Ghost Debates

It figures that the ONE TIME I miss class and have no internet access is the day we do an activity. Oh well.

I spent this weekend in NYC for family business and got back to campus at 10:45 Monday morning before heading right to my classes, then was out working with YMCA SACC for a STEM program until I came back, ate dinner, showered, and went to bed. This weekend, I listened to about 7 hours of podcasts in the car on my slave labor iPhone. Nice transition, go me.

I can’t speak for what I contributed in the debate, since I was absent. Too bad, because I love debates and definitely would have been vocal. However, all I can write about it my opinion. Technology is taking the same cycle as clothing did in the Edwardian period, with the advent of shirtwaists and ready-to-wear clothing. Before, you would have a handful of outfits tailor-made to you, handed down, and you would recycle the fabric when you could no longer wear the garment or it fell out of fashion. Museums are filled with antique furniture that has been reupholstered with brocades from the Lady of the house’s gowns. Today, we no longer have this relationship with our clothing because of its mass-production. Why take care of something you paid $5 for when it is so easily replaceable?

The technology industry is taking the same turn. Recently I went to the Apple store to try and upgrade my phone, but my carrier had changed their policies so that you can only either buy the phone outright or pay  for their yearly upgrade program (neither of which I wanted to do) so I walked out with my same, old, perfectly functioning phone. I believe that in time, the same thing that happened to fashion will happen to technology. Already, tech is incredibly cheap thanks to essentially slave labor in Colombia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. As time goes on, people will learn more about where their products come from and either the humanitarian outrage or environmental concerns will win out over fast tech, and it will be fashionable again to invest in timeless pieces that will last a long time.

The regulations surrounding this will have to be sorted out politically, of course. It will probably take decades before today’s technological zeitgeist will fall out of mode. As individual consumers, all we can do is try to resist the pull of trends and buy ethically. Hell, if we have fair-trade coffee and organic local honey, why not sustainable tech?

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