obsolescence noun /ˌɒbsəˈlesəns/
“The process or fact of becoming old-fashioned and no longer useful: Depreciation refers to the loss of value of an asset due to age, wear and tear, and obsolescence. IE “Unless it changes, the industry faces the risk of technological obsolescence.”
“Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained, required, or degraded even though it may still be in good working order.”
“The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management – Application Guide defines obsolescence as the “transition from availability of products by the original manufacturer or supplier to unavailability”.
“Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has, in sum, more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original.”
“Obsolete also refers to something that is already disused or discarded, or antiquated. Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity.”
- Technical obsolescence
- Functional obsolescence
- Architectural obsolescence
- Planned obsolescence
- Inventory obsolescence
- Style obsolescence
- Obsolescence management
“Man only suffers because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”Alan Watts
I haven’t done a ‘single issue’ post for a long time. My life, my heart and my soul have been elsewhere. Then a conversation got me thinking… why else do I get involved in eclectic conversations, but for these delightful moments! When I made this new thread of connections in my head – I do appreciate it is also a pain for some people – I stopped to jot this note, I had started a tangent and totally interrupted their flow of thoughts
That’s what this blog has always been about – unraveling my confusion of ideas, and hoping that someone out there gets it, or sees something they hadn’t, and maybe even point out something important I’ve missed. Singular perspectives are so limiting, and dangerous. And no doubt I’ll miss the odd ‘absolute’ or ‘preach’ sentence.
Yes I am definitely someone who “creates thinkively” and misspeaks so easily as my brain is often several sentences or ideas ahead of where my mouth is.
Obsolescence started bouncing around my skull the last 24hrs, sweeping up other ideas and musings that have been circulating at the same time. Why? Well there are three aspects to a modern socioeconomic system that repeatedly I seem to need to address – at least until next time my head gets in a knot!
I can broadly put the nature & customs around the following three headings as areas of fundamental problems, and practical solutions
Obsolescence – generally accepted as inevitable – goes unquestioned by so many people. But not all of us. Nothing in society is sacred or treasured anymore. Items of Production & even some Services are becoming obsolete at the point of first use. Products are born into a society that chases the new and the novel.
In my humble opinion this does not sustain life or ecology.. only bankers and their debt pyramid scheme. I’m going to use a few examples to highlight why I don’t think I’m the only person seeing this.
I know from memory than my grandparents had few new items. Many of their possessions they had used and maintained for years. One of my grandmas had been using the same upright washing machine since her 20s. And before that she’d used a wooden mangle and board – as did my other grandparents. I’m still old enough to remember regularly using the outside toilet. Wooden seat, charcoal dust, newspaper and all.
Spin 60 years ahead.. how many households have a washer, a dryer, flushing toilets, plastic clothes racks, plastic washing lines, that they replace every few years.
Spin 600 back… how many people had specialist items? how many people had to make do and mend with one tool with many uses? How many people had a fresh wardrobe or room every new season?
I am infamous in my own life time for driving an old battered Volvo for years, which was mostly metallic red. But it had a white wing and bonnet after an accident. And I got asked about it all the time. Like people just couldn’t grasp that I didn’t need to change the colour. It still functioned the same. And that it was so old, why didn’t I just buy a new car?
Same answer for both. I had no need. Neither the colour of the body panels. Nor the age of the vehicle made it obsolete to me. The main unnecessarily perishable items that always gets me with obsolescence are cars, mobile phones and computers. I don’t even update my clothes until they are literally threadbare. I built my house from as many recycled or up-cycled items as I could source.
I don’t chase the latest TV, and while I do chase new music and comedy – I also deep dive into the old, and the unfashionable. And here with this word is ‘the trick’ being used to distract from the fundamentally destructive economic habit of ‘permanent growth of consumption or sales’ within a finite ecological system.
I’ve been trying, and failing to create a more sustainable financial and environmental lifestyle for myself. And I still have many more steps to take. And I am not a paragon of the ideal. I have to struggle with the basic fights of life, and I know I’m still so very lucky to be in the top 1% of the planet, and was arbitrarily born into a system that gives me advantages others do not. But whatever happens to the least of my fellow humans, by proxy is also happening to me.
Anyway, before I forget my point and wander down another mental arboretum of ideas, what about ‘the trick’ I mentioned? It’s as basic as calling propaganda services, advertising services. It occludes certain perceptions or realities.
By focusing on the concepts on “innovation” or “fashion” the very nature & inherent dangers of a perpetual “obsolescence” are hard to discuss, never mind create solutions and resolve. Does that need further explanation?
I know it’s a splitting of hairs argument – but it’s a critical point of failure in the nature of our society. New music and new art will always contain this. But the nature of the consumptive culture, this confusion between what we need to survive and thrive – and what we’ve been conditioned to ‘want’ is destroying the very fabric of our man-made societies and our massively man-influenced natural environment.
Neotony, or the juvenilization of societies across the world is arising as a side effect of this planned obsolescence. Why do I suggest this? In the simplest form, the reduction of a human being to that of a “worker-consumer drone” has got a critical mass of people focused entirely on their self-image and societal worth related to those fashionable or innovative things they consume.
I’ve always had the god/consciousness/reality dilemmas rattling round my head.. & hell yes that’s helped me reduce the influence on me from the consumptive model of living. I know not watching TV (and the advert cycle) also helps. I’m trying real hard to create and add in more than I consume. At the very least, to be aware of the waste and consequences of my consumption. I suppose those long discussion with Cubans about just how they kept those 50s US Oldmobiles & UK antiques running showed amazing human ingenuity in the face of actual scarcity.
Yes here in 2021, ‘limited edition’, ‘rare and exclusive’ items create a ‘fake scarcity’ and a ‘fashion’ cycle that is in a complete disconnect from the ecology we must live in to survive long term.
If we can remove the designed obsolescence from our society, and deal with natural wear,tear & progression of ideas with merit over novelty – Perhaps as a species we could spend those surplus energies and resources on building a better future? – and not filling homes, shops, warehouses and waste sites with mountains of unused or old plastics and precious metals.
But hey… this isn’t a blog of my musings for nothing. My head feels clearer after that. And it know means I’ll have to discuss the other two prongs of my suggestions for practical solutions to global problems.
Changing the world, one action, one interaction, one idea, and one person at a time.
Or not. These are just my truths. But I’m not the only human to have thought these thoughts.
How many of us are prepared to walk the walk?
From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them, and that is eternity.Edvard Munch
Mush. Knots. Great big monkey puzzle tree mess of mental ideas. Itchy, Scratchy. Non-flowing frustrations, nightmarish dreams. A mental impasse. A loss of colours. A lack of impetus.
I’ve had an exceptionally manic few weeks due to the culmination of many real life stresses, and a 24 hour period where I took more than my limit of physical, mental and emotional stresses.
But I did something I’ve learned because of all the circuses and rodeos I’ve been through before. I immediately reached out for help. I booked an emergency appointment with my counselor, I phoned my father, and I took EVERY offer of help sent my way.
I’ve had warnings from friends who’ve known me a long time that I seemed manic, on edge, about to snap. I am willing to admit all the signs were there.. But I’m now a man with nothing to lose. And that put me into a liminal space I’ve never been in before. I have all my faculties – admittedly running at max speed – I was and am communicating with people. I was expressing my self, my ideas and my emotions.
This is all healthy for me. As is normal for me I have an abundance of energy and urges. While I’m now at the point were I am fully aware my body is fallible, and I am fully aware that the mind is not a true hard drive, I have not stopped being curious, open and loving.
What I have done is spent a decade investing all that in one person, one dream and one hope. Herwithnoname is playing merry hell with the court case, and that just adds onto my work, life, mental, physical and emotional stresses. A good reason for the nightmares to poke through. But it’s not that I’m specifically selecting these memories to piss myself off. It’s more to do with the theory of state dependent memories – and in a stressed state it is more likely that my dream state will select from the negative pools of self.
Like the yin-yang symbol though, nothing is all good or all bad. Like the spice, all must flow. But I woke up in the opposite of flow today. Knots are difficult to me, I get stuck in loops. And pulling on a loop will often make the knot worse. I learnt this fishing as a child, and it’s always felt very similar in a mental way. Go too hard to fast at just pulling random bits of the knots apart, and one pull too many can never be undone. Give it two coats of looking at.. think.. slow down. Perspective is everything, before action can be taken.
What have I forgotten here? I’ve forgotten all the little steps. The 1% every day into little projects and ideas – and not doing the 200% maximal overdrive effort into one project. Though if I ever find a good woman again, I suspect planning that wedding day might break that rule.
I have this week given myself permission to be myself. All these words, all these years of blogs to an unknown stranger who may become a friend, come from a very definite source. I am compelled to explore ideas, and I am compelled to scribble out the ‘mental overflow’ from this process. It could be a word or 5. It could be a quote, it could be an answer to a question I never asked.
Until I started using Trello to organize my ideas, plans, projects and aspirations I’d never really harnessed it. Or trained it. Or focused it. I am highly aware that time is the enemy, but the right time for me to do this is now. I have nothing to lose. Trello was practical real world actions and ideas. But there’s a much larger random wealth of dissociated ideas with no real world anchors
What processes have I put into place? I have a personal journal, a ‘comedy’ journal, a ‘poetry’ journal, a ‘politics project’ journal, a wall of unsorted ideas post it notes (which i can do on Trello, but this is more fun). And that’s why the “Office of Ideas and Imagination” is helping. I can’t take all this too seriously. I think that’s what the manic warnings from friends were about. But I’m beginning to see a different layer. It’s not mania.. it’s just hyper spirals…. like a tree sees our days as a second, our years as a day – when I’m thinking and forming new connections across disparate ideas of mind and space.. it’s so fast the only sane thing I can do is blurt it out. That is in written form, verbal form… and for the first time in my adult life, I’m not just crafting and painting toy soldiers, I have drawn and doodled out of sheer impulse.
I keep drawing trees and fractals… but that doesn’t tell me anything new. What would be new is if i could write one thing with one hand, and another with the other. I’m not a magician. But I can feel a hidden magic. And I can smell a change coming. Like that satisfying smell that rises from the earth after the rain.
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho: 1983
I’ve joked many, many times that I’ve forgotten more than some people have ever learned. February’s journey was not just an outward one into new people and new ideas… but a VERY deep dive into my past, my past thoughts, ideas, and old scribble stashes and books.
it sent me down a memory path. But unlike the PTSD I’m suffering from due to HerWithNoName, my locus of focus was entirely on me, and my motives for what I was doing in the past.
As I write this I am organizing a case to sue my current employer.. I’m going through the motions to set up a UK Protest Party, and I’m working on ways to harness my compulsive need to make notes, collect data, and find patterns. This entire post is a series of notes generated at random. Which I then string together into something I see as act of expression to a fellow traveler through time and space on our collective Earth-ship.
I’ve been working on these mind-dumps since I started a Politics & Consciousness blog in my 20s.
The politics side eventually drove me into an unhealthy mental spiral, I was probably only a few days away from the conspiratorial tin foil hat. Thankfully a trip to a new country, learning a new language, and remembering what my real motivators are saved my soul.
“You are under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.”Richard Feynman (Citation Needed: Taken from Twitter)
I’ve been heavily spinning the ideas of PRIVATE vs PUBLIC Performance… and the different between ART vs CRAFT. I’ve especially been diving into just what my mental tesseract of ideas as axioms is up to. Instead of worrying as to why I don’t see the world as others do. And I’m not just talking about the 586 Megapixel resolution of my un-cooperative mono-scopic eyes. (FYI Cameras top out at 200 Megapixls currently.)
What have I found? Well one major stumbling point is the nature of a definition… here’s a pictorial attempt to breakdown the virus like way an idea hits my mind. Any idea has all sort of traits or receptors that massively affect how it interacts with other ideas I already hold. Well the ones I remember anyway.
Another major stumbling point is how I ‘spin’ ideas in my head. I’ve managed to explain to a few people the ‘dimensional’ or multi-layered or multi-factor analysis I always seem to have used. I’ve always done this, and while it might have been enhanced by playing with Lego, or Maths – the apple never falls far from the tree. For me there’s not just the ideas I hold, but the frameworks & spaces they create in patterns.
Within or without these ‘idea spaces’ other ideas can or cannot grow. For that I’ve started using Miro.com & have a book on how to program in Python. It’s going to take a while. But I’ve set myself a “Year of Metamorphose” challenge. I’ll see where I am at the end of February 2022. We’ll all be there before we know it anyway!
So many layers, options, zone of inclusion and exclusion. Once I began to pick apart these layers of encoding and re-coding I realised that this process isn’t me. It’s something I possess. But for the first time in 44 years I realised that I am something else as well. I am the Joker, the Wide Eyed Child, & the Hero. At least under Jungian analysis these always come up. I “Play” with reality & I “Test” my role or part.
Some part of my AVATAR process is involved here. All the worlds a stage, and I’m just a minor bit-part. But I will always be the protagonist in my scenes. I’m getting to grips with locating the responsibility for my scenes within myself. I’m not delusional, not very delusional anyway, there are somethings I am not responsible for. By responsibility I am referring to how I react & resolve my interactions. Qualitatively this does not matter if these experiences are assigned a positive, neutral or negative connotation?
If all art is theft, and my self is my greatest work of art as self-expression, I just need to keep working at it. As I started to pull the ideas and frameworks out of my head – I started to actualize parts of this process into my real world. I’ve subdivided my lounge into separate spaces. There is right here. The desk PC, two screens, one for information, video & sounds.
The other for work and focus. The “Office of Craft & Fulfillment” is connected to the “Office of Ideas & Imagination”. In some ways mentally, I have a hyper-oscillating sorting system for all the information bouncing in and out of my mind. In reality I’ve tried to make the divorcement of spaces a little more supportive in focusing these outbursts. Lots of little TOTEMS which remind or focus me into CREATION
My new & improved “Office Of Ideas & Imagination”Might hire a virtual PA next month…. Everything I need in arms reach. Long Books, Short books to read. I have different books to write in. (Journal, Comedy Ideas, Art Book, Scribbles Pads.) Mint Tea, HB Pencil, Multi-Coloured Pencils, Pencil Sharpener. Yoga mat & Lego stash on second shelf with more periodicals.
Music playing for PC in corner. Many Multi-coloured cushions. A wall for post its. A mirror to sanity check And my ever present Peace Lily & Aloe Vera. All bases covered. I’ve almost got that method in my madness… I can smell it…Just need to 1920s Underwood typewriter and a mugwump. (Naked Lunch reference).. on second thoughts skip the Mugwump.I’ve also had a great email from an ex-Secretary of the Radical Party willing to share their journey through politics with me!Anyone jealous? And no I still don’t have a ‘solid’ plan.. but i have a direction!
I could spend an entire week pulling apart all the threads that got me to here and now. But that kind of mental masturbation I’ll keep to myself.
I am grateful to my counselor for the last two years, my long terms friends who’ve given me love and support. And I am grateful to a quadratic balance of ideas & personalities I achieved because of #sayyes & #justask & #gratitude. In the space between me and the forces of nature that are PAPILLON, FROSTIE, SENSEI BEACON & PHEONIX.. my spirit tree has found the light of spring and regrowth after the long nuclear winter of my last 2 years. Don’t get me wrong, the clouds haven’t gone, the environment can still be hostile. But growth is growth. And the light of a sun, is warmer than the reflection of the moon.
“Two things to remember in life. Take care of your thoughts when you are alone, and take care of your words when you are with people”Unknown
~ Self Expression ~
……….A POEM IN BULLET OF WORDS
- Most rarely See
- Weird and Surreal
- Hyper Spiral Mind
- Weird and Surreal
- Touched by Life
- Driven by Death
- Liminal space realised
- Driven by Death
- Prism reflections cast
- Abstracts of light
- Rainbows in reality
- Abstracts of light
- Dance in colours
- Shine on forever
- Dark Without Form.
- Shine on forever
- Something persists.
~ End thoughts ~
I have to harness these word-images from the spinning tesseract.
I have to stop hiding….mostly. Some private/public re-balance. I need some new AVATARS.. and they’re in progress. Given birth names, familial and social constructs put open us all can be so limiting. And our capacities are almost limitless.
Like you dear reader I worry about my ‘self’ my ‘structure’ my ‘process’
No thing is ugly.. only the wrong perceptions and thoughts
Death has its beauty, as does birth
We are here to create.
I have given myself permission to create.
It’s play-time in the school of life, and I never want the bell to ring!
Well at least not for today!
For all the Bibliophiles, the Browsers & The Readers.. Here’s my “Home Library Top 20”. I am eternally grateful to the staff as a child at my local public library that let me take out more books as they knew I’d be back in a week.In no order, and no further explanations given. Unless you DM me
- Lewis Carrol – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- Heinrich Harrer – Seven Years In Tibet
- Steven Hall – The Raw Shark Texts
- Cormac McCarthy – No Country For Old Men
- Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden
- Stephen King – The Bachman Books
- Isaac Asimov – The Complete Robot
- JRR Tolkein – The Hobbit
- JG Ballard – The Drought
- Richard K Morgan – Altered Carbon
- Richard P Feynman – Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman
- Willam Gibson – Neuromancer
- Louis Theroux – The Call of The Weird
- Robert M Pirsig – Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- Bill Hicks – Love All The People
- Frank Herbert – Dune
- Jeff Noon – Vurt
- Douglas Adams – Hitchhickers Guide To The Galaxy (Collection)
- Jon Ronson – Them: Adventures with Extremists
- Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere