I am writing this from my brand new and shiny laptop. It wasn't cheap, in fact I am having to do overtime at work just to pay it off.
My previous one, which I had bought 2nd hand 4 years ago, is still working relatively fine, apart from the battery and the almost obsolete OS and
software. (the laptop is un-upgradeable, as in you can't really change components apart from maybe the RAM, from that, some will already know what
brand computer it is, but I am not here to pick on particular brands)
Now I have super fast booting and a smooth interface and a crisp and crystal clear screen/graphics, so I can finally watch my latest YouTube feed in
the highest quality, and stalk my friends on facebook even faster than before.
Oh the happiness when I received it.
Now I can finally plug in my electric guitar and play and record with a variety of new apps and programs.
Straight away I thought about upgrading the RAM to the highest possible, just because, what If I need to install and use some super memory chomping
program, or just want to make it faster?
And then it hit me.
On this model you can't upgrade the RAM. you can't even access it, without taking the whole thing apart.
The whole computer is tightly packed and every component is integrated into the motherboard and un-upgradeable, sorry dont know all the lingo.
I would have been highly pissed off by the ripoff.
But this time I wasn't all that surprised.
In fact it made me realise how I had been feeling about our modern consumer technology for quite a while now.
These are buy, use and discard products. And their lifespans seem to be getting shorter and shorter, as they keep coming up with new gadgets ever
It reminds me of the lightbulb story, something about how in the early days lightbulbs were made to last (along with all other appliances), but along
the way the makers realised this was not helping sales further. So they all got together and decided to start producing crap, so that when you bought
it would break down on you suddenly, and no option but buy more of the same crap.
(I just found this story
might be the one I was thinking of)
Anyways, to stay on title topic, I am feeling ever more apathetic about brand new, hot from the oven gadgets.
And the increase in 'smart' tech, we've now got 'smart' TVs, 'smart' fridges, 'smart' watches, 'smart' ovens, 'smart' toilets, and I'm
sure there is a load of other 'smart' crap I don't know about.
They want us to be able to start heating that chicken leftovers from our office on our mobile phone, or have our dear and friendly refrigerator text
us that we need to get some milk and bacon on our way home.
Not to say these aren't noble ideals, but what is the gameplan?
Are we really improving our lives?
The slave/factory workers in Asia surely aren't.
The metal and crystal (which are used to produce these items) miners in Africa surely aren't.
Is our (by that I mean us '1st World' countries) future really so bleak, that we must rely on disposable technology to feel happy and fulfilled?
In that sense, In a way, we are not much different than the slaves used to create such technology.
That's harsh, but that's how I am starting to feel.
Just different cogs in the same brutal machine.
To finish, yes I know I have the option to go off-the-grid, stop feeding the system, even if people are getting fined/sued/imprisoned for just
collecting their rainwater, or having excess energy generated by their solar panels, or growing their own food in the garden. Which I feel is all
connected to the topic.
Right now I'm burned out, and I don't see a very bright and truly humane future ahead of us.
And no matter what really important and useful scientific and technological advances we make, 'we the people' will never truly evolve as long as our
current system is in place.