Sunday, April 28, 2013

Consumer society

I started worrying about the ruination of our planet at an early age, long before they started calling us treehuggers. I was about 12 years old when I first heard the phrase planned obsolescence. I recall being indignant even at that young age at the calculated wastefulness of the corporate profit seekers.

I remember before that, when things were built to last using high quality materials and engineered so they were easily repairable when parts inevitably wore out. More importantly, the cost of parts and repair work were low enough to make it worth it to extend the life of the product. Seemed like every country road had a sign in someone's front yard where some retired handyman would fix your TV or replace the brushes in kitchen mixer and it work again for a many more years. That's rarely true anymore. Hell, at this point, people will replace perfectly functional items just for the status of owning the new shinier model. Apple has made a fortune on the mania to acquire the latest cool stuff.

Mindless consumerism has always bugged me, so I was happy to see this new trend emerging. They call it hackerspace but it's not about sabotaging your computer, it's crowdsourcing people in real life rooms to repair useable items from electronics to toasters. Great concept. Hope it catches on. [via Avedon]

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