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The Dark Side of Technology$
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Peter Townsend

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Consumerism and Obsolescence

Consumerism and Obsolescence

Chapter:
(p.252) 13 Consumerism and Obsolescence
Source:
The Dark Side of Technology
Author(s):

Peter Townsend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.003.0013

Obsolescence and decay occur naturally by wear and tear, or by advances in technology. In the case of improvements this is desirable. However, commercial pressure drives a far greater rejection of perfectly functional items, from clothes to cars or electronics. Fashions in clothing and goods are dynamic and expected but there are now numerous examples of imposed obsolescence from industries that are making changes solely to sell new products. Electronics and software are typical examples. Less obvious is that the consequences include a waste of mineral, and other, resources that are in very limited supply. National scale wastage is similarly apparent in development of expensive weapon systems that are obsolete by the time they are constructed. The same pattern exists in the food industry where better strategies could mean there need not be global food shortages.

Keywords:   decay, wastage, weapon systems, obsolescence, food shortages, minerals

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