Tag Archives: planned obsolescense

Is Planned Obsolescence Growing Obsolete?

Most of the things we use today are planned to last a certain amount of time. To me one of the most irritating objects made with this “planned obsolescence” is the light bulb. We use them in every room of the house–our ovens, refrigerators, automobiles. I even have several in my writer’s room; not just several bulbs, but several different types.

Many of my novels take place in wild areas where electricity is not available to power a conventional light source. Due to this unfortunate situation I am forced to lean on natural luminescence of one type or another or utilized sunlight for my comings and goings.

In my day to day life, incandescent bulbs are becoming a thing of the past. Back in the days of their popularity I’ve seen them last several months or blow as soon as electricity touched the filament.

This brings about a question. Why are some light bulbs still burning after a 100 years as opposed to the bulbs of today making it a few months before going dark? I know that carbon was used for the filaments in bulbs of yesteryear, while today we have gone to tungsten.

It just rubs me the wrong way to build something that will purposely fail after a short time on the job.

We all have things that crawl under our collar and gnaw away. Just thought I would share one of mine with you. Have a great week . . . I’ll be in touch soon.   

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It Done Broked Again!

Foto einer Glühbirne (an),

Foto einer Glühbirne (an), (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you strip our capitalistic society down to bare bones, it’s all about “buy stuff, sell stuff.” Now within this simple concept, there must be a supply of goods and a supply of buyers with which to purchase these goods. Because of this, Men Who Think Great Thoughts created the notion of “planned obsolescence.”

This idea holds that products have a predetermined moment where they will become obsolete, like a light bulb that eventually needs to be replaced. This mainstay of production serves both the consumer and the manufacturer… well, until taken to the extreme.

For instance, there is a light bulb located within a fire house in Livermore, California, which has been functioning for over 110 years. While the inhabitants of the fire house appreciate this bulb, if all light bulbs were constructed in this fashion, manufacturers would be few and far between.

On the other hand, have you ever replaced a blown light bulb and had the new one flash and die just as you screwed it in? Indeed, this would line the pockets of light bulb salesmen but would probably cause an uprising amongst consumers. This, in turn, would precipitate an increase in muggings of light bulb salesmen laughing their way to the bank.

One place planned obsolescence affects me is in the wearing of blue jeans. As we all know, the longer we wear a well-built denim garment, the better it feels. Notice I did not say “the better it looks.” For once again, we all know the longer we wear that same well-built denim garment, the worse it looks. I would wear my jeans until everything but my naughty bits were exposed. And then sadly hum taps as I buried my old friend in the waste basket.

Slamming on the breaks and shifting into reverse, timeless is what an author wants his work to become. But sometimes, due to a dated storyline, an obscure writing style or anyone of a thousand other things, unplanned obsolescence can slip in and void the work.

In conclusion, when that light bulb blows in the dark of night, stay calm, knowing that a replacement is nearby. But remember, I won’t say that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the incandescent light bulb in 1879. But there was some scuttlebutt about an Englishman named Frederick de Moleyns receiving a patent for the first incandescent light bulb in 1841.

Ain’t life funny?

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