Planned Obsolescence

It started with a ball point,

A little plastic pen.

Forget replacement cartridge.

Buy new, begin again.

 

Before too long, repairing

Became something of a myth.

Discard the old, spend afresh.

Commerce’s great self gift.

 

Advancements in technology

Had ideas about forever

But panic is a fearsome foe.

Reduce their spending? Never!

 

‘We’ll have to get a grip on this

Before the market fails.

Put a halt on progress, chaps, or

We’ll be going off the rails.’

 

‘How about some plotting then?

Some bugs to keep them keen?

Repairs cost more than buying new?

Nudge, wink. Know what I mean?’

 

‘You’re joking, man, they’re not that daft.

Unless of course we’re wary.

This could save our arses, guys.

Penury is scary.’

 

‘How about we use components

That fail in maybe five years?

That would keep them buying.’

‘Sure, we’ve found the answer. Cheers!’

 

‘Now profit margin’s down a bit.

Some work is needing done

On putting up the ante, folks.

This could be such fun!’

 

‘Keep in reserve the best of stuff

And filter through the trash,

Give them a taste of what’s to come.

Same stuff, we’ll just rehash.’

 

‘We’re owed some homage for our work,

Humility, some obeisance.

We’ll get our kicks, lads, never fear

By planning obsolescence.’

 

It never ends. Manipulation.

Market forces, it seems,

Determine days from when a pen was filled

For inscribing future dreams.

 

 

“Women are Sluts, Men are Studs” Giving the Patriarchs a Row.

Now, my lovely friend, Rene, has been running crash courses on all sorts of stuff I’m interested in. And I don’t have the time to re-study. So these wee 10-15 minute chunks are just my cuppa.

John and Hank Green – brothers – combining their many talents to educate the world. And I think that they’re great at it. Ok, it’s bite-sized but that’s kind of what is happening to education. Whole other discussion. But these chunks are entertaining and encapsulate the essence of the subject at hand.

My favourite bit in this one might be John giving the patriarchs a row as he…well, listen for yourself. The whole thing is entertaining but the section I’m referring to is from 6.55-7.57. An even smaller bite-size, if 12 minutes is too long. http://nae50.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/lit-course-the-odyssey/comment-page-1/#comment-1804

Think I’m gonna go read The Odyssey now. See, there’s merit in these courses. Just won’t get you into college.

It’s a bit like watching the Open University course programmes. You don’t have to study because you’re just watching for fun at 2a.m. or thereabouts. Nobody’s going to test you afterwards. And you get to say, to no one in particular because no one’s watching them with you, ‘That’s very interesting’. And nod sagely. Before heading to bed with your head stuffed full of stuff you may never need in your life. But hey, I like it.

At least with John and Hank they’re modern. The Open University programmes have been kicking around since the year dot. The outfits and hair do’s testify to that. I think they only update them when something major changes. Like, once they knew the world wasn’t flat, they made a new video.