built-in obsolescence

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Without consent, the business industrial complex has once more foisted upon everyone a change in technological services. They accomplished it with eliminating vinyl records claiming more clarity, lower cost, better quality products. MP3 players replaced all alternative devices, from tapes to cds. Now vinyl is making a bit of a comeback because the technology didn’t deliver on their promises.

Microsoft constantly upgrades their operating systems claiming bug fixes, faster and more reliable software, etc. Every year, or less, something “new” is added as a touted beneficial feature. Programs and documents that once worked flawlessly on older versions now have to be upgraded to be compatible. The bottom line is money in the Microsoft pockets.

Today I discovered that my home phone line will be eliminated this Spring. There was no warning from the provider. And all my cell devices must be upgraded to work on their towers. No choices. The cost? The new cell phones for this provider are over $300 – most are in the $799 range. And I just purchased an expensive phone two years ago without warning that it would become obsolete so quickly. I don’t have the disposal income to do that as I did last year.

What about us?

As a human being, we are not considered anything but a commodity to the new business models. Advertisers make subtle suggestions to “up-sell” their buyers, The companies work hard at gaining that edge so they can earn bigger and bigger profits each quarter.

And you, if you are not watchful, will fall for their manipulations every time. A few dollars here and there add up both in their bottom line, and impacting your expenses.

Without you, companies would not gain their increased profits, and their shareholders would not get their higher stock pricing values.

You are disposable as well…

If you do not comply to their guidelines, whatever those are, you can be shut down or eliminated from their books. Banks have done this in the past, and are now doing it more frequently when “violators” are targeted by governing bodies or societal pressure. Whatever side of the issue you are on, there was an example of overreach just this year from governing powers.

Who can and cannot shop at a store and for what purposes is ever increasing throughout the world. The larger corporations with global reach are enforcing what the governments cannot do.

And all is done without your consent.

Perhaps upgrades are okay…

And perhaps not.

Technology isn’t the villain here. Many improvements in technology make our lives easier, faster, or cheaper. As a tool, they have no moral or emotional impacts on anything about us.

But in the background, there is always the bottom line. Whether the corporations themselves are the master or the servant of another master, the increasing push to target those who are starting to reject the intrusion of technology on our lives is becoming apparent. To those who are trying to simplify their lives and distance themselves from technology, it is an instrumentation used to propel all of humanity into a narrow box, removing our ability to choose what we think is best for our own lives.


We may end up without a cell phone. Or a house phone. Or internet.

Is that really so bad?

In a society that depends on a person carrying around their cell device everywhere they go, and one which demands a phone number to call you for appointments, contact, etc. it becomes essential for survival.

But what if we not longer could afford such luxuries? What if we determine that the wifi radiation isn’t good for our health and want to eliminate it from our homes? And what if we no longer want the extra expense of paying for multiple devices? It isn’t unusual for people to pay hundreds of dollars a month on cell services for each of the family members, PLUS internet services on top of that!

For those with no disposable income, that isn’t feasible. And for those who have health issues triggered by wifi energy, they are left with no options. Landlines and cable lines are hard to find today – anywhere. Radio waves are the only means of communication now. Many have been proven to be at dangerous levels to organisms.


“Ionizing radiation” are considered dangerous. The waves of energy, or frequencies, are in a range that change the DNA and cellular structure of a living organism. Such types of things which contain ionizing radiation would include any radioactive materials.

Cell phones, radio technology, amateur radios all have one thing in common. They use something called “non-ionizing radiation”. These energies land in the camp of visible light, infared radiation, and microwaves. They are classified as “harmless” to a living organism.

Radiation has always surrounded us in nature. The sun sends us energetic particles and blasts of electrons that affect our atmosphere, and can send that energy all the way to the to core of the earth.

Technology has learned to harness that natural radiation and used it to generate long distance or powerful energy waves. They are capable of sending signals across the globe or through the atmosphere to outer space. It is called, “electromagnetic radiation.”

Nikola Tesla invented a way to transmit electrical energy through the air for free. The corporate entities in charge at that time shut it down because they couldn’t make money on it. Instead, they worked on his invention and used it to create our current cell towers and devices. Then charged us for the effort.

How safe are we?

Studies have shown the increased risk of cell phone use with decreased health. To date, these studies are ignored or rejected as being insufficient evidence of harm. But the World Health Organization has suggested more research on this needs to be done. Even though thousands of qualified experts in the field agree with those assessments, government agencies continue to push forward the approval of harmful instruments.

What’s the issue here?

So why do they insist on pushing harmful devices and medications in the hands of the public? And how do they get away with it?

It comes down to one word: money.

Say WHAT??

Government agencies are often given incentives to approve things that are know to be harmful to our health.

Asparatame, which can cause migraines in adults and neurological damage to children, was pulled by the FDA several times before finally approving the product. The results haven’t changed. But the narrative of its side effects has.

Medical treatments are often advanced and approved when lobbyists and money comes in from the very drug companies who want their products approved. High-level executives from drug manufacturers hire FDA employees who oversaw in the approvals of their products by the FDA.

Do we have a choice?

Over 25 years ago, I had to replace a fairly new hot water tank in a house I’d just purchased. The tank was about 8 years old.

Having remembered my mom replacing hers for the first time after 20 years of use, I asked the technician why this newer one had already gone out?

His answer was simple. “Built-in obsolescence.”

I’d never heard the term before. But it made sense.

Built-In Obsolescence…

Everything we buy today has a shelf life. Companies, realizing they could no longer sell their products, produced products that forced the consumers to buy again.

And advertising, which became more prevalent in the 1950’s, helped streamline the urge of consumers to buy the latest and greatest gadget. Which, essentially perpetuated the philosophy of developing newer and better products instead of fixing the ones that already existed. Instead of allowing an emerging marketplace of repair specialists, the companies decided that newer was better.

The result is an increase in garbage created from products that have outlived their usefulness. More that this, they are unable to be recycled as well, since the majority of them are created from plastics.

Back in the day…

It wasn’t that way when I grew up. We turned in glass bottles for a refund. The companies would break down the glass and recreated glass bottles from the returned containers. Paper bags were the normal products became our garbage bags which would break down in the landfills. Wax paper was used for wrapping foods.

There were no plastic bags. No plastics weren’t even used that much back then. The product used for radios, televisions, and military use was called “Bakelite”. World War II introduced nylon and an increased in the use of the byproducts of petroleum refining in the form of plastics. They used this cheap substitute for products, like silk, that were disappearing from the marketplace.

The convenience and malleability of this new invention allowed for the ability to create new forms and

shapes out of the substance took on a sense of euphoria in the business sector. They thought this product would increase profits and produced a sense of optimism that this material would solve an abundance of manufacturing problems. Creativity overtook reason, and the horror of the sustainability of such an act is finally reaching the public forum.

Then the advent of disposable electronic devices took hold of the Western culture. It is the current culture and their lust for the latest lightweight products that has created this cycle of waste. The toll on the environment is incalculable.

Corporations are the largest polluters…

It doesn’t matter how much advertising a company does regarding their “green” policies and eliminating paper, the fact remains that they are the biggest contributors to the pollution problem. Every year or so, they buy newer computers for their employees. They produce tons of plastic waste in the form of prepackaged foods and products. Choice is no longer an option even in many of the big chain the grocery stores for single people who only want to buy a single ear of corn.

We buy water in plastic bottles. Our culture consumes inordinate amounts of sodas from plastic bottles. Our kitchen garbage bags are plastic as are our sandwich and storage bags and boxes. Even our bookshelves are made of either plastics or resins made from plastic.

Shellacs, varnishes, paints…car parts, refrigerator parts, washer and dryers parts…fencing, electrical cables and internet fiber optic cables, laptop covers…all plastic.

Yet we focused on eliminating plastic straws…

Hardly a compromise when plastic straws make up less than 0.03% of the pollution from this material. We have more pollutions from plastic bottle caps.

So what do we do?

Don’t buy something just because it’s the latest and greatest. Get your money’s worth out of the product first. Then if it breaks or no longer works with the provider, replace it. But save up for that change! It’s inevitable in the technical world we live in.

Buy used whenever possible. As long as you can connect to the internet, who cares if it’s new?

Repair what broke. Fix an old device or product. Replace it when you can no longer get the parts, or the parts can no longer be fabricated.

Cars are a good example here. In the long run, even if gas prices climb, you don’t have additional car payments, higher repair bills from all the technology built in to the vehicle, your insurance premiums will be lower, and you can put money aside for the next upgrade if needed.

Recycle whenever possible. Computers and cell phones can’t be recycled when they no longer work on any cell towers. And their plastics are nothing but landfill. But you can still use them to connect to wifi for browsing, and photography if you’re not that picky on the number of pixels it produces.

A link to a few more ideas can be found here.

What about us?

We, too, are considered disposable. When our bodies are old and considered no longer useful to a society filled with youth-conscious people, you, too, will become obsolete. Euthanasia isn’t as rare as it once was. The horrors or Auschwitz and Australia is a good example of what a society can become when it deems you to be the enemy and a drain on resources.

Think about the number of older people who have tried to get a job. They are shunned while younger people are chosen. The younger ones are cheaper to hire. But the loss is the experience of the older generation who could contribute a wealth beyond monetary consideration.

The very ones who tell us to be merciful and let the older people go are themselves old.

The elderly are disposable. And many are forgotten.

As are the disabled, those who don’t agree with governing policies, and cultural norms.

We have lobbying groups advocating for life limits.

Remember that you are human…

You are important. Even as young or old as you may be, you have a place in this world. Even if society deems you to be disposable, you are not. You were created for this time. And you deserve to be recognized for who you are and what you contribute.

If you are faced with the inability to get a new job, or you are all alone, remember that thee One Who created you has never forgotten you. You are that important.

Even monks hidden in a cell are important. Their prayers contribute to the well-being of everyone on this planet.

Your body may wear out. It is a fact of living. But you are not disposable.

Always remember that.

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