The new media does not feed us fully formed chunks, but broken chips and blips of imagery. We are required to piece an identity together to create a configurative or modular personality. This explains why so many millions are desperately searching for an identity.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The rise of the throw-away society

In the past society was engaged in handcrafting goods and all creative and productive energies were directed to maximize the durability of the product. Permanence was ideal then and man built to last. Society remained stagnant with clearly defined functions and economic logic dictated the policy of permanence. Even if these goods had to be repaired it would last for a considerable long time especially the more expensive item.
Once the rate of change accelerated the economics of permanence was replaced by the new economics of transcience. Advancing technology had lowered the cost of manufacturing much more rapidly than the cost of repair work. It now becomes more cheaper to replace than to repair. These items are built cheap, unrepairable, throw-away objects, even though t may not last as long as the repairable objects.
Advancing technology also makes it possible to improve the object as times goes by. More improvements are coming at ever shorter intervals and it makes hard economic sense to build for the short term rather than the long. As change accelerated and reached into more and more remote corners of the society, uncertainty about future needs increased. We have then built for the short term to avoid commitment to fixed forms and functions and literally “play it cool” by making the item adaptable. The rise of disposability is a direct result of these powerful pressures. As change accelerates and complexities multiply we can expect further limitations of man’s relationships and things.

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