DEFINITION OF PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.
HISTORY OF PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
Planned obsolescence starts in 1924 in Geneva by a group of electrical companies with the goal of saving the profitability of the global lightbulb market. They divided the market between them and
This cartel was called Phoebus
1. The first ever commercial lamp 1881, 1500 hours made by Edison
2. 1924 Most advertisement for bulbs were for 2500 hour or more
The cartel whose documents are on historical record from 3 separate manufacuturers Philips, Osram and Companie de Lamps in France
1. They made 1000 hours the standard lifespan of a light bulb
2. This meant an active effort to DEGRADE the quality of the filament in the light bulbs
3. They fined the members whose life was above 1350 hours
This does not often get documented but another great example is the DuPont nylon stockings. These were initially so strong that you could pull cars with them and they initial stockings simply failed to wear out from normal use. Then they had actively work to degrade the quality.
IDEOLOGY BEHIND PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
In the 1920s, business leaders were faced with a dilemma. Over-production of goods had exceeded demand. Production between 1860 and 1920 had increased by 12 to 14 times, while the population only increased by a factor of 3. There were several ways of solving the problem. One was to reduce working hours and raise wages so that production and consumption reach an equilibrium. This would have lead to more leisure time for workers and a higher standard of living. The problem with this solution is that it could have entailed a slight decrease in profits. Corporations are mandated by law to maximize profits on behalf of their shareholders regardless of social or environmental costs. According to business leaders, there was another problem. John Edgerton, president of the National Association of Manufacturers warned that a shorter work week would undermine the work ethic and potentially ferment radicalism. If people had time to stop and think, they might also take the time to re-think their position in life. “The emphasis should be put on work.” Edgerton stated. “More work and better work, instead of upon leisure.” It seems a harmless enough statement. But what businessmen were advocating was revolutionary. Production would no longer be about satisfying human needs. It would be an end, in and of itself.
A PHILOSOPHICAL RECAP
Technology again is not this thing that exists in a vacuum for the benefit of humanity it is used bent and directed by powerful interests and social norms that are also directed by powerful interests
In other words technology is a medium for expression like a canvas for two types of people, those who want to feed the world, meet human needs abundantly and build the foundations for our progress towards the discovery of inner and outer space.
And also those who feel the need to amass as much individual wealth as humanly possible those who feel the need to control the lives of other and those who see the world as a dog eat dog place and are out to push you out of their way. We are talking about psychopathic individuals who are typically bureaucrats, politicians, bankers, CEO’s and the military types.
Now this is why we are doing this podcast, the medium is there and its getting ever more powerful, so we need to improve the message and bring enlightened ideas and powerful technologies closer together.
So this awareness of the potential of technology, its uses and misuses will result in more people having their needs met and being empowered. I mean people being fed, sheltered comfortable, having access to other people and great information and having enough free time to do something awesome with their lives
Post time: Jun-13-2017