Microwave

In my kitchen I have a microwave oven that was manufactured thirty two years ago. It was made in a year when Duran Duran was on top of the charts, when martial law had just ended in Taiwan, when Prozac was approved by the FDA, when the very first version of Photoshop was released, when our world was Rick Rolled for the first time ever.

I have been using this microwave oven pretty much every day for many years, and it runs perfectly, which I find astonishing. After all, we currently live in a world where electronic items are meant to be disposable.

An entire segment of our economy is based on the principle of designing and manufacturing things so that they will break down. After all, if some piece of technology lasts forever, how are you going to get people to buy another one?

Yet clearly the designers of this microwave oven did not get the memo. It appears they designed it to last forever.

I realize that by using a piece of equipment that just keeps on functioning perfectly, decade after decade, I am doing grievous harm to our economy. By using this microwave to heat up my food, I am undoubtedly taking food out the mouths of hard working people.

Should I be feeling guilty about this? After all, how are we going to keep people employed if things that we buy simply keep, you know, working?

3 Responses to “Microwave”

  1. Paul Hankin says:

    I think this is a different framing of the broken window fallacy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

  2. admin says:

    Yes, I think that’s it exactly. Thanks!

  3. Adrian says:

    Not just physical things. I still use (daily) some personal finance software that was released two decades ago, just before these things started to rely on the internet for updates and software-as-a-service business models.

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