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The Scarcity Paradox: From Luxury to Empty Plates

Scarcity is not a one-size-fits-all experience.

For those struggling to make ends meet, the focus is on creating abundance. In the current economic climate, with inflation and limited public services, the number of households experiencing food insecurity has soared. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children, and food banks are struggling to keep up with the growing demand.

On the flipside, scarcity is often employed as a strategic tool to elevate perceived value and desirability. Limited editions, exclusive releases, and waitlists create an aura of rarity and prestige around products, driving up demand and prices. We have seen this most frequently in the world of luxury goods but it’s been happening in the food business for years.

For those who are tired of the chocolate overkill cakes, the drip cakes, the themed cakes, the piñata cakes and every other kind of decadent party offering – the next new thing is always something to be sought after to wow the friends and guests at any occasion.

One recent edition to this exclusivity club is the California-based cookie brand Last Crumb who sell limited edition cookies in boxes of 12 for $160. The cookies themselves are individually wrapped and branded with clever puns and creative ingredients combinations such as Donkey Kong, a banana cream pie cookie with marshmallows, thick banana crème patisserie, white chocolate chips, vanilla wafer and real banana pieces, or the James Dean, with the back story about the red head who turned down an Oreo milkshake from the actor, back in the day. The cookie itself has malt balls, cocoa, Oreos, white and dark chocolate inclusions.

The in-box instructions suggest that the cookies are microwaved and eaten in a precise pattern of sitting, studying, sniffing, sharing and savouring. And savour you must, because each delicious cookies costs about £12 and the waiting time to receive a delivery can be up to 12 months. With new recipes and cookies dropping all the time, Last Crumb keeps the affluent consumer craving for more.

The Last Crumb presentation box of 12

The booklet with all the info of how to eat and flavours in detail

Not Today Mr Muffin Man

Donkey Kong - banana cream pie with extras

Everything But The Candles - instead of a cake?

Personal Freedoms in the Future

The Erosion of Personal Freedoms: Masquerading as Safety Measures

In recent years, there has been a concerning trend towards the erosion of personal freedoms across various domains. From international treaties to domestic policies, the delicate balance between individual liberty and societal regulation seems to be increasingly tilting in favour of the latter. Oh oh.

And although our daily preoccupations remain earthbound, there is a whole other ‘world’ of legislation and future potential that few of us think about, unless we happen to watch a sci-fi film or hear of a rocket launch to space.

In fact, what is going on in space? Why should we care? Does it matter?

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was a landmark agreement that sought to prevent the militarization of space and ownership of surface or subsurface of the moon or area in relation to it. This was to ensure that space and the moon was used for peaceful purposes. While the treaty's intentions were noble,  not every nation signed the agreement and there are countries and continents which still haven’t agreed to the terms. Those include Africa, Latin America, China and India. As we look towards a future where space travel and colonization become more feasible, it is crucial to ensure that the spirit of discovery and individual freedom is not overshadowed by space wars and weaponised control. It's my prediction that our next world war will be a space war, fighting for the control of all communications, satellites and global domination. Just like the movies!

On the domestic front (UK), proposed smoking bans and increasing restrictions on tobacco use have sparked debates about personal choice and government intervention. While the health risks of smoking are well-established, the question remains whether it is the role of the state to dictate personal lifestyle choices. The slippery slope argument suggests that if we allow the government to regulate smoking, it opens the door for further intrusions into other areas of our lives.

Perhaps most concerning is the rise of laws that seem to infringe upon fundamental human rights, such as free speech and bodily autonomy. The growing trend of "cancel culture" and the silencing of dissenting opinions under the guise of hate speech legislation is a worrying development. It threatens the very foundation of a free society, where open discourse and the marketplace of ideas are essential for progress and understanding.

Similarly, the ongoing debate around abortion rights highlights the tension between individual autonomy and state control over women's bodies. The overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States and the increasing restrictions on reproductive rights in many countries represent a significant erosion of personal freedom and a troubling precedent for government overreach.

As we navigate an increasingly complex world, it is essential to remain vigilant against the gradual erosion of our personal freedoms. It happens under our very noses and often we are consenting by the very fact we don't even know! While some regulations and laws are necessary for the functioning of society, we must be cautious not to sacrifice individual liberty on the altar of perceived societal benefits. The path towards a more controlled and less free society is a slippery slope that we must resist. We will lose free speech, the right to protest and ultimately, we will no longer have a voice.

It is the responsibility of every person to defend their rights and as we have already seen, this can spark hatred and public criticism. How else can we hold governments accountable? We must engage in open and honest discussions, challenge laws that infringe upon our freedoms, and work towards a future where individual liberty and societal well-being can coexist harmoniously.