The Light Bulb Conspiracy

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In the past few decades, humanity has seen the fastest and most expansive development in its technological capabilities. Cities roaring with skylines higher then mountains, people traveling from land masses thousands of miles in a matter of hours, and even tiny tablets weighing about a pound are able to contact someone half way across the globe. Times are changing, and the new age is undeniably upon us. The competitiveness in a free market has allowed companies to expand and reach for humanity’s untapped potential. But what happens when the competitors in a free market join hands and agree to implement self-destructive mechanisms in their products? Is the importance of driving capitalism truly more important than the wellbeing of the consumer? All these questions are relevant to consumers because planned obsolescence is a reality in our current economy. By analyzing the example of incandescent light bulbs as well as the ethics versus the benefits of planned obsolescence, it can be concluded that planned obsolescence is not beneficial for the consumer but necessary for the current development of society until we can find an alternative to this waste-based society. The light bulb was one of the most important inventions of the 19th century. Houses could be alive when the day got dark, no more was there the risk of having your house burnt down. Coal and candles were all replaced by this new phenomenon. Every room could have their own individual light bulb installed easily and cheaply, of course without the risk of burning down the house. The technology of light bulbs grew from lasting 100s of hours all the way up to 1000s of hours. But in 1930s, this growth in the longevity of light bulbs saw a halt. The Phoebus Cartel was created an... ... middle of paper ... ...le newer, a little better and little sooner than necessary. The current economy does not seem viable without planned obsolescence because everyone is on the train of throw away lifestyle. Once people stop buying goods, other people will lose their jobs in the production of goods, and the domino effect begins as it starts affecting the economy and society as a whole. Planned obsolescence is a nasty mechanism of the consumerism economy. The side effects are a cause of harm to the environment, due to higher pollution and waste, an increase in living costs, and increased resource spending. Since most countries around the world are living this life of wastefulness, it is impossible to sail back to port on this sinking ship. If society can figure out an alternative to the current consumerism lifestyle and fix the boat, our dependence on consumerism might seize to exist.

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