planned obsolescence

I guess the name speaks for its self.

Re: planned obsolescence

Postby jim_lewis1 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:47 am

you'll find new batteries for many old laptops, and actually, it's not that hard to replace the cells in laptop batteries, which again some outfits will do for you.
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby Andrea on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:01 pm

jim_lewis1 wrote:you'll find new batteries for many old laptops, and actually, it's not that hard to replace the cells in laptop batteries, which again some outfits will do for you.



I agree with Jim on this. It's just easier to go with the current, much harder to swim against it. I'm sure batteries can be found, but it won't be straightforward getting hold of them and it won't be cheap. The choice is yours: float along over the cliff with all the other vegetables (this is the term J and I like using for those people that just limply go with the system), or swim (obliquely) against it ;) .
esse sequitur operari
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby Teiana on Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:30 pm

mmm, i have a constant fight against the opinions of my family & partner that i should replace my car, & mobile phone.
they haven't started nagging about the lappy yet but i wouldn't be surprised if they did. The car was built in '93 so that makes it, erm, about 17,(and my first and only car) and i'm still using my second ever phone (which i didn't want to replace the earlier one really but it was bought for me) and i have had it, um, about seven years..which i think is quite a while compared to most people i know who seem to have a new one every few months.. if things would just last forever i'd be happy to use them that long...
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby Andrea on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:30 am

Teiana wrote:i have a constant fight against the opinions of my family & partner that i should replace my car, & mobile phone... if things would just last forever i'd be happy to use them that long...


Who's right: your family/partner or you?

This reminds me of an identical dilemma raised by Michael Thompson et al in their 1990 book "Cultural Theory":

Reconciling Needs and Resources

The exuberant businessman who trots out that old quip about being unable to reconcile his net income with his gross habits is, in a rather backhanded way, boasting about his worldly success; we can be pretty sure that if he manages to push his income a few notches higher he will not take that opportunity to close the gap between needs and resources. No, he will just develop some even grosser habits, thereby maintaining both his insatiability and his expansive optimism. He will be propelled ever onward and upward until that unfair day when death (nature's way of saying, slow down) finally puts a stop to it all.

From this tale we might deduce (like many an economist, sociologist, and psychologist before us) that needs are effectively infinite and that economizing is brought about only by the finiteness of resources. Our needs will always exceed our limited resources, forcing us to set priorities on the things we want and to be continually weighing how much of this we must give up for so much of that. But if we adopt this view of the nature of needs and resources, what are we to make of Po Chu-i?

'What I shall need are very few things.
A single rug to warm me through the winter;
One meal to last me the whole day.
It does not matter that my house is rather small;
One cannot sleep in more than one room!
It does not matter that I have not many horses;
One cannot ride two horses at once!'

Po Chu-i's needs are finite and they fit comfortably inside the confines of his quite modest resources. If we want to be able to explain his behaviour, we will have to revise our idea of how needs and resources are related. Both resources and needs will have to be finite, with the needs fitting inside the resources. On this view, the exuberant businessman is seriously out of control and heading for trouble.

But then comes a knock on Po Chu-i's door. It is a small deputation of public officials come to tell him that he has been living below the poverty line; he does not have enough bedclothes; he is not eating enough; his mobility is inadequate; his small house is in contravention of current housing standards. He is to be moved into an old people's home where he will be properly clothed, fed, and housed. As he makes this involuntary transition to the old people's home, his needs are expanded for him until they reach their "correct" level.

If we want to be able to explain these public officials, we will have to revise again our ideas about the relationship between needs and resources. Needs, in this example, are being imposed by the social order. From the point of view of the public officials, both the exuberant businessman and the self-sufficient Po Chu-i are, in their different ways, irrational (pathological, even) cases that will have to be brought into line if their needs and resources are to be sustainably matched.

At this stage in our story, we have something like two centuries of social science dangling on the end of our line. Depending on whether you take the businessman, Po Chu-i, or the public official as your exemplar, you will come up with three fundamentally contradictory descriptions of the relationship between needs and resources. Which one is right?
esse sequitur operari
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby Teiana on Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:24 am

i find it interesting how many people (myself included, and i want to say 'everyone' but i won't since there will always be someone who argues 'but not me!'..) create their idea of their own identity in a very great way by using their belongings (and how they interact with them) as a defining feature of their sense of 'i'. I don't think it's right or wrong, just a curiousity. Both the rich man and the poor man can't cope with the idea of having a different amount of stuff, not because of the stuff but because they have decided who they are, INCLUDING all the things they own, and to mess with the things they own, messes with their idea of who they are. A person who sees themself as 'someone who wishes for more' will always wish for more, no matter how much they get.
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby Andrea on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:55 am

Teiana wrote:i find it interesting how many people.....create their idea of their own identity in a very great way by using their belongings ...


One could argue that one's identity is not intrinsically determined, but instead emerges out of one's relationships with the outside world, including one's belongings,in some kind of reinforcing feedback loop. That's the main thrust of gestalt psychologists, who have strong links with systems thinking. What is curious is that many people in the West feel that their identity is defined by the relationship they have with inanimate objects, whereas I've noticed that many people in more traditional cultures define themselves according to the relationships they have with other people, including ancestry, and other nonphysical but animate entities. this difference, between defining one's identity against nonliving things as opposed to living/spiritual things seems to have a curious effect on people. It's fascinating to observe how sometimes people in the West treat others as if they were inanimate objects too, whereas people in traditional cultures treat inanimate objects as if they were alive......

When I asked a Kraho Amerindian why they were so obsessive in sharing their meagre hunter gathering with as many people as possible within their tribe, rather than hoarding and preserving it for their personal use, he responded "I store my food in the belly of my tribe". :D
esse sequitur operari
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby Andrea on Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:09 pm

Postscript: after the 10th visit by the engineer, and as a result of a computer board being rebuilt from scratch by an engineering firm in Sweden, the freezer now works. Apparently, they stopped making a computer board for my eight year old freezer a couple of years ago. it is only through my insistence, and the fact that I was able to convince the engineering company that they would be publicly culpable in supporting planned obsolescence, that it was fixed. Total cost to me: £220 + plus 4 months of no freezer, innumerable phone calls, and home visits from the engineer. Cost of a new AEG freezer of the same size: £290 / next day delivery.

Would I go through all this again - YES :!:
esse sequitur operari
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby emilgud on Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:10 pm

My hats of to you Andrea for your persistance!
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Re: planned obsolescence

Postby jim_lewis1 on Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:40 pm

I'm still struggling with the concept of a computer board in a freezer. Why is it necessary? Anyway, well done for taking a stand. Of course if you were really green you wouldn't use frozen food anyway ;)
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