An item need not actually be broken to no longer be usable. Often this is by design.
Apoptosis is the biological term for programmed cell death. It serves a positive purpose. Without it, cancer results (in uncontrolled and often unending growth and development – that ultimately results in the death of the entire person rather than the replacement of individual cells).
People and products have limited lifespans. A lifespan is the “dash’ between birth and death. We live and then we die. But there is a difference between planning for the probability of eventual product and part breakage and planning for products and parts to break intentionally (so that they must be replaced).
Many car parts are now made and sold only as pre-assembled units rather than as separate pieces.
Car window brackets are made of plastic rather than metal – knowing that they will more likely break – and require replacing an entire window that otherwise has nothing wrong with it. Car headlights often do not allow replacing only the bulb – and often require buying and installing parts that are not needed.
Expiration seldom results in inspiration. Most of what we make or buy is seldom “consumed” or even used to its fullest potential. This is all too often deliberate and intended by those who sell us on the idea(s) of what we “need”.
What are YOUR thoughts regarding planned obsolescence and individual ownership versus simply sharing products that last – and could be used by others with no loss (of “rights” or access) to anyone?
© 2010, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.