Planned Obsolescence


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Scarab Sages

Now I love capitalism, but the idea of planned obsolescence kind of bums me out. When I was a kid, my dad had lawn equipment and other power tools that he would always repair. I swear we had an edger that lasted 20 years.

But nowadays, stuff is obsolete after a few years. Oh sorry, you wanted a part for that 2 year old lawnmower? Sorry, we don't make those anymore! Looks like you'll have to go ahead and buy this new model that will be obsolete before you finish making payments on it.

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Liberty's Edge

They had these things called "taking pride in your work," and "doing the job right."


I actually had a prof that argued that never happened. There'd always be someone willing to do it right. 30 years later I still say he was wrong.

Liberty's Edge

There's no monetary angle in it any more.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Agreed completely. It seems to be one of those bi-products of capitalism - if we didn't obsolete our old stuff, we wouldn't need to buy new stuff, if we didn't need to buy new stuff, there wouldn't be people hired to make the new stuff, etc, etc.

It's one of the reasons why, after years of happiness together and a degree devoted to its beauty, me and capitalism have hit a rough patch in our relationship.

Liberty's Edge

It's still better than a Cuban lawnmower.

Scarab Sages

We actually run into the problem a lot in the Navy these days, especially when it comes to various electronic controls.


Sebastian wrote:

Agreed completely. It seems to be one of those bi-products of capitalism - if we didn't obsolete our old stuff, we wouldn't need to buy new stuff, if we didn't need to buy new stuff, there wouldn't be people hired to make the new stuff, etc, etc.

It's one of the reasons why, after years of happiness together and a degree devoted to its beauty, me and capitalism have hit a rough patch in our relationship.

Is capitalism itself designed/destined to become obsolete?

Hell, even families seem to becoming disposable.

Scarab Sages

My dad still has the same table saw after 30+ years.

Scarab Sages

Emperor7 wrote:
Hell, even families seem to becoming disposable.

I can't trade my wife in for a younger model, because she already is a younger model.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Heathansson wrote:
It's still better than a Cuban lawnmower.

True.

I think capitalism will eventually destroy itself, at least at the scale and way in which we conduct it. But, hey, it's gone along for a couple centuries now, more or less, so what do I know. There were people like me b!@&!ing that we'd run out of arable land back in the 1600s and predicting dire consequences, blah, blah, blah.

Then again, there were also the people of Easter Island, who harvested all their trees and ruined their civilization. S%~! happens.


Aberzombie wrote:
My dad still has the same table saw after 30+ years.

Heh. I still use my dad's circular saw. And some of my grandfather's tools. They don't make em like they used to. They just make em fancier.

Liberty's Edge

Everything is headed towards entropy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I try to buy products to last. My parents wondered why my wife spent more on furniture than they would have. But we plan on having that same furniture for years. (Three years and counting.) I bought my 2000 S10 used in '03 and make sure to keep it well maintained. We're going to do the same with the '10 Corolla. Drive 'em 'til the wheels fall off.

Liberty's Edge

My GMC Jimmy does have 170k+ miles on it....

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Heathansson wrote:

Everything is headed towards entropy.

Plus, we occupy a microscopic sliver of time. It's all very depressing if I think about it too much.

Scarab Sages

My younger brother was given the dining room table that we grew up with. The thing is huge, and can seat at least 8 people without the 2 inserts in either end. Ask Wolfthulhu, I'm pretty sure he's gamed at that table.


Heathansson wrote:
My Jimmy does have 170k+ miles on it....

Bragging again? hehe


Sebastian wrote:
Heathansson wrote:

Everything is headed towards entropy.

Plus, we occupy a microscopic sliver of time. It's all very depressing if I think about it too much.

Can we have your liver?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Once I have the space for it, I will own this until it turns to dust. :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aberzombie wrote:
My younger brother was given the dining room table that we grew up with. The thing is huge, and can seat at least 8 people without the 2 inserts in either end. Ask Wolfthulhu, I'm pretty sure he's gamed at that table.

Yup - that's one big table. It will never be obsolete.


Heathansson wrote:

There's no monetary angle in it any more.

I think that's the main issue. Since all the crap that lasts "just long enough" for most people being so much less expensive, it seems people who sell things designed to last either get pushed out or have to charge significantly more to earn a living on their product. I mean something that is hand crafted or even produced in smaller quantities in superior quality costs significantly more then the mass produced stuff. Now some of that stuff is good and some of it is garbage. Many people want to pay less plain and simple. It seems like I see people doing this like working on houses (owned or rented), there seems to be less of a sense of long term thinking in many places and wanting durable goods that will last seems to me to fall in that category. Thats just my opinion and impressions, others may have different experiences.

On a slightly unrelated topic, I got some typesetters drawers this weekend that will soon be refinished to house my painted minis.

Scarab Sages

Tordek Rumnaheim wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
My younger brother was given the dining room table that we grew up with. The thing is huge, and can seat at least 8 people without the 2 inserts in either end. Ask Wolfthulhu, I'm pretty sure he's gamed at that table.
Yup - that's one big table. It will never be obsolete.

Exactly! It was great for our family growing up (5 boys and all), and one of the reasons we used to always host the big holidays.

Scarab Sages

I got dress shoes that'll last me 10 years easy!


Sebastian wrote:

Agreed completely. It seems to be one of those bi-products of capitalism - if we didn't obsolete our old stuff, we wouldn't need to buy new stuff, if we didn't need to buy new stuff, there wouldn't be people hired to make the new stuff, etc, etc.

It's one of the reasons why, after years of happiness together and a degree devoted to its beauty, me and capitalism have hit a rough patch in our relationship.

Yeah, but in theory arn't there new future consumers being born all the time. Even accounting for hand me down goods of quality, some of them would still have to buy new stuff. I guess it just wouldn't be fast enough to sustain things economically or something.


Aberzombie wrote:
I got dress shoes that'll last me 10 years easy!

Especially since you only wear dresses on the weekend! ;P

Scarab Sages

Emperor7 wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
I got dress shoes that'll last me 10 years easy!
Especially since you only wear dresses on the weekend! ;P

I KNEW you had a camera in my house!!!


Aberzombie wrote:
Emperor7 wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
I got dress shoes that'll last me 10 years easy!
Especially since you only wear dresses on the weekend! ;P
I KNEW you had a camera in my house!!!

Yep, and I posted your pic on my FB page. hehe

Scarab Sages

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Liberty's Edge

Apart from the quality and functionality of items, there is also the aspect of fashion to consider. I have clothes in my wardrobe that are still completely intact and wearable and fit me after 10+ years. But I won’t necessarily wear all of them because they’ve become unfashionable.

When a knew ipod or ipad or phone or car or whatever comes out, people upgrade not necessarily because their old one has broken (though it might have) or because the new one has better functionality (although it probably does) but because they want the latest thing.

Scarab Sages

Damn you Steve Jobs!

shakes fist

The Exchange

I have but one thing to add, make that two...

Dell computers, SIGH

Movie studios, Do we need another damn remake/reimagining!!!


Sebastian wrote:

Agreed completely. It seems to be one of those bi-products of capitalism - if we didn't obsolete our old stuff, we wouldn't need to buy new stuff, if we didn't need to buy new stuff, there wouldn't be people hired to make the new stuff, etc, etc.

It's one of the reasons why, after years of happiness together and a degree devoted to its beauty, me and capitalism have hit a rough patch in our relationship.

.

> The Story of Stuff <

You may find this interesting, the concept of 'Planned Obsolescence' is specifically talked about as an over-arching strategy for maintaining consumer consumption.

Edit: It also talks about 'Perceived Obsolescence'.


Crimson Jester wrote:
Dell computers, SIGH

I've seen this before many times, but I've never experienced this... or at least Dell being measurably worse than the other manufacturers. Nearly everything you find in a Dell hardware you'll find in the rest of all the other manufacturer's systems (including Macs and custom-built PCs).

Then again, I always buy/recommend stuff from Dell's small business line and not their consumer line. My goal was to avoid all the shovelware typically bundled on most consumer systems (not just Dells), but maybe their quality control is better on the non-consumer models too?

Edit: I never worked for nor own stock in Dell. I did use to work for one of their competitors though.

The Exchange

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
Dell computers, SIGH

I've seen this before many times, but I've never experienced this... or at least Dell being measurably worse than the other manufacturers. Nearly everything you find in a Dell hardware you'll find in the rest of all the other manufacturer's systems (including Macs and custom-built PCs).

Then again, I always buy/recommend stuff from Dell's small business line and not their consumer line. My goal was to avoid all the shovelware typically bundled on most consumer systems (not just Dells), but maybe their quality control is better on the non-consumer models too?

Edit: I never worked for nor own stock in Dell. I did use to work for one of their competitors though.

Oh I am sure, this is just a personal experience.


Everything's a personal experience. Otherwise, how could you personalize it?

I'm saying this impersonally, of course.

In time, this too will be obsolete.


Urizen wrote:
...In time, this too will be obsolete.

"Speak for yourself, sir. I plan to live forever." - Riker, Star Trek: Generations

Liberty's Edge

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die." --H.P. Lovecraft.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

"Kill it with fire and sneak attacks!" Anonymous.

Liberty's Edge

"I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue." Steve McCroskey, Airplane!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I'm not a big Fair Tax nerd, but one of its advantages is that it only taxes sales of new stuff, not used stuff. It therefore provides an incentive to recycle and for consumers to demand more durable products.


Sebastian wrote:
Plus, we occupy a microscopic sliver of time. It's all very depressing if I think about it too much.

Way off topic, but why is that depressing?


CourtFool wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Plus, we occupy a microscopic sliver of time. It's all very depressing if I think about it too much.
Way off topic, but why is that depressing?

The human race has built in Planned Obsolescence. Our mission is to develop and build robots (the next evolutionary step). After which our robot over-lords will find us obsolete, a waste of resources, and wipe us out.

However, they may keep a few of us around for entertainment.

Scarab Sages

Wait, the insects aren't going to wipe us out?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aberzombie wrote:
Wait, the insects aren't going to wipe us out?

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new insect overlords.


This thread is now Obsolete. Time to start a new one.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Grand Magus wrote:


This thread is now Obsolete. Time to start a new one.

But was it planned that way?


Sebastian wrote:
Heathansson wrote:

Everything is headed towards entropy.

Plus, we occupy a microscopic sliver of time. It's all very depressing if I think about it too much.

I actually find it reassuring.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Once I have the space for it, I will own this until it turns to dust. :)

+1

*drool*

ToZ, I find many of your opinions contrary to my own, but your taste in dining furniture is above reproach.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ironicdisaster wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Once I have the space for it, I will own this until it turns to dust. :)

+1

*drool*

ToZ, I find many of your opinions contrary to my own, but your taste in dining furniture is above reproach.

If I didn't disagree with you, what would we talk about? :)

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