Showing posts from February, 2012

Planned Obsolesence #1: What/Why

What do the following have in common: Lightbulb, Printer, Nylon, iPhone? As you may have guessed by the title of this blog,  they've all been designed to live an artificially short life, and be expensive to 'fix' properly, so you end up just buying more; anyone who's upgraded a smartphone knows what I'm talking about (iPhone 4 -> 4S anyone? Apple's turned it into a business model...)

It's such a ubiquitous practice that there's a name for it - Planned Obsolescence, and there's a lot of thingswritten about it so I won't go too much into the background, but after watching The Lightbulb Conspiracy documentary on the plane about it, and realising it lined up with a few earlier concepts I'd mused over, I thought it relevant to document my thoughts and see what others thought.

There's a 1951 Alec Guiness movie about it: The Man in the White Suit, where as a scientist he invents a fabric that doesn't break or get dirty, but then comes unde…