with the Metaphysics of Quality. First and foremost - the underlying message I took away was 'Quality over quantity'. But I may just be projecting. Check it out and tell me what you think.

"We've been told we need those things by our society. It's been this slow little thing that has just kind of trickled in and suddenly becomes the thing you do.

It really does come down to a value based ideal. You want to do the most amount of good, and the most amount of value, with exactly what you need. Having too little is not going to give you that, and having too much is not going to give you that. Having that balance, having enough, that's what you're looking for."

Patrick Rhone in Minimalism : A Documentary About the Important Things

The Logical Correctness of Fair Trade

When money is the driver of a corporation's behaviour - creating goods in the most economical way possible makes sense.

Not all goods are created equal however and while the cheapest manufacture process for a corporation may be valuable - there are workers rights to consider as well. It's no coincidence that the cheapest places to manufacture are those which have the loosest labour laws. Looking after workers costs money.

And therein lies the problem of modern day neoliberal policies. Simply put, neoliberalism supports the use of foreign countries to manufacture goods whose low prices exist, in part, because of substandard conditions.

And conversely, this is the problem that Fair Trade companies solve. They respect all levels of the individual and don't treat them as just expendable pieces of biological meat. Fair trade rules dictate policies such as reasonable working hours, a livable wage, health insurance, along with sick and personal leave. All designed to improve biological quality, provide equal social dignity, and give time away from work for the individual to grow.

That's what makes fair trade goods better than their non fair trade counterparts. They're supported by many of the codes of the MOQ. From 'the law of the jungle' in that they improve the health of their workers, 'The Law' in that they respect the workers right to not be abused, and finally the Code Of Art by providing downtime and space for growth.

That's why being on the right side of these codes is what makes, when possible, buying fair or locally made goods moral and supported by the MOQ.

If you’re doing not much else on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you could do worse than watch Gattaca.

Gattaca is a great film for a number of reasons; but first and foremost is the sentiment of the underlying tagline that “There is no gene for the human spirit”. The Metaphysics of Quality agrees with this sentiment and the film is nothing but a wholehearted expression of the idea that there is a more powerful thing beyond the physical genes which dictate how our bodies work. However the term ‘spirit’ is perhaps not the best choice for a word to represent that which is beyond the physical. I mean, a few hundred years ago folks were burned at the stake for their evil ‘spirits’ and so there are negative connotations with it which another word does not have. Of course, that word is ‘Quality’. There is indeed no gene for the human quality and I’d struggle to create a better movie than Gattaca to represent this idea.

Other great things about the movie :

The Probable Science Fiction Future – It would be hard to find another science fiction film which represents the ‘Not too distant future’ better than this. While it has made one predictive error since it was created in 1997 (Laser eye surgery exists now – instead of either an eye transplant or contact lenses as claimed). Designer babies, prevalent solar power, electric cars and ubiquitous space travel are all becoming more probable than less as the years roll by. Furthermore, only the best Science Fiction gives cautionary moral tales about possible futures knowing that as a result of watching them we are made wiser and can hopefully avoid these unpleasant scenarios in the future.
The Heroes Journey – The film follows Joseph Campbell’s universal heroes journey narrative very closely.
The Cinematography – Beautifully crafted shots which feature a pristine palate reflecting, perhaps, the artificial world in which the ‘Godchild’ Vincent inhabits.
The Sets– Featuring the ‘Marin County Civic Center’ by Frank Lloyd Wright. Plenty of circles which are pleasant to the human eye too..
The Soundtrack – Beautifully crafted piano pieces by Michael Nymann.

Russell Brand does yoga and meditation. In the above video he talks about how both of these things help him find a connection which Drugs and Sex cannot. It’s rare to have a celebrity with such considerable self confessed experience in drugs and sex, speak with such honesty in what way they don’t work.

“I’ve really tried drugs. I’ve really tried sex. I really tried all these things and they do not work.”
Russell Brand

“[In this film] there’s nothing but the elements. Nothing but the weather, a man, a boat – that’s it.”
Robert Redford

In a new J.C. Chandor film Robert Redford ‘plays an unnamed solo sailor woken by a collision with a drifting shipping container that rips a hole in his 11-metre yacht. Taking on water, and with his navigation equipment and radio broken, he is stranded in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with a violent storm approaching.’

In Lila, Robert Redford made a cameo appearance as the person to romance the sailing narrator before he sold the rights to his previous book – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Interestingly, in the book the narrator mentioned Redford’s value of the Victorians:

“Those Victorians seemed to light Redford up too. He’d made a lot of films about that era. Something about them probably interested him as it does many other people. The Victorians represented the last really static social pattern we’ve had. And maybe someone who feels his life is too chaotic, too fluid, might look back at them enviously. Something about their rigid convictions about what was right and what was wrong might appeal to anyone brought up in laid-back Southern California of the forties and fifties. Redford seemed to be a rather Victorian person himself: restrained, well mannered, gracious. Maybe that’s why he lives here in New York. He likes the Victorian graciousness that still exists here in places.”

And in the press conference Redford also talked about the losing of values:

“As I can look back now.. I can see America in kind of a series of sections where change happened as America moved from one place to the next. As it moved from one place to the next, certain things got lost, got dropped. Our belief system began to have holes punched in it.. But I was raised at a time when a belief system was what you lived on.”