Monday, August 1, 2016

The Acceleration of Planned Obsolescence


The nbcnews.com artile linked below reiterates three things about Capitalism now, none of which should be at all surprising:

1. Hyper competition demands cost reduction above nearly anything else.
2. The increasing ability to produce anything in ever greater quantities within a given time span demands that fixability must become a thing of the past.
3. As a significant consequence of the first two factors recyclability (as expressed by designing out easily accessable modularity, and thus the ability to separate components) becomes ever more difficult.

Marketing then steps in to make sure that factors of "style" ought to outweigh any other practical consideration on the long term effects of what buying ever more things that we are supposed to just use, and then simply dispose of.

If you step back from this and consider it even for a moment or two it's hard to know which is more depressing: that electrified capitalism continues to accelerate us on this unsustainable course, or that we are so easily distracted from consequences by clever messaging to buy, buy, buy, regardless of any other reality.

I would hope you would start talking back to the siren songs "thinner," or "smaller." or whatever other attribute that might be made to seem to be the "chic" element of the moment and consider a great deal more on what exactly is going on here. Time will tell I guess.

The Fix Is Out: Product Repairs Get Tougher in New Age of Obsolescence