walkitout (walkitout) wrote,


Today's surliness was triggered in part by:


"I believe it was this moment — the moment of the Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and eventually the SNES — that changed consumer attitudes about technology in our lives forever. This was the moment that the consumer learned that the thing you already owned was going to be replaced, and the replacement was going to be awesome. A more awesome version of the same thing. And there would be something after that, too. Consumer objects like cars had been aggressively sold on a similar pattern of updates, but the differences between model years was nearly nonexistent. Cars were expensive, bought on decade-long cycles, and offered bombast in marketing but almost no discernible differences to a driver. Game consoles were cheap, widely available to everyone, and could easily demonstrate exactly how new and different they were."

Yes, Virginia, this generation of young people definitely invented sex, too!

(1) Cars used to be replaced in a much shorter time frame decades ago than they are today.
(2) Just because tech differences in Old Stuff is invisible to you doesn't mean it wasn't a Really Big Deal back then. In much the same way that all those console differences that are so important to you are completely invisible to people who were and are, shall we say, much less connected to them.

The sad thing is, I was kind of excited that someone could look at what other people call planned obsolescence and get excited and happy that things were getting better. But reading the details of the argument, not so much.
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