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I just got back from walking in the lovely sunshine. I’ve been joking that it’s such a beautiful day because my storm cloud coworker is taking the day off to golf. I stopped in the bathroom, and as I entered the dark room I heard the familiar snapping clinking sounds the fluorescent lights make as they warm to a green glow. Energy efficiency is great, but I had to wonder how often they had to change the lights since they turn on and off so much. That thought bounced me to another. I have a obsession with planned obsolescence and deterioration. It horrifies me that companies spend money to make sure their products break after a certain amount of time so you have to buy more.

How often do you have to change light bulbs that are out of reach in the most inconvenient places? Way too often. Sometimes a couple times a year. But that is the nature of a light bulb, eventually they burn out... Or at least the ones you buy at the store now do. Did you know there is a light bulb that's been working for 105 years? It’s been on for 105 years, way beyond the amount of time people are supposed to live. And yet a nightlight for a newborn would be lucky to hear the child's first words. Of course I don’t believe that all light bulbs made in 1901 would burn for over a hundred years but I bet they lasted longer and more could last hundred years. Do you think that light in you bathroom could last 10 years?I doubt it? Light bulbs have been designed to burn out so you have to buy more and increase the companies profits for their shareholders. I sometimes wonder what life will be like 100 years into the future if we allow this practice to continue. We have adjusted to paying $3 for gas, will we adjust to having to buy a new TV, stove and shower every month? Of course the shower will download new scents to wash you with and your oven will learn new recipes but what I wonder is at what point will people start to be pissed off about built in obsolescence. These are the things that run through my mind as I enter dark bathrooms.

More on the hundred year old light bulb here.

Break Me Gently - Jack Buser - Destroy All Music Melee


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
Planned obsolescence....when you say that did you have any particular product in mind? Like iPods?? I love my iPod, but it bugs me that they don't really last more than three years. (Neither do computers for that matter. Boo. Planned obsolescence sucks.)
Jul. 13th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
I have a second gen iPod that still works perfectly
Jul. 14th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC)
I'm glad for you. The battery died on my second gen and my third gen. This is my third. :) Some of us are more lucky than others.
Jul. 14th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)
the key to having the battery last a long time is not leaving it plugged in unless you are charging it. I'm also using a second generation iPod.
Jul. 15th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
That's a good tip. Thanks!
Jul. 13th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
I wish gas was only $3 a gallon here in Germany. :-)

I loved the story of the 100 year old light bulb. I'm amazed it has worked so long. What a crazy company to make a light bulb that doesn't have an expiration date. Didn't they realize they'd need to make a profit?
Jul. 14th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
How much is Gas in Germany now? Are you still playing WoW, what servers (and side) are you on if you are? maybe I will make a character on it to play/hang with you.
Jul. 15th, 2006 09:55 am (UTC)
I've never played WoW!. :) I play FFXI. Although, I am in one of ready to quit modes right now. I just need to find something to do with my time.

Gas is around $6 a gallon. I think. I have to try and calculate it into gallons and figure out the exchange rate. But, that sounds about right.
Jul. 14th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Maybe someday we'll be able to have the means of production work for us instead of against us. I remember hearing a futurist speak many years ago and that was the thrust of what he thought was possible; that things will be built to last and as innovations arise the older versions are recycled. Things will be made as they are needed instead of needs being created for things.
Requires quite a different mindset however.
Jul. 14th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
yeah, this doesn't jive with the capitalism currently being promoted. luckily the way the theory as to how the world works is there are two opposing factions that both end up dying out and leaving the new middle ground to divide again. Thus capitalism and communism will collapse and socialism will survive only to divide itself into two new opposites. if the US doesn't adapt it will fall like Rome; or so the sociology theory goes.
Jul. 14th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
tom say's he shows you my blogs and that you enjoy them so i thought i'd say hi.
claud is trying to get me more involoved in lj.
i'm thinking of uploading all my blogs dateing from 1995 berlin onto it.
Jul. 14th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: hi
Yup, he regularly reads them to me. Because you started to use LJ, so has Tom bldkitty. I think posting your back-issues is a great idea. You’ve had some pretty amazing experiences!
Jul. 15th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
Re: hi
hopefully sometime this summer/year.
so is it blond kitty or blind kitty ?
tell tom to put me on his lj friends/link whatever you call it.
Jul. 14th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
what's weird is relating your commentatry to my line of work, where sometimes I have created a bibliographic record on a 21st century database for a book that is over 200 years old.
Jul. 14th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
< Grace Jones voice >The question is, how old is the lightbulb that you use to see the database?
< /Grace Jones voice >

somehow I can't imagine Grace using the word database!
Jul. 14th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC)
no light bulbs here :-(

just fluourescent tubes :-(
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )