Friday, 28 August 2015

Engineered Human Obsolescence

Rifling through the Investopedia website I found a header entitled dictionary. Contained within their lexicon, is the definition of a manufacturing phrase entitled "Planned Obsolescence". For those unsure as to the meaning of this term, the following is an excerpt from the Investopedia dictionary.

A manufacturing decision by a company to make consumer products in such a way that they become out-of-date or useless within a known time period. The main goal of this type of production is to ensure that consumers will have to buy the product multiple times, rather than only once. This naturally stimulates demand for an industry's products because consumers have to keep coming back again and again. Products ranging from inexpensive light bulbs to high-priced goods such as cars and buildings are subject to planned obsolescence by manufacturers and producers.
Also known as "built-in obsolescence".

Even though I having been involved in sales for almost 40 years, I find the choices corporations make as they engineer obsolescence into their manufactured products extremely offensive. Frustrating as it is to witness a sea of crap being shoved down the collective consumer gullet; I can't really blame the corporations. After all, plenty of laws mandate that share holders interests, in the form of profit, must be held above all other considerations. Progress, relative to combating the concerning trend of planned obsolescence must be consumer driven. Are you prepared to use your buying dollar as a stick to coerce manufacturers toward conscientious habits? Venturing into the marketplace to satiate the needs and desires of self or family, it is incumbent upon each of us to reflect carefully upon where, when, perhaps even why, we spend our hard earned currency.

When I was a boy, things were quite different. I remember well the 67' straight six, Chrysler Valiant, that little car could easily give you half a million miles without one major problem. I personally have met Valiant owners who, after 50 years of great performance, discover their car is still as reliable as any new car on the road today. More to the point; when the 2014 models hit the road in the 2020 driving season, their owners will have already replaced most of the core components like the transmission, drive train, starter, exhaust, timing belt and alternator. All the while, the little 67' Valiant will still be purring along, problem free. Anyone who remembers the quality of manufactured products from fifty years past will, I am sure, happily confirm they represented the golden years of industrial manufacturing. Corporate pride, in the form of product durability, quality, fit and finish, has taken a back seat to profit hungry engineering teams manufacturing products designed to fail.

The next time you see a racy girl flashing big boobs and an alluring smile while she grinds her hips into the bumper of a hot, equally sexy, 2015 Ford Mustang, remember this.
Ford engineering team can tell you the exact number of miles at which each of their major components will be designed to last. Thousands of parts, all deliberately designed to fail at a specific time. Modern materials, coupled with advancements in technology, has enabled manufacturers who can easily design a vehicle that can prove faithful to their owners for over a century. However, the practice of creating a durable product doesn't cotton with Ford shareholders. You see, Ford Corporation, like all major manufacturers, know the real profits are in figuring our how quickly they can sell you the next hot, new, commodity. Why should they be satisfied with a consumer who buys one car in a lifetime when they could buy 5, 6 or more. How many cars have you purchased over the decades? All in all, I am a conservative consumer, always doing my level best to eke out the most value and life from the goods I purchase. Although most would deem me a thoughtful shopper, bordering on cheapskate, I must admit there are many ways I could do more to limit, or at least curb, personal extravagance. Witnessing daily the insatiable passion for novelty, variety and excessiveness as expressed by the average citizen, I must admit it seems futile to further modify my consumptive habits.

Conservation however, should not be born solely of a need to preserve the planet, save precious resources or reduce waste. Conservative consumption seems, to me, a purely pragmatic and logical pursuit. Wasting the gifts we are given represents an illogical show of disrespect to the individuals who take the time to produce, ship and distribute the widgets we consume. Every manufactured product is derived from a resource of both labour and source materials. Source materials, in an environment rich with opportunity and innovation is less of a concern than the ultimate gift which is time. Therefore, choosing to replace or discard something which has not been used to it's full potential highlights ones ignorance, as well, expresses a distinct lack of foresight.

In a magical world, where profits and money do not exist; we can assume every manufacturer would produce goods and services designed to the ultimate capacity afforded by the industrial technology of the day. Instead of striving to enhance volume, food would be produced with nutrition as the paramount concern. Products, derived as much as possible from renewable resources, would be designed with function, longevity and economy in mind. Services, in the perfect world, would be fulfilled from a well of wholesome ideologies where gifting, family, community, sharing and love prevail. In this imaginary world, devoid of money, profit, and greed, we would discover a bounty for all of humanity. Beyond the physical treasures produced by not for profit manufacturing, we would discover we have given each other the most precious gift of all, time.

The mechanics of this philosophy is easy to illustrate. First and foremost, we accept the notion every human is entitled to a standard of living which extends beyond basic needs. Quality food, water, housing, health and education are essentials all must enjoy. Why stop with the basics; travel, leisure, philosophy, art and even extravagance, just for the fun of it, are all fundamental needs we all should consider essential. How do we have our cake and eat it too? Take money and profits out of the equation, all of a sudden, two big changes occur. Manufacturers of goods and providers of services, would naturally gravitate toward an enhancement in product quality and lifespan. Common sense, as well as experience, suggests, make a better mousetrap and you won't have to replace it as often. Secondly; goods and services produced to a higher standard means the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sales machines will require fewer iterations to meet the consumers lifetime needs. Less demand on production, will then translate into a shorter work week for all. History has proven, more "free time" provides humans with a better shot at enjoying their full range of potential. Philosophy, art, music, poetry and creative writing are just a few of the valuable end products enjoyed by a society who place a high value on leisure. Corporate greed, hypocrisy and usury have been forged as chains of enslavement. The human spirit has been trampled, our voice of reason has been quelled. Silent witnesses we have become to an all encompassing corporate domination of the human race.  

I imagine most of you who read this are nodding in agreement. This, you say, is not news. Having long since been privy, even inured, to the fact big corporate manufacturers don't have our best interests at heart, we ignore their indiscretions. Irrespective of what we might feel, marketing geniuses adeptly prod, juice up and tickle our fancies, convincing us, bigger is better baby! Newer is cooler! Put it on the plastic, you deserve it all! Society has developed an obsession with material gratification. The state of material abuse has become so flagrant, our sense of self is now based upon what we own, rather than our philosophy, or more importantly, our capacity to share love. Filling our already cluttered homes with more junk, each of us know the excessive and useless waste of engineered obsolescence is not limited to the auto industry. Toasters, refrigerators, ovens, televisions, I pods, widgets, gadgets of near infinite count or capacity are all manufactured with the same nefarious intent. It seems to me there is hardly a consumable which has not been carefully crafted by an astute engineer to have a given expiry date. Use it up, chuck it on a garbage heap, then buy another. Bigger, faster, better, is the mantra of consumptive insanity. Look around you, is there anything in your home that has not been engineered to die? Let me peek about my home, we can check off the list together; TV, coffee table, couch, pyjamas, no argument so far it's all crap..... lamps, bulbs, slippers, CD's, stereo, telephone, coffee cup, myself.

Hey wait a minute, did I just say myself!

Could it really be true, are corporations carefully engineering my death?

No way, it's a stupid thought! Right!

It can't be true.... can it?

If corporations are truly engineering our demise, I guess the first task at hand would be to establish whether or not we humans are less healthy today than fifty or a hundred years ago. Most people today accept the WHO website as the quintessential provider of both health statistics and life expectancy charts. Although I soubt sound statistical reporting from an organization as corrupt as the WHO is even possible, I will at least cede to this source as being comprehensive. Snooping around the internet I was able to quickly dredge up the following WHO headlines and global health statistics. When reviewing the statistics to follow, remember organisations, like the WHO, are run by the same corporate power brokers who are in the business of killing us. With this in mind, common sense suggests the WHO would, more than likely, doctor data with an intent to hide the extent of damage their corporate masters afflict upon the populous. At the very least, one might consider it reasonable to advocate this data would be skewed toward conservatism.

1. WHO expects cancer to rise globally by 70% over the next two decades.
2. Global obesity doubles in last 30 years
3. WHO Headline "The worldwide rise of chronic non-communicable diseases: a slow motion catastrophe"
4. Autism epidemic sweeps across Western Europe and North America, more than 100 fold increase in the last half century.
5. CDC and WHO reports lung disease will significantly increase over the next few decades as a result of global warming and related climate change. (Nice bit of mind programming there)
6. Parkinson's disease doubles globally in 25 years.
7. 68% increase in Alzeimer's disease in America over the last decade.
8. Heart disease rises in America 24% over the last decade.
9. Strokes on the rise 13% globally from 2000 - 2010
10. Pharmaceuticals becoming the 4th leading cause of death in America.

Having briefly, albeit loosely, investigated the rise of the big five (first world) killer diseases; cancer, lung disease, neurological degeneration, heart disease and stroke, it would appear a strong argument could be made to indicate humans, in first world countries, are not getting healthier. Further to the disquieting health revelations indicated by the aforementioned statistics; one would anticipate life expectancy charts indicating diminishing health in first world zones. Surprisingly (not really) there are no documents, charts or colour illustrations to indicate the life expectancy of first world citizens is in decline. Case in point; check the WHO link below, their high falutin, colour coded, interactive, charts paint a clear picture of a slow and very steady rise in the life expectancy of peoples in all first world countries. Third world countries which have dealt with systemic war, famine or natural disasters provide the only sense of decline of fluctuation in life expectancy charts.

WHO Life Expectancy Charts and Graphs (CLICK THIS LINK)

Contrary to interactive charts, as illustrated by the above link, we need only open our eyes to determine how our physical reality severely contrasts the rosy picture of life expectancy portrayed by officialdom. The WHO, and similar organizations, would have us believe that as time advances humans around the globe are living longer, better, healthier lives. However, much as I would like to share their expressed optimism, I find it difficult to rationalise their own conflicting reports. In one breath they issue warnings about a rampant rise in disease, while with the very next breath, they illustrate a steady rise in life expectancy. Is it just me, or does anyone else see the big shit dropping elephant in the living room. Let's see, all major diseases are on the rise, not to mention, the list of countless other contributing factors to ill health; environmental contaminants, factory farming, soil deterioration, heavy metal contamination, spiralling carcinogens, GMO, EMF radiation, rampant suicide, poverty, homelessness, austerity, hunger, diminishing food and water quality, chem-trails, pharmacological murder, just to name a few, yet somehow, they want us to believe we are living longer lives.

Need I say more to make my point?

Are we to believe the lies and inconsistencies of data? Does it make any sense at all that poorer health, diminishing living standards, excessive poverty and a messed up environment somehow magically equates to a longer life expectancy?

The way I see it we can either dismiss their lies, or hide our collective heads in the sand. Either way, the facts don't lie, health in the first world is in a severe decline. World leaders are banking on a dumbed down humanity will fail to decipher the truth. Distracted by pop culture, we rip at each others throats, faithfully serve our corporate masters as we compete for the gold ring. Evidence confirms, as long as there exists the tiniest sliver of hope we can eke out a rightful place in the tattered "American Dream", we will continue to ignore the conspiratorial trends of the obvious corporate soft kill agenda.

Considering I have cut my jib on statistical data scrounged up by a quick internet search, it would be rude of me to not point out the data is dubious at best. I suspect, it would be rather easy to spend an hour or so with the Oracle thereby generating an assortment of evidence in support of WHO claims advocating humanity is in fact living longer. With a smidgeon of effort, I might produce equally compelling data suggesting; improvements in technology, hospital procedure, medicine, toxicology and pharmacology all contribute to the steady rise in life expectancy. Anyone who knows me well will tell you how much I find graphs, charts and statistical data to represent jaded information. Life experience has proven, time and again, those who pay to assemble statistical positions will always skew the data in favour of the storyline they wish to portray. Having stated my reticence to pay homage to statistics, I advocate that when we bear in mind, motives, track record and objectives of the sources, exceptional value can be derived from how corporate run NGO's like the WHO might twist data to manufacture conclusions in support of the greater corporate vision. Statistical misrepresentation can assist the conspiracy theorist in puzzling together a snapshot of how corporate planned human obsolescence might manifest. Observing how humanity meets its needs, exposing corporate agendas, uncovering government protocols, will enable logical conclusions.


Do we need to pay attention?

Should we change our future?

Are they trying to carve out of humanity a manageable and renewable resource?

Or, am I overheating a pot of conspiratorial soup, ready at any moment, to boil over and stink up the room?

Together, over the next few instalments, we will use observation, logic, and reason, to answer these important questions.