With a starting investment of one shaving brush, a container, and a bar of soap, you can have free shaving cream for life. First, cut your bar of soap so it fits into the empty container. Then, when you want to shave, soak the shaving brush in water and whirl it around in the container until it’s soapy enough to shave with. Over time, the blocks of soap will “melt” into a solid mass inside the container. How does this last a lifetime? Simply take those little bits of soap that have become too small to use (from hand-washing, showering, etc.) and add them to the container. In our house of four, my work-day shaving doesn’t use all the “reject” soap we produce. But, wait, doesn’t it dry my skin, make it too moist, cause you to break out, etc.? Nope, none of that. So, that’s it! Free shaving cream for life.
…and Why You Haven’t Heard of It.
Part of the reason you haven’t heard about this is that it requires one to shift some habits and learn how to use an old technology called the shaving brush. Another reason is that it really isn’t all that big a benefit, right? I mean, how expensive is it to just buy shaving cream?!
But the main reason you haven’t heard of it is both simple and very profound: no one gets rich telling you how to have free shaving cream for life. It’s that simple. It is profound because it cuts to the heart of a major weakness with capitalism: if you can’t make money at it, you’re not going to spend the time, energy, and advertising to tell others about it, thus no one will hear of it (the open source movement is a very cool — and human nature affirming — exception, but it also not rewarded by normal capitalistic mechanisms). We’re all worse off because the project does not make one of us (in this case, me) significantly better off. The reason this is important is not because we miss out on free shaving cream for life (which now you don’t have to!), but because we miss out on far more important things. Here are just a few:
(1) Prevention doesn’t make anyone rich because it doesn’t create heroes and thus is not valued as it should be. I will always be grateful for the researchers and medical doctors that cured my son of leukemia, but you will never be grateful for the possibility that your neighbor’s organic farm prevented your child from contracting leukemia in the first place. What you don’t value, you don’t vote for or pay for, and it doesn’t get shared. Of course, this applies to a whole host of issues: people can get rich producing pesticides but not by preventing their manufacture.
(2) Alcohol could replace fossil fuels for transportation, cooking, and heating. It is better in almost every way compared to other fuels. However, it has one drawback: it’s easy to make locally in small batches and thus will not make any one person rich relative to oil. Thus, especially when changing to an alcohol system in an environment with powerful and wealthy oil interests, alcohol will be legislated, taxed, and demonized out of existence. For more, see this post on alcohol as a fuel.