a blog by wallace winfrey

The Story Of Stuff


The Story Of Stuff
Nothing really ground-breaking here if you’ve been following this sort of thing for a while, but the presentation packs a punch in it’s succinctness. As with any distillations, some things are kinda brushed over, for instance, the part about the computer’s motherboard only needing to have it’s chip replaced when the rest of it is just fine is a gross oversimplification. It ignores all the supporting technologies needed to realize the speed gains of that newer chip. Also, she might like that she’s still using that ole cathode-ray tube monitor but the fact is, LCDs consume way less power and are healthier for one to use than the old CRTs. Those things aside, she makes a good point. We have a linear production-to-consumption process on a planet with finite resources and an ever-increasing demand for consumer goods. It’s not sustainable.
Personally, rather than throw out those old shoes, broken lamps, broken monitors, old computers and crap into a landfill, I’ve been taking them to CHARM, and while it’s not exactly cheap, it’s way of voluntarily reclaiming the externalization of the price of those things.
Also, when I was growing up I learned to never take anything for granted, and never throw out something useful. I’ve still got an 9-year-old Dell XPS T600+ workstation, running Ubuntu Linux. Despite the fact that it tends to hang when the room temperature gets too high, or when it’s asked to perform a particularly CPU-heavy compile, it still gets the job done. I am a huge advocate of squeezing every last bit of life out of a computer as possible. Before we got the T600+ in 01 (it was originally my work computer when I worked at, purchased in 99), we were using Missy’s old computer, which she got from her dad, and he had purchased it in 1993, I believe. I had replaced the motherboard and put in an AMD K6+ of course, but the PSU, case, etc. were still all the same.

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