Did you know that the lifetime of light bulbs once used to last
for more than 2500 hours and was reduced on purpose to just 1000 hours?
Did you know that nylon stockings once used to be that stable that you
could even use them as tow rope for cars and its quality was reduced
just to make sure that you will soon need a new one? Did you know that
you might have a tiny little chip inside your printer that was just
placed there so that your device will break after a predefined number of
printed pages thereby assuring that you buy a new one? Did you know
that Apple originally did not intend to offer any battery exchange
service for their iPods/iPhones/iPads just to enable you to continuously
contribute to the growth of this corporation?
This strategy was maybe first thought through already in the 19th century and later on for
example motivated by Bernhard London in 1932 in his paper Ending the
Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. The intentional design and
manufacturing of products with a limited lifespan to assure repeated
purchases is denoted as planned/programmed obsolescence and we are all
or at least most of us upright and thoroughly participating in this
doubtful endeavor. Or did you not recently think about buying a new
mobile phone / computer / car / clothes / because your old one
unexpectedly died or just because of this very cool new feature that you
oh so badly need?
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