For decades people have been complaining about consumerism’s grip on our psyches, but today things have gone completely out of control. We are being controlled by technology companies and we apparently love it.
Yesterday I went into an Apple Store to chat about my dead lapdog. The bright young man said the insides were old, obsolete. Obsolete after 8 years! Even the worst cars, fridges and push-bikes last longer.
He thought this was OK, that technology is moving so fast that it justifies throwing away sexily engineered expensive boxes and bits which lure us to buy them. OK, but eight years ago I was happy with the speed and magic of my now defunct MacBookPro, even last month when it was playing up I was able to do all I needed; although it made working clunky and slow, it was faster than the computer I’d owned ten years previously.
He explained what had had happened. The storage system and chips wear out a tiny bit each time you use the computer, iPad or iPhone and there comes a time when it is so expensive to replace them that it is better to buy new. I explained this had all come about when I upgraded the software system, as advised by Apple. Has Apple created upgrades which speed up this chip-death process? This is built in obsolescence par-excellence. A solid box which looks so attractive and permanent, which literally costs the earth to construct, is tossed away with little thought.
To support any of the computerised items we rely on today, African warlords wage war and kill wild creatures such as gorillas, to control mining zones cut into virgin jungle and which pollute pristine rivers with evil chemicals and minerals. Us free-thinking Smart-Tech dudes of either sex and any background feel cool supporting environmental efforts to Save the Planet, yet the devices we love and use are the root problem.
How do we get out of this trap Apple and others have lead us into? We are in too deep to pull away. In little over ten years, our economic and social systems have become reliant on Smart-Tech. Should those warring thugs in the jungle be controlled so extraction can be more environmentally sane, more sustainable and give the workers, slaves to warlords, a better existence?
Is there another solution? Are there organic materials which can replace those costly minerals? Few of us want to revert to a pre-computer age, although I am one of them, I know this is impossible, humanity never walks backwards. I’m sad, I’d hoped my lapdog would be with me for years to come. It makes you realise our supposedly solid existence is built on shifting sands.
It is we who shifts those uncertain sands. We, collectively, change the world. We, thus, have the power to make the future we want.
If we want a desertified future, one where gorillas, jungles and nature’s splendours are faux-reality generated on computers and one in which giant companies use bots to control us, do nothing, let things unfold as they are. If not, let’s work out a way forwards which treasures the environment of which we are a part.
Sent from my iPad