Wabi Sabi and Disposability

Bic is synonymous with disposability and that alignment of ethos, plastic and product has created a variety of cheap, lower quality products that embody the trade off of quality and craftsmanship in favour of convenience and affordability.  To deploy the word "extension" in the manner that Marshall McLuhan would use it, Bic and other disposable products embodied how our rush through life resulted in less interest in the tactile experience of writing and looking after ourselves. In these instances I am being far too specific to Bic products, but beyond those ones are other disposable products that have greased our rush through life as we became less mindful of the things we did, the implements we used to complete them and perhaps the quality of the work that we did.
From https://us.bicworld.com/our-products/what-we-do
While there is an environmental aspect to this rampant disposability that could be indulged in, I'd like to focus on the mindlessness of not only that consumption, but perhaps the things we do and what results from them as well.  I should also acknowledge at this point that the cost-effectiveness of disposability has offered convenience and changed the costs of doing certain things.  I have seen plenty of scribes riding public transit filling coil-ring notebooks with whatever scrawl they can eke out of their shattered Bic ballpoints.

In many instances disposability is something that we have been accustomed and relatively indifferent to. Sure, environmental concerns have made is somewhat more conscious, but there is still some bristling at the changes, the convenience or the familiarity has that command over us.  With disposability and the processes and accommodations that come with it, we have sought to bring more certainty to our lives.  That certainty even includes a resignation to the fact that not ever Bic is going to write that well and that there is a good chance that the pen will "explode" before it actually runs out.  These are compromises that we have been willing to make not only In the fast-food realm, McDonald's has strived to ensure that the Big Mac is consistent whether you order one at their closest outlet or halfway around the world.

Whether it is disposability or the predictability and convenience that come with it, there are aspects of the modern that make us less mindful of the things we do or what we consume as we do things.  That mechanized consistency -- of Big Macs, Bic pens, Hollywood sequels, and the rest of the mass-produced and mass-imitated world that so easily prevails today -- distances us from the opportunity to be more mindful of what we do and what we could experience.

That matrix of efficiencies, which the technology strives to promise and enhance, denies us the possibility to acknowledge the realities of imperfection and ongoing change, which will assert themselves despite whatever technology tries to project in place of those changes. Within the wabi sabi aesthetic there is an acknowledgement and appreciation of "aestheticized entropy," (Koren, Further Thoughts, p. 42).  An appreciation of the changes that occur because things cannot be controlled or predicted becomes more evident as we witness surprises in sports, nature, the arts or areas where innovation and creativity make their presence felt in novel and compelling ways.

At a time when the formulae of consistency and an eye to short-shelf-life disposability are the hallmarks of industry, mass entertainment, and communications, the uniqueness of things that engage us deeply and make us mindful are at a premium.

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