|Re: O.T. planned obsolescence|
Message #5 Posted by David Hayden on 20 Dec 2009, 8:50 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by db (martinez, ca.)
The fact that three of the four boots failed in the same way yesterday forces me to wonder if there was something about the conditions on that particular day that caused the adhesive (or whichever component it was) to fail. I know this sounds odd since, as you point out, your boots survived 23 years of use, but the fact remains that both of your boots and one of your son's failed within hours in the same way.
So here's a thought exercise: assume the failure wasn't a coincidence, but the result of some unusual condition. What was it?
Returning to calculators, I think we assume that they will become obsolete, but not because of the materials failing. Rather, we assume that technology will march forward and a new model will be so superior to the old one that we'll retire the old one. This is the opposite of other durable goods like ovens and toasters. I expect them to wear out over time and the replacement will be very much like the old one. I'd never dream thinking "hey look at the features of the new Maytag freezer, we should get rid of this tired old one and buy a new one!".
It seems to me that automobiles are a toss-up. Some people regularly buy new models because of the features or looks or prestige. Others own them until they break down (me included - my current car has 284,000 miles on it (457,000 km, thanks to the trustee UNITS menu of my HP calculator which is within arms reach :) ).
An extreme example of "replace before it's worn out" is clothing. Most people get new clothes in the latest styles long before the old ones show any sign of physical wear. Again, I'm the opposite here, preferring to wear clothes until the tears are so obvious that they must be replaced.