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Pyramids Of Waste (the consumer society)

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 9:03 AM GMT
    A film about the consumer society and how products have lessened in quality since the 1920's... causing us to go into a cycle of having to buy new products over and over without needing them

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    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 10:00 AM GMT
    Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately to achieve cheaper prices we have sacrificed quality and local employment (significant reduction in manufacturing employment in countries such as UK, USA & Australia). Higher environmental costs as well through all the fuels, etc involved in transport from countries with cheaper labour as well
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 1:47 PM GMT
    ^not to mention sending the waste to poorer countries.. despicable really, the way the world is put together.. they say it well that future generations will look at us and scoff at our barbary...
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 4:43 PM GMT


    I thought I would skip through it but ended up watching the whole thing!

    Thanks GreenHopper!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 4:45 PM GMT
    This has been my single biggest complaint about products in general ever since I was a teen.
  • MsclDrew Posts: 4107
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 4:48 PM GMT
    FUCK that shit man...

    When can I get my Iphone 7?

    It's called product life-cycle management, it breaks down when you expect it to considering what you paid for it. icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 4:54 PM GMT
    MsclDrew saidFUCK that shit man...

    When can I get my Iphone 7?

    It's called product life-cycle management, it breaks down when you expect it to considering what you paid for it. icon_neutral.gif


    How much we pay for it and life-cycle management are all adressed in the film.. we should be paying 20 times more for it considering the resources used and the waste created that is not being paid for now yet, but will be paid for by the next generation to come.. just as we are now paying for the chemicals in our foods and environment with new cancers and hormonal epidemics like diabetes and male infertility...
  • creature Posts: 5118
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 5:02 PM GMT
    I took a Sociology class, "Scarcity in Modern Society" which dealt with this issue. My professor brought in a fan of his from the 1940s that still worked great—very powerful. He said things back in his day were built to last.

    We do need to curtail the waste, but I can only imagine what the shift in our economy will look like. So many items are purchased with a limited shelf life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 5:58 PM GMT
    I understand the role 'planned obsolescence' plays in driving the economy. I get it. However, I just wish there were more options in purchasing products. I would be willing to pay a little more for a longer lasting product compared to the junk available in stores now that is virtually guaranteed to fail in a couple of years.

    Our society seems so caught up in the 'new is good / old is bad' perception. A good example of this is seen in many of the HGTV shows where potential home buyers or remodelers react viscerally to fully functioning appliances that are cosmetically out of style. 'Oh, no. white appliances. If it's not stainless steel, it's unacceptable and I can't buy this house!'

    I'm not thrilled with the appearance of the original 1979 built-in GE microwave oven in my house, but it still works perfectly well. I can't justify throwing out a fully functioning appliance just because it looks dated. Speaking of which, it's hard to imagine a microwave oven built today lasting 33 years!
  • MsclDrew Posts: 4107
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 6:04 PM GMT
    dtx1 said

    I'm not thrilled with the appearance of the original 1979 built-in GE microwave oven in my house, but it still works perfectly well. I can't justify throwing out a fully functioning appliance just because it looks dated. Speaking of which, it's hard to imagine a microwave oven built today lasting 33 years!


    We'll float a rumor that they leak radiation and cause cancer.... We'll even get the government to subsidize your replacement icon_neutral.gif

    You can't fight the corporations
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
    MsclDrew said
    dtx1 said

    I'm not thrilled with the appearance of the original 1979 built-in GE microwave oven in my house, but it still works perfectly well. I can't justify throwing out a fully functioning appliance just because it looks dated. Speaking of which, it's hard to imagine a microwave oven built today lasting 33 years!


    We'll float a rumor that they leak radiation and cause cancer.... We'll even get the government to subsidize your replacement icon_neutral.gif

    You can't fight the corporations


    Defeatist cynicism is a luxury we can no longer afford.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 6:19 PM GMT
    Thanx for the heads up. I will check this one out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 6:20 PM GMT
    The precision manufacturing required to build an IPhone or Air laptop could not even imagined in the 1920's. Compare a rolls Royce today with one from the 1920's. The 1920's rolls looks like it was made with stone tools. Non Technical people who make comparisons dont understand what they are comparing. When you make comparisons cost also must be considered. I have 1940's appliances and love them but their cost then compared to salaries would shock you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 6:26 PM GMT
    The title automatically made me think of this video:

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 6:47 PM GMT
    Umm... I don't even have to watch this to know they don't fully understand...

    "plastic" toasters today are cheap.

    But, today, they have been refined so that they are safer from electrocution and burns, more reliable than their mechanical bretheren, offer more pushbutton features, and offer repeatable results.

    Repair shops typically charge $50 to $100 an hour in labor so they can have nice things too. Everyone makes a fix/replace judgement call. Or, at least they should be.

    But, even repair shops are faced with components that have failed but the manufacturer has end-of-life-ed that part and there are no more left to be found.

    Your previous, current, and next iPhone uses parts that have reached the manufacturing stage of development from their suppliers in sufficient quantity and reliability to meet consumer expectations. Apple doesn't want people buying their next product then turning around and selling it at a hefty markup because of shortages. So, you better believe component availability plays into this.

    Personally, i blame MBAs, and WalMart for part of this.

    But, that is never a happy debate to embark upon.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 7:04 PM GMT
    Very good video. My #1 hobby for years has been collecting and restoring vintage appliances. As an understatement I could say I have literally hundreds of them, toasters, electric mixers from the early 1900's on up, waffle irons, electric fans, blenders, you name it I've probably got it . Not all the new stuff is junk by any means but they're not really made to be repaired any more because they use integrated components and electronics that are not available. You can't just take it apart and replace one failed piece. For example I can if needed repair a 1950's Sunbeam Mixmaster with new brushes, regrease it etc and keep it working like new almost forever provided it isn't mis-used.. a new one.. basically into the trash. Even if the old one starts looking a little shabby.. it's metal, it can be repainted with an air-brush to look like it just came out of the factory today or in any color you want.. You can't repaint a plastic appliance.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 7:09 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidThe precision manufacturing required to build an IPhone or Air laptop could not even imagined in the 1920's. Compare a rolls Royce today with one from the 1920's. The 1920's rolls looks like it was made with stone tools. Non Technical people who make comparisons dont understand what they are comparing. When you make comparisons cost also must be considered. I have 1940's appliances and love them but their cost then compared to salaries would shock you.


    Why the shock?

    Those appliances and such, including the Rolls Royce, were built with the appropriate precision manufacturing for the time (iPhones and Airs were not yet invented and their precision requirements weren't yet needed. Further begs the question about "precision-manufactured" things which don't last). Things were not bought on credit. If one couldn't afford something, one didn't buy it -- a much better system. When one wanted something, one saved for it, bought quality, and it lasted: no waste of resources; no waste disposal issues.

    The false economies which first came about in large measure in the 1950s have only multiplied to create the mess today of the American economy being in ruin, thanks in large part to the overbreeding which has gone on in other parts of the world to create a ready supply of "slave" labor to works for mills-on-the-dollar (not even for pennies) to make crap which wears out quickly. MacDonald's was one of the first to promote the "disposable" society -- I remember my family being shocked at the poor quality of the hamburgers and all the trash generated for one measly burger by the first fast food throw-away business.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 7:15 PM GMT
    Fact is, today's game consoles and cellphones are designed to have features we demand in a size that enables faster processor/graphics speeds. But, they are unusually difficult to repair.

    There is an electronics chip package technology called "Ball Grid Array" or BGA that has enabled today's Xbox/PS3 and virtually all cellphones and laptops sold over the past 10 years.

    But, it makes replacing a failed chip an expensive endeavor to do it correctly so it or something else doesn't fail a few months down the road.

    There is a reason why there are anti-tamper screws on this stuff.
    Do not do this.


    At a minimum, your repair shop should be equipped similarly.


    In production, we have an X-ray machine the size of a phone booth that helps find solder bridges tucked between the chip package and the circuitboard.

    http://www.consoletronics.com/pages.php?pageid=2

    Or, just do what this guy did:


    Two things that you have to keep in mind after reading this:

    Static zaps kill electronics. If you don't know what ESD-safe is, don't open the device.

    Second: don't landfill circuitboards. We have to gold-plate circuitboard connections to get the soldering to work correctly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 7:39 PM GMT
    dtx1 saidI understand the role 'planned obsolescence' plays in driving the economy. I get it. However, I just wish there were more options in purchasing products. I would be willing to pay a little more for a longer lasting product compared to the junk available in stores now that is virtually guaranteed to fail in a couple of years.

    Our society seems so caught up in the 'new is good / old is bad' perception. A good example of this is seen in many of the HGTV shows where potential home buyers or remodelers react viscerally to fully functioning appliances that are cosmetically out of style. 'Oh, no. white appliances. If it's not stainless steel, it's unacceptable and I can't buy this house!'

    I'm not thrilled with the appearance of the original 1979 built-in GE microwave oven in my house, but it still works perfectly well. I can't justify throwing out a fully functioning appliance just because it looks dated. Speaking of which, it's hard to imagine a microwave oven built today lasting 33 years!


    This makes me crazy too, and my boyfriend has the HGTV disease. We have white tile halfway up the walls in our kitchen that was installed by my grandfather and his father in the 1940s. There is nothing wrong with it structurally and it is super easy to clean. I'd tile the whole thing if I could. He was watching HGTV and said we should rip it out and replace it because it's not in "subway pattern" which is trendy.

    Fortunately, if I do don't do it, it won't happen, but it's an example of what we're talking about. I also have a combination microwave/convection oven that is probably 30 years old. It's beat-up looking but it does the job, and -- for the limited use it gets -- I'm not replacing it until it quits. I'm sure the new one won't last a fraction of that time.

    I understand the argument about the technology evolving (the light bulb is actually a poor example because a new LED bulb will last many times longer than a new incandescent bulb and use a fraction of the power), but for something like a fan or a toaster that does the same basic task, there is no justification for the fact that they don't last more than a few years and can't be repaired for less than the cost of a new one.

    The printer, that starts the film, is the most extreme example. Just to replace the three ink cartridges is often more than you paid for the whole thing.
  • NerdLifter Posts: 1457
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 7:58 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile said
    dtx1 saidI understand the role 'planned obsolescence' plays in driving the economy. I get it. However, I just wish there were more options in purchasing products. I would be willing to pay a little more for a longer lasting product compared to the junk available in stores now that is virtually guaranteed to fail in a couple of years.

    The printer, that starts the film, is the most extreme example. Just to replace the three ink cartridges is often more than you paid for the whole thing.

    Yep. And they now melt the refill holes or redesign the ejection system so that refilling ruins the device. I refilled my 10 year old inkjet at least 10 times by refilling in the refill hole from the factory and still worked.

    The new ones, impossible to refill. They make sure any way you do it, you will ruin the ink pattern processors or ruin the pressuring system. That way, you cannot refill the ink and MUST buy new cartridges.

    The only reasonable work around is to buy a really decent laser printer; my mother uses an old IBM network laser printer from the 80s:

    R7_oaaJOfpzBuPXxNKHWoEKk5Aw1yvFZUQTl_Kik

    and it still works to this day after hundreds of thousands of print jobs for the office. Unfortunately, IBM no longer manufactures printers, and modern laser printers are not as reliable as they once were.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    Hey you're right on putting that up here. A good read about something along the same format is a book by Mike Nickerson .... Life Money and illusion
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 8:18 PM GMT
    Ah, don't get me started on printers. Half of their brains are with the computer host in the form of device drivers regardless of platform.

    Have both a scanner and a printer that go tits-up on anything more recent than XP.


  • melloyello Posts: 147
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    I think planned obsolesce is terrible. While I think some aspects of building items has improved, I do believe that most things are planned to fail at a certain point after the warranty expires to force consumers to go buy another.

    I once bought a house that had a GE "monitor top" refrigerator that was introduced in 1927. Mine was a slightly later one with the rounded top. After almost 80 years, that thing is still running on its original motor and original coolant. According to research, I found out GE manufactured those units with a calculated MINIMUM lifespan of 30 years. Compare that to another house that I installed a Sub-Zero refrigerator with a life expectancy of 10 years. And it has not lasted even that long. And contreary to popular belief, that old refrigerator was almost just as efficient as new ones. The rock wool insulation in the walls held the cool in much better, so that the compressor ran for maybe 5 minutes every 2 hours if the door wasn't opened. Refrigerators became electricity hogs in the late 60's/70's when the auto defrost feature was invented.

    I also have a soft spot for these antique fans. The Emerson 77648 fan pulls .42amps (around 48 watts) and around half that on low. The fan is silent on low and pushes enough air to effectively cool a large room. Compare that to a modern Wal-Mart box fan which uses 105 watts on high and doesn't push a quarter of the air. That Dyson crap is even worse, don't get me started. Those old fans are FAR more efficient and if you take care of them (1-2 drops of oil a year in the oil hole), my children's children will be using them.

    An engineer friend once told me that to produce a comparable product to that old Emerson fan would cost around $700 due to labor and material costs. These fans had a 25 year warranty when new, and many of them that are over 100 years old (as an old Emerson ceiling fan I have) run like they were just made.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLT99p2YyjU
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 8:53 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile said
    dtx1 saidI understand the role 'planned obsolescence' plays in driving the economy. I get it. However, I just wish there were more options in purchasing products. I would be willing to pay a little more for a longer lasting product compared to the junk available in stores now that is virtually guaranteed to fail in a couple of years.

    Our society seems so caught up in the 'new is good / old is bad' perception. A good example of this is seen in many of the HGTV shows where potential home buyers or remodelers react viscerally to fully functioning appliances that are cosmetically out of style. 'Oh, no. white appliances. If it's not stainless steel, it's unacceptable and I can't buy this house!'

    I'm not thrilled with the appearance of the original 1979 built-in GE microwave oven in my house, but it still works perfectly well. I can't justify throwing out a fully functioning appliance just because it looks dated. Speaking of which, it's hard to imagine a microwave oven built today lasting 33 years!


    This makes me crazy too, and my boyfriend has the HGTV disease. We have white tile halfway up the walls in our kitchen that was installed by my grandfather and his father in the 1940s. There is nothing wrong with it structurally and it is super easy to clean. I'd tile the whole thing if I could. He was watching HGTV and said we should rip it out and replace it because it's not in "subway pattern" which is trendy.

    Fortunately, if I do don't do it, it won't happen, but it's an example of what we're talking about. I also have a combination microwave/convection oven that is probably 30 years old. It's beat-up looking but it does the job, and -- for the limited use it gets -- I'm not replacing it until it quits. I'm sure the new one won't last a fraction of that time.

    I understand the argument about the technology evolving (the light bulb is actually a poor example because a new LED bulb will last many times longer than a new incandescent bulb and use a fraction of the power), but for something like a fan or a toaster that does the same basic task, there is no justification for the fact that they don't last more than a few years and can't be repaired for less than the cost of a new one.

    The printer, that starts the film, is the most extreme example. Just to replace the three ink cartridges is often more than you paid for the whole thing.


    I'll bet that if HGTV is still in existence and running these kinds of shows 10 years from now that potential home buyers in the future will react the same way to 'subway tile' long after its popularity has faded.

    It's hard to know who to blame for this...product manufacturers, designers, or the basic human needs to escape sameness and embrace novelty.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 04, 2012 9:10 PM GMT
    SubZero had a problem about 15 years ago where they were buying their compressors from GE. They switched to a Japanese supplier in the late 90s. The one problem I did have is the fridge evaporator coil developed a leak. They sent their tech to my house to completely replace the fridge sealed system, including the compressor. As far as I know, still no problems since '01.

    Sub Zero had the only unit on the market 15 years ago that had completely isolated fridge and freezer compartment cooling systems. Now, that is more commonly found on the floor at Best Buy.

    The best reason today for upgrading a refrigerator is energy star ratings.

    Consumers base a refrigerator opinion on being frost-free and have ice/water dispensers mounted on the door. Defrost cycles rely on electric heater elements and Icemakers are very complex and actually add up to 35% of energy consumption due to the heater elements needed to unstick the old ones and start making new ones.

    My first apartment was a duplex conversion by the owners who lived downstairs. If I wanted to defrost the freezer, all I had to do was run the stove that the owner had located right next to it.