Word coined by Buckminster Fuller to illustrate the concept that in general, human progress has almost always worked in the direction of doing more with less. How this works in real life:

The Good Life for a person living during the Baroque Era:

  • a title, preferably to productive land not too far from the Capital city. Entree to Court circles, a must, with a private circle of witty, literate friends.
  • a career in politics, with commercial interests elsewhere.
  • a country estate, geared towards self-sufficiency, with extensive gardens laid in a parterre design, an orangerie, a pinery, a wooded area for hunting,
  • a wife, of similar or better station, faithful, fertile, and able to handle domestic details, as well as dress fashionably, dance and (perhaps) sing or play on the virginals. An heir to the family fortunes, a spare in case he dies, daughters optional.
  • a town house, with servants, with reception room, dining hall, drawing room, chambers (with attached sitting rooms) for self and spouse, nursery for children, and quarters for servants.
  • Furniture from the finest craftsmen available, walls covered with murals for summer and tapestries for winter. Oriental rugs for salon, drawing room, and chamber.
  • Objets d' art et de virtu, including an allegorical group portrait of the family, several pieces of porcelain, statuary for garden, souvenirs of Grand Tour and/or spoils of recent war, ancestral coat of arms, etc.
  • several horses, preferably matched as to height, weight, and color, a coach, tack and saddlery for riding, plus stable space and personnel for maintenance
  • For entertainment, a library of leather-bound books, the services of a music master, a dancing-master, and some musical instruments, a card table and sufficient means to engage in low-level gambling
  • at least three sets of clothing for self, ditto wife. Livery (in one's family colors) for upstairs servants.

How this works now:

  • middle-class status or better, with an education at a well-regarded state university. A circle of similar friends, a professional-level career, or better.
  • a house, condo, or apartment with access to a yard for flowers, fresh veggies, and grilling. Living space should include, but not be confined to: a living (or "great" room), a kitchen area, bedrooms for self and each child, bathrooms for self and spouse, one for children, one for guests.
    The whole to be situated in a congenial city with good schools, a witty, well-regarded morning paper, good grocery stores within easy driving radius and a lively intellectual life.
  • a domestic partner, with her own job. Children optional, preferably one of each sex.
  • a cleaning lady (optional) who comes by twice a week
  • Carpeting, preferably stain-resistant, well-designed furniture by well-regarded manufacturers, plus casual pieces from IKEA and Target.
  • Objets d'art et de virtu: son's action figure collection, wife's Beanie Baby collection, several "Collector's Edition" beercans and other sports-themed items, coffee table books on various themes
  • Electronic equipment for various forms of entertainment, library of various music on various media, a few paper- and hard-bound books, a video game machine
  • A personal computer for self, and perhaps one for children
  • a car for self and spouse, one for every child over seventeen, equipment for at least one outdoor sport
  • a satisfying job in a well-paying field, with adequate vacation time, laid-back dress code, a good retirement fund, health insurance
  • Personal investing ad lib
  • a closet with at least one suit and a variety of sportswear.
  • A health club membership, vacation in adventurous spots, some time for self

You can see that the Baroque Era's list has little to do with personal attainability and much to do with having chosen the right parents. It's also functionally attainable by relatively few people at one time in one country. The Post-modern list is functionally attainable by a much greater percentage

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