Here’s a Concept for You


Here’s a concept for you: Our entire society is a growing child.

It used to be that you didn’t have to upgrade to new hardware to handle the new software that you upgraded to run on the new hardware. The telephone sitting on the counter was the same phone you had when you were growing up – it had buttons, a headset & a base. It would stay there, working fine, even surviving budding child deconstruction engineers, forever, or until it broke (if it couldn’t be repaired).

In the 20th century, we did have what we called “planned obsolescence,” and we complained bitterly about it – American cars were designed to fall apart after about ten years. Now, nothing last ten years, and there’s no expectation that it should. Things don’t physically fall apart, like the cars of the past; instead, everything is out of date an practically nonfunctional by the time you get it out of the box. When we used to buy things, like a blender, they didn’t come with software that you had to repurchase the upgrade of every six months. The only thing we had like that was children’s clothes.

Children were always growing, even in the 20th century. You would buy them pants in September, and just like a new iPhone operating system, you’d have to purchase pants again in December, even though the old ones still worked perfectly well.

Now our entire society is a growing child. But unlike children, there’s no indication that we, as a society, will ever finish growing up. As I type, I am wearing a torn t-shirt that I’ve had in my wardrobe for at least 20 years. When I’m 90, I’ll still be wearing this old t-shirt. And unlike an old operating system with new software, my t-shirt still works with my jeans.

Every parent knows that it’s expensive to raise a child. Now we are raising our entire society in a never ending childhood of cyclical consumption. And there’s never any growing up.

Click this flower to see what’s yours and what’s mine:


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