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REACTION PAPER TITLE OF THE ARTICLE: A Question of Size AUTHOR OR REFERENCE: Schumacher, E.F.

, Small Is Beautiful Economics as if People Mattered, Chapter 5, Part I, Perennial Library, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York (1973).

What is the article about and its importance? Schumacher discussed about the harms and disadvantages of abusing natural resources and wants to emphasize on the question of size generally. However, I my opinion is that our "veneration of gigantism" is a big trouble because of how the scale tends to abuse natural resources and fails to recognize them as capital. So, I was wondering as to why this point had suddenly dropped from discussion.

What are the main points or arguments of the article? And his primary points runs: gigantism leads to changes in technology (transport and communication), which leads to "foot looseness" which leads to lack of structure. Is this true, in all cases? I had a problem with understanding why being "footloose" was such a problem. It may tend toward instability, but can't see why it has to. Or even why these changes in technology should even lead to foot looseness. In fact, his example with the United States population and geography is grossly exaggerated: there are three megalopolis', one between Boston and Washington; around Chicago; and between San Francisco and San Diego. This is true, but is what he says next: "and the rest of the country being left practically empty; deserted provincial towns, and the land cultivated with vast tractors, combine harvesters, and immense amounts of chemicals."

What approach or method did the author use to convey the main points? He makes his claim by attempting to focus on what is needed, namely, at least freedom and order, and the need to "discriminate, to get things sorted out." Indeed. This sorting out involves the necessity of noticing how there is not one solution to the problem. It is not smallness in every case, nor is it largeness -- gigantism. I thought: how honest of him to include the relativity factor of the situation, but I don't think it helps his argument. If we suffer from a problem of gigantism, which I agree with him that we do, perhaps it is better rhetoric not to make this explicit and only push the virtues of smallness.

Personal Evaluation: Generally, I agree with Schmacher's conclusions that we have an idolatry of giantism and that we need to reclaim the beauty of the small. However, I'm not too impressed with how he attempted to show this in this chapter. Like I said, he argument may have been more corroborated if he continued to on the discussion of the depletion of natural resources.

Submitted by: Jayson C. Loreto BS-ECE 5

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