Planned Obsolescence

Eric (@blankey) 9 years, 9 months ago

Just in case you don’t know what this is, there ya go.

In a world where everything is centered around money/profit, this is what they use to their advantage. It is not profitable to build a sustainable, long-lasting device. Money sure does keep the world moving, downward. And where does all that now broken shit go? The garbage to then clutter the world.

August 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm
Rob (75) (@facets) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@blankey, as far as aesthetic obsolescence, one could very easily say “I don’t care how my phone/car/item works, as long as it is functional.” I personally have kept the same cellphone for around 3 years so far.
Functional obsolescence however, is a huge issue. I think our government or a third party should create new policies to bring back manufactured products that last.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@facets, Where would the profit be in that?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

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Eric (1,819)M (@blankey) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep, Yes.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

Thanks for bringing this up Eric, this is definitely a concept everyone should take some time to understand.

You can’t make planned obsolescence obsolete in capitalism unless there is a widespread cultural boycot towards these products. Yet, this boycot is now impossible since there is no viable alternative to products that break.

This is why a self-sustaining community is actually very much needed, since they can start over with a clean sheat, so to speak.

What do you guys think?

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Brandon P’naantan Pinkney (321) (@hlalhabattu) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@martijn, I think it is a slippery slope honestly, as this planned obsolescence is only an aspect of the large umbrella of exploitative capitalism. I believe it has worked so well thus far because it plays with our natural tendencies to get attached to things and have those objects become integral parts of our lives, such as cell phones, which have a high turnaround rate, as most people seem to get a new/upgraded phone every 2 years or so because:

1. shiny and new=better, more satisfying experience(or so we think, because of that distinctly human need to discover new things that most of us have)

2. contracts and limited warranties shepherd us into buying what is essentially the same product again, whether or not this change in product is free means nothing, as the companies who made it will make a profit anyway.

and most importantly

3. the “man” knows that the vast majority of consumers will go right along with this out of necessity (either legitimate or otherwise)

it’s a vicious self-perpetuating circle, but I’ve seen self-sustaining communities do well, they’ve done so for centuries, so we’re not too far gone

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Chris (74) (@comicsanmc) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep,

Awesome, Awesome Quote.

It’s great that we want to change things, but Capitalism by nature is an extremely successful market formula. Not necessarily the best social formula but market for sure. We need to change cultural paradigms and find a better system. I’m voting that robots will destroy the proletariat and force the economy to adapt to the lack of a working class.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@comicsanmc, Social formula? Yeah, the masses are ignorant and numbed by media. But there has never been as much personal freedom as today in most western countries. I am more afraid of the ecological consequences. What do you think?

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

Nobody can force you to buy things, you choose it yourself. Nobody can force you into a consumer mentality, you choose it yourself.

The greedy people aren’t really the problem here, they’re simply supplying people with what they ask for. Yknow, most people feel good when they have new stuff, they think it makes them better or whatever. Most people also keep demanding cheaper and cheaper stuff, it’s been like that for hundreds of years, the result is shitty quality stuff that breaks down. Someone clever noticed these idiotic thoughts most people carry, and started supplying them with what they asked for, and getting money in return.

Nobody’s forced anyone to think those thoughts, or to buy anything. You can’t force someone to think anything, this “manipulation” stuff is like fishing, if you just pull and try to force the fish in then it will tear loose or the line or rod will snap and you get nothing. But if you let the fish lead, and just follow its moves, turn the momentum to your advantage, the fish is yours. People choose this retarded mentality themselves. That’s the problem. Nobody can force them to think those thoughts, however one can obviously encourage such thoughts by validating them. That’s the thing, whenever you give someone what they ask for, you encourage their behaviour, no matter what.

BUT THE INDIVIDUAL IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS EVERY THOUGHT. If people weren’t so fucking incredibly stupid and even more irresponsible, then this problem wouldn’t exist. The greedy capitalists are not the problem, the stupid irresponsible masses are. They make the choice, they make the demands, the greedy capitalists simple grant their wishes. That’s all there’s to it, the masses are to blame, or more correctly each individual who acts out such retarded, destructive behaviour.

Blaming is lame. Blame = B lame. Stop pointing your fingers at the “greedy capitalists” and claim your own responsibility, for CRYING OUT LOUD!!! If anyone’s to blame, it’s the masses. They’re the people who are ruining society, mankind and earth. Fortunately one doesn’t have to live with them, thank god for that, but the masses are still ruining nature for everyone.

Let me quote Maynard James Keenan
“Fret for your figure and Fret for your latte and Fret for your hairpiece and Fret for your lawsuit and Fret for your prozac and Fret for your pilot and Fret for your contract and Fret for your car.”

“Some say the end is near. Some say we’ll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will. I sure could use a vacation from this bullshit three ring circus sideshow.”

The only way things will ever change is if people claim their own fucking responsibility and stop being so fucking stupid.

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Rob (75) (@facets) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep, Ideally, it would be best to completely change the system, but I don’t think that is very practical.
@manimal, Excellent points!

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@martijn, [[You can’t make planned obsolescence obsolete in capitalism unless there is a widespread cultural boycot towards these products. Yet, this boycot is now impossible since there is no viable alternative to products that break.]]

Seriously, man, seriously. Of course you can make it obsolete in many ways, but of course it will require that a vast majority does its part. Which, of course, looks unlikely considering how dumb and inrresponsible people are these days.

Impossible? Haha, nothing is impossible mate. That’s just a pessimistic limiting belief. And what do you mean no viable options? There are plenty of those, if you look just a bit further than the local convenience store. No offense man but your statement is incredibly narrow and shortsighted.

[[This is why a self-sustaining community is actually very much needed, since they can start over with a clean sheat, so to speak.]]

A self-sustaining community? Yep, a worldwide one, that’s what it would take. Or at least something close to worldwide. One small self-sustaining community doesn’t make any difference whatsoever if the rest of the world keeps the sickness up. It’s a numbers game. Whichever path more people take, will be more prominent, and the scale is exponential.

The only current options for a worldwide self-sustaining society are quite extreme and require drastic changes. Most are vile and despicable, but not all, however most people think these better ones are vile and despicable too. Because they’re afraid of change, and they don’t want to sacrifice this bullshit they’ve grown so accustomed too. That’s why things don’t get better, because weaklings cling to the sinking ship and try to get everyone else to do the same, and even try to sabotage all the better ships. It’s dumb and sad, but very very true.

So the only way to get everyone in on it… would be to either force the change, or to kill off all the troublemakers, but that’s despicable in every way if you ask me. So the only option left then is to do WHAT YOU CAN, do YOUR PART, and try to convince others to do theirs. That’s pretty much all you can do to save the world without violating basic human rights, that and of course hoping for natural disasters to kill off the cancer we now refer to as “normal humans.”

What do you think?

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Nick (195) (@nickc2007) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

“Nobody can force you to buy things, you choose it yourself. Nobody can force you into a consumer mentality, you choose it yourself.”

Surely this is an over-simplification. We all know that the biggest advertising giants use subliminal techniques to get us to want their products, so it’s not as simple as choice. All of us on this forum came to a point where we ‘woke up’ (or whatever you wanna call it), but I can assure you that as kids every one of us was INCREDIBLY susceptible to advertising. Else there wouldn’t have been pokémon cards, etc., and the problem is that most people haven’t grown up. Something has to happen to you before you realise you’re sleep-walking through life, there has to be some trigger, else you won’t think anything of it, which is why the majority of people don’t. If you claim that you’ve always been fully conscious of all your choices…you’re lying.

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Olivia (90) (@lolivia) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@manimal, *claps*

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@comicsanmc, Please define successful for me. To my knowledge of the subject, a true economy is supposed to fulfill the human needs of the populace. Society and economy are fundementally entangled, the reason why social species even develop, are to more easily facilitate the aquisition of energy. So the ultimate measure of success in my mind is how many of the human needs are met.
I agree technology is the death of the market. That is why many technologies are classified, or not given funding, or only one aspect of the technology is marketed. With the advent of 3 dimensional printing, (and in the future) domestication of viruses, this will mean the individual will directly become the means of production, thus ending the market.
I always enjoy, and take something away from your comments, thanks for your contribution.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@facets, Instead it’s more practical to continue to consume resources at an unsustainable rate, while simultaneously destroying the ecology of the planet, just so people can continue to buy there happy meals. This retoric is trully old, and worn, it is not logical, it is anthropocentrism at its best.

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Chris (74) (@comicsanmc) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep,

More needs of the populace are filled than were created based on Traditional Economy or a Barter Economy. More so than communism (thus far).

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Alex (0) (@alexbischoff) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@martijn, You are definitely right in there being ecological consequences. Planned obsolescence is initiating and perpetuating a rapid increase in the rate at which we utilize resources. From a biological perspective, we will spread our unrecyclable junk faster, and eat up all of our resources quicker, thus reaching our world’s carrying capacity quicker, spelling our doom.
It’s a vicious cycle. Planned obsolescence makes us consume more, and therefore grow more (good for a capitalist society btw), but that in turn makes us consume even more. It’s prosperity for the here and now. But not prosperity for our children or our children’s children. Or even me. I’m only 20.
@manimal mentions a global self-sustaining community. A great idea, which I would describe as a utopia, a place where planned obsolescence wouldn’t exist, only absolutely necessary obsolescence.
We are an always evolving species though. Maybe we’ll look back at the discussion and laugh at how stupid society was. I hope planned obsolescence is just another small step in our evolutionary process towards improving the human condition.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@comicsanmc, This is primarily a result of the industrial revolution, which I’m sure you know began in west. Communism failed because it occured in huge, poor countries, with no infrastructure, stanlinism wasn’t even communism. Not to mention socialism was supposed to begin in the industrialized west, and spread to the rest of the world, it was not designed to work in a nationalist structure. So what I mean is there has never been a true test of socialism. Yes capitalism meets human needs to an extent but, artificial scarcity, planned obsolescence, and commidity fetishism, ensures that there are always those whose needs are not met, even those whose needs are met, suffer adverse affects of the inherent lifestyle of capitalism. My point is in the market, it is more efficient to take resources from the US, ship them to China, so cheap labor can manufactor the product. In terms of energy efficiency this is ludacris, if one were to utilize a resource based economy, one would manufactor the goods in an automated factory, as near to the resources as possible, then ship them directly to the areas where they are needed. If we have abundance within the market system, imagine how much abundance we would have if the resource based economy was to be implement on a global scale.

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Chris (74) (@comicsanmc) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep,

Well the Industrial Revolution and Capitalism is kinda like the chicken and the egg; which came first. If you define capitalism as a free market, its been around longer. If you define it owners employing of wage laborers then its a mixture of the two. This still doesn’t argue against the point that Capitalism has been the MOST successful strategy thus far but the question provokes thought.

While transporting materials for China to assemble may not be efficient from an energy perspective it is efficient form a cost standpoint. China has a VERY large labor force but their labor force is extremely inefficient. They counter this disadvantage by providing their labor cheap. This is a cycle that all developing nations go through. Their economy started out with a large amount of labor with very little technology for each individual worker (IE: Tractors, Sewing Machines, Computers). As their economy develops they increase efficiency by adding more technology for each individual worker. I live in Nebraska, and the amount of technology each individual farmer uses has grown massively since the early 1900’s. Meaning said farmer requires less labor for the same amount of work.

Communism is a theory that is near and dear to my heart. It basically represents the IDEAL of a utopia. However a Utopia isn’t possible (yet). Humans have so far lived under the pretext of resource scarcity. This drives the actions of all animals. Once we’ve found a solution to Energy needs (Fusion Energy) and near unlimited resources (Asteroid Mining) and eliminate the need for an underclass (Robotics) we can start getting closer to the Star Trek-esque utopian society.

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Anonymous (2,833) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

I’m going to make apost about this. Don’t throw away your electronics! Learn to fix them!

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@comicsanmc, I would agree that the market has played an important role towards globalization of the economy. I however think that this was the result of controlled markets, I think the free market occasionally has occured, but it seems to be ephemeral, in that someone always monopolizes resources eventually. Here is a quote that I think bears relevance to the market.

“I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuity. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

I absolutely agree about the cost standpoint. The premise of the fiat finacially realm being necessary in the economy, I think is like a religion, it’s a bastardization of a useful concept in human evolution, that is currency within regions backed by tangible resource. It aided development by standardizing trade, bringing larger population together economicly, and as result socially, but ultmately the fiat finacial system is much to abstract, inaccurate, and convoluted, to be of any use other than in stratifying resources. Direct abstract representation of resources I think would be more efficient long term.

I agree that right now the ideal socialist society could not be implemented. As to the reasons I disagree, we have the technology, resources, and expertise to implement it, whats lacking is social awareness of alterior possibilities, education on the current technological state, and an intelligent system that through self preservation distributes propaganda. The challenges are social, and pertain to the very fundamentals that govern are society, and through society the individual psyche.

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Chris (74) (@comicsanmc) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep,

Which are we talking about a resource based socialist society or a communist utopia?

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Eric (1,819)M (@blankey) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@facets, “I think our government or a third party should create new policies to bring back manufactured products that last.”

That is not going to happen. The government has no control over businesses, in fact, businesses have control over them.

@martijn, I agree, With the advent of the internet are freedom, especially freedom of speech, is being used to its full potential. However, if we don’t act soon, some potential acts could be thrown in that would not allow us these freedoms, i.e., SOPA.

@manimal, Okay, where exactly can we all get these apparent products that are up to the 21st century standard, last a long time, and do not support these big companies? And to your second part about the self-sustainable, global community; another way this could ACTUALLY see the light of day and go viral is if this system were to fail. The only way for things to go good, is for them first to go bad. This is both true for personal growth and global. MIT actually did a study saying that if this current system is ran the way it is today, by 2030 (I think much sooner) it will completely collapse on a global scale.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@comicsanmc, I was talking about the resource based socialist society, although I do like the idea of the Communist utopia.

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Chris (74) (@comicsanmc) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@imhotep,

You should check out Jacque Fresco. He advocates what amounts to resource based socialism. Basically the premise is that all resources on the planet belong to humanity collectively and that many major construction projects that are beyond the scale of individual governments could be accomplished under a world wide government.

In hindsight I make him sound like Lex Luthor, I’d recommend reading up on him yourself or checking out the video he made called Future by Design. I recall he also had a role in the Zeitgeist videos.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@comicsanmc, Yea he’s great, I learned a lot from him. He’s the godfather of the RBE.

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