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“Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained, required, or degraded even though it may still be in good working order.”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
This picture of dots is not my idea.
But I do think it’s an elegant expression of one major piece of the puzzle every living human being has to deal with.
Our time is, individually, finite.
Start at 0, the birth of a new life, and reading left to right the weeks add up. Each row going down represents another year.
All of my problems I know do not take up all those dots, but they will always be there. The knack is, literally, remembering to look at the bigger picture.
The second step has been to remember not to forget that it could all be over at any moment. But I’m still just a partially hairless monkey. So while I’m not perfect, I’m persisting, so I’ll try to make something of the current and future dots!
There’ll be no more freebies from me. For anyone.
I no longer have the time. And I currently do not have the patience.
Unless it’s my love and passion.
At least one person in my life gets that for free.
“Skeuomorph” – is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues from structures that were necessary in the original. Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar.
Since the last post I’ve been forcing myself to write down whats on my mind each morning. Some morning it’s hard. Some mornings it just doesn’t happen. Some mornings it really flows. Tonight I just watched a short you-tube video, that really is a neo-modern twist on the original Marxist arguments that used to fascinate me at 17.
Neo-modern, in the sense that to me is a tautological re-iteration of a thousand words when maybe one hundred would do. I’m not a Marxist, I am verbose, and I appreciate the argument. I’m an anarchist, and a humanist, in some very narrow senses. Look up the definitions.
I’m not 17 anymore… But I do remember the internet was slowing forming in the public consciousness when I was at college. I can still read HTML code in source form and know what it’s going to do. I also remember that Tim Berners-Lee released it for the good of all people. A selfless, not for profit, humanist action.
It has achieved so much. And unlike the beginning, like when I first mined some worthless Bitcoins years ago, the wealthy interests have determined that money can be made for ‘teh interwebz’ – and that just like Animal Farm – some sites and ideas are more equal than others. Just try the same search on any other search engine than ‘G©°gLe’ and see what happens. I think I began growing up in a world were material assets and information were critical. Knowledge & wisdom were something I though you had to work at, connect ideas and test them against the world.
This is not the case now. I’ve spent time in classrooms with groups of teenagers who think the the don’t need to know how to work out answers to questions, stood alongside people who wanted answers, and not questions. “I can just look it up on the web, sir”, “Just give us the answer…. meh”
Is the dissemination of information over the web, for free, a destruction of the value of culture? Or maybe even our very souls? The web feels like information, it looks similar to knowledge, and wisdom – to the systems that came before? I mean this in the sense that a lot of things have the appearance of documentaries, or studied and considered approaches. But they aren’t. But we’re so conditioned to accept what seems familiar…
The printing press freed people, developed minds.The development of computing changed human knowledge and thought to one of how to think, and not exclusively about just the facts. The machines can filter down what we need. But do they filter down what we want?
Ironically, as the internet increasingly becomes like shouting in an echo chamber, we are dumbing down again – reverting to a new bastard child of our species’ long long oral history – the internet meme, the click bait, the Top 10 list, the gossip column. Does that make it devolution or evolution? What is the point of the electronic dance of characters and videos?
Am I just too old to see that which is unfolding before me? Am I trapped in a space between what was, what is, and what will be? Does it even matter if I can feed, clothe, and house myself?
Despite everything I’ve said – I don’t think the issue is the internet per-se – it’s this social media phenomenon. I resisted Myspace, then Facebook for years. I use Twitter just for beer research. But I’ve still been hooked. If I didn’t feel caught, why are my happiest life experiences away from the internet? I have to admit for nearly 8 years of my life the majority of my communications with humanity are Email, IM, and text. And then the people I lived with I saw face to face, and people I’d always hung around with.
“I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.” Mahatma Ghandi
With social media it is all about interaction via dissemination. It’s addictive. Get on that band-wagon, be the first, be the best, be individual – and do what thousands of others are doing. We are not unique snowflakes, nor are we the all singing all dancing crap of the world. Social Media is not communication. It is not dialogue. It is exposure. It is information.
I have to ask – Is there some primordial hunter gatherer aspect deep within our brain which is happy to pick and hunt information? Just like the arguments I got into over the ice bucket challenge, it seems that there is a slide to the appearance of appearing to be something, someone, or somehow a certain way.
At the start of this year I had nearly 900 Facebook ‘friends’. I now have a social network of 161… and even that seems a little high. By weening myself back off it, I will slowly rebuild me in the real world. And I’ll be obliged to makes calls, and go face to face. To live in the world, and not just observe it.
I’ve removed most of the details, its just me… my thoughts, and some photos. The only thing appearing on my feed is now people. There is no other marketing. And 7 years ago when I joined that’s all I really wanted. A log, for me, and some close friends and family. I am not a marketing exercise – I don’t even like adverts on TV, the papers, or walking down the street.
Does this make me a bad person? No. It just means I’m trying to find a way outside the feeder/feedee cycle of information. I seek knowledge and wisdom. Drowning in information isn’t helping. If I am not seeking it out – then I truly am a marketers dream.
“Questions are a burden to others. Answers are a prison to oneself” (Poster in “The Prisoner” – ‘Free For All’)
I’ve just flipped over 38 revolutions around the sun. Yet I still haven’t shaken a small irony tonight as I write this. I hoped it would. So I’ll leave you with a video, I don’t agree with it in totality. But it’s far far better soul food than most of the garbage I filter through seeking nuggets of wisdom. It’s worth watching it all. But I smiled and wept inside around 1hr 23mins.
Note to self: Be skeptical. Ask questions.
You might find your own personal natural philosopher one day….but I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just showing what I did. And how I got to this sentence. We all believe in the power of our beliefs. Politics is a questions of beliefs. So do all beliefs have political consequences?
I suppose I should give myself a break. Got offered an early chance to run a class this week. And for the most part it went well. They learn, I learned, and I invoked both praise and repercussions. Two lessons later and their normal teacher & I feel like it is a different room!
Then today after an mock exam it was fascinating to watch them doodle on a sheet of spare paper and see the different things they did. A necessary reminder that they are all individuals. I just see them doing one subject.
Also had a great weekend at Uni – getting to know some fellow students and sharing information. And upsetting an OFSTED/Linguistics/Behavioural Expert – becuase I pointed out that an example she’d complied on an excellent EAL school was so visually disorganised as a native English speaker I was confused. I am a ‘Distractor’ (?) When she asked “What I got from the document/” She wasn’t expecting that as the answer. Maybe its the fact I mentioned i was watching her body-language and not her Use of Punjabi/English that didn’t help either
BONUS: Being offered written advice from a dyslexic PhD Proffessor – becuuase he could she how I made ideas, and understood how I would struggle with producing a Master/KS7 assignment that was worth my while!
- Pencil Case
Magnetic Board a4 Day Diary
- Next Assignment
Make a network of colleagues
Got down to gaming club a lot later than normal last week. Discussed gaming, modelling and got some freebies from the great ideas & modelling factory that is http://zinge.co.uk/ – as they are working on new bits
Destroy Old paints
- Organise Orcs for modelling days on End of Term
- Paint More Hordes
- Consider Proxy Army for Hordes (Chaos 40K Modelling fun!!)
Booked into Beer Festival/Amsterdam Weekend:http://www.brouwerijdemolen.nl/index.php/en/beerfestival/beerfestival.htm
- GBBF Volunteer Form
Bolton CAMRA Volunteer Form
- Prague Spring 2015
Titanic Brewery Trip 29th March Maccelsfield & RedWillow Brewery 12th April Huddersfield & Magic Rock & Hand Drawn Monkey 28th June
BONUS: Discovering a drunk note I left in in ‘Zly Casy’ Prague has made into onto their ‘Wall Of Fame’
Reunion with Uni Mates – Stratford-Upon-Avon 21-23rd Trip to Reading to to DIY/CatchUp/Gaming http://beatherder.co.uk/
Laughter. Luck & Love. Its the key!
“If a theory is complicated, its wrong.”
– Richard P. Feynman
Found the blog in November when tidying up after Halloween. Life is much better when I work to live – and not the last 10 years of live to work.
- Get Back Down The Club √ – http://www.cack-wargamesclub.net/
- Sort ‘Man Cave’ √
- Organise a Game √
- Post Some Pictures
- Build & Paint
- Volunteer at Manchester Beer & Cider Festival √ – http://www.manchesterbeerfestival.org.uk/
- Organise Beers for Wigan Beer Festival √ – in progress http://www.wigancamra.org.uk/
- Book Teacher Training Days √
- Trip to Reading for DIY
- Holiday Planning
- Beer Research √√√√√√