This interview with Giles Slade, author of the soon to be released Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescene in America, is a worthwhile read. Slade criticizes a consumer culture that values disposability rather than durability. His arguments are that disposable Ipods are bad for everyone except Apple, and that the disposability of technology is doing damage to the environment. There are only so many people to sell Ipods to, and when they run out, Apple’s only choice is to sell them another.
I’m more curious, though, how this consumer approach to economics will fare in the long run, and how it has affected other areas, such as romance and education. My favorite quote:
Then I ran across a French theorist [Gilles Lipovetsky] who said that in the early 20th century we made a transition from a very traditional culture to a fashion culture, where everything durable and traditional is discarded and where we become used to quick changes, quick interactions, and superficial relationships between people.
Yup, sounds right.