OT: Archiving data/video/movies/photos/oral history

From: R. D. Davis <rdd_at_smart.net>
Date: Tue Jun 6 13:28:28 2000

On Sun, 4 Jun 2000, Tony Duell wrote:
> Yes, that is the issue. We're considering what will be available in 50
> years time (or whatever). And most consumer-grade stuff simply won't be.
> Yes, we could make stuff today that will last 50 years or more, but we
> don't :-(.

Blame the marketing idiots and those Dogbert-brained money-grubbers
above them who've convinced sheep-minded (no offense to sheep
intended) consumers that they need a constant supply of things that
are new and that the changes in products and capabilities have to be
so fast-paced. Didn't cars reach optimum levels of comfort and luxury
in the 1970's (ok, emissions were high, but think of all the pollution
that results from manufacturing new cars); it's one thing to replace a
car when it's failed structurally and repairing a badly rusted frame
isn't an option... however, if heavier frames, etc. were used in the
first place, that wouldn't be a problem. Now some builders are
designing houses to be throw-away units, designed to last abotu 30 to
50 years... and with all that "smart-house" rubbish (who wants all
that nonsense in a house?), I give some of them 10 years before people
consider them obsolete or before everything stops working. Is
super-high resolution for televisions that much of a necesity? I find
a 20 year old Zenith System III still more than adequate... same for a
1973 color RCA, which presently needs a repair - the colors in the
picture of the old RCA looked much better than those of the new TVs I
see in stores! Is there any significant advantage of a new
refridgerator to a 30 year old one? Etc...

If the world would keep the population under control and people would
stop multiplying like rabbits, and big-business would stop trying to
convert so many 3rd world countries to nations which use more energy
and more consumer products, if so many people didn't drive so far to
work every day, and if so much energy wasn't wasted in the
transportation and manufacture of new products, energy efficiency
would not be of much importance, land "development" thats destroying
the countryside and beautiful woodlands would stop, we wouldn't need
to keep building new highways, etc. Of course, large highways also
have military and police purposes as well, but that's not well
publicized by our esteemed and intelligent (sarcasm intended)

Is not the the cycle of constant growth, deemed necessary by greedy
businesses and governments seeking more revenue, nothing more than
insanity? Business expansion often requires more people who need
more houses and cars, more highways, more land, who have more babies
who will need more schools, then more jobs, then the cycle of lunacy
continues until we're all living like cockroaches in overcrowded
cities depending upon more man-made chemicals for food since there
won't be enough farmland. ...and to think that many humans consider
themselves intelligent than other creatures; strange.

The solution seems so simple: make things that will last a long time
and are repairable and teach consumers not to be influenced by
marketing and that it's usually more sensible to get things repaired
than to buy new things when they don't have a good reason to need
something new (e.g. - they actually need something with different
features (not just want to play with new featues as toys for their own
entertainment) or what they have is irrepairable, etc.).

Giving the above further thought, perhaps part of what's led to this
problem of a "throw away" society has been the proliferation of
con-artists in the repair field, from car mechanics (including the
repair departments of car dealers) to TV repairmen to home repair
contractors; far too many of them lie about things, overcharge
consumers for unnecessary repairs, perform poor-quality work,
etc... and they typically use their BBB (Better Business Bureau)
memberships to lure gullible consumers into their traps. When one
counters them on what they're doing wrong, they can have a tendency to
turn rather nasty and damage one's property. Hence, the average
consumers may prefer to just buy something new rather then be cheated
multiple times by repair goons and be inconvenienced by a sometimes
unreasonably long wait for the repair. Of course, if more people knew
how to repair thigns themselves, or at least understood the concept of
how things worked before having someone else repair them, the problem
could be eliminated.

Ok, simple solution, right? Not really, as most people who are
intelligent don't want to get involved in politics, so we get a much
higher percentage of imbecillic, and sometimes murderous, greedy
bastards, higher than the level found in society as a whole, in
elected offices, from local government officials to heads of state
(e.g. - look at what's inhabiting the
nuthouse^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HWhitehouse in Washington DC).

> manuals. Because that's about the only thing that will last for 50 years.

I'll bet that in 50 years, there will be significantly many more 70 to
100 year old pieces of electronic equipment in working, or repairable,
condition than pieces of 50 year old equipment, and that the majority
of 50 year old equipment still existing at that time will be, for the
most part, useless, irrepairable, scrap.

R. D. Davis                  
Received on Tue Jun 06 2000 - 13:28:28 BST

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