Run your tech into the ground

Every once in a while I get obsessed with getting a new piece of tech. If I just buy that lense I’ll shoot more, if I get this NAS I’ll finally sort my data storage out, etc. This is just me internalizing the consumer culture promise of finding solutions by spending money instead of thinking, and it’s sooo alluring. So anyway, I was thinking of getting a new laptop, and then I came across a post about just that very thing on Lowtechmagazine.com and now I’m feeling consumer shame.

Although capitalism could provide us with used laptops for decades to come, the strategy outlined above should be considered a hack, not an economical model. It’s a way to deal with or escape from an economic system that tries to force you and me to consume as much as possible. It’s an attempt to break that system, but it’s not a solution in itself. We need another economical model, in which we build all laptops like pre-2011 Thinkpads.

Low Tech Magazine, Kris de Decker: How and why I stopped buying new laptops

And although I’m just now writing a post about using my tech until it breaks or really can’t fulfill a necessary function, I just now opened up a new tab to see if I ought to buy a new tablet. Even though I already own a Sony tablet which works. Granted, it’s slow, and I’d like to get something which allows me to use a pressure sensitive stylus – but still, I’ll mostly use it for reading PDF:s so I can actually live with the shortcomings and there’s no reasonable reason for me to look at new ones right now, only unreasonable reasons and procastination.

To my surprise, a young western couple was sitting on the edge of the roof with their legs dangling. I told them it was unsafe because a sniper could pick them off and they also brought attention to Kirk and me. The two ignored us and kept swinging their legs. In the hazy distance, I could see dozens of tanks and support vehicles, but the scene was too far away even for a 400mm lens.

Jeff Widener: Tank man

The back story of the most iconic photograph from the Tianamen square massacre is sobering, but also an inspiring take on what technology allows us to do. Much of what was dangerous to Widener when he took the photo and delivered it to AP and then the world, is today a non-issue (assuming that you have a working cellphone with Internet connection); but at the same time we are nowhere near the same level of control of our technology as he was then, as determined state and private actors can intercept everything digital that you do. (How the NSO group enables state terror) Also, there’s just something impressive with people who know their shit – I mean, I can’t set camera exposure by eye, so am impressed that he did.

MateuszRun your tech into the ground

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