Thursday, February 20, 2014

Breaking windows

From Wikipedia

The broken window parable has interested me for years, because much of what we do seems akin to breaking windows.

Much of what we do seems :-

Designed to fail so we can do it again.
Designed to fail so we can buy another one.
Designed to fail so we need regular maintenance.
Designed to fail so we need regular policing.
Designed to fail the vagaries of fashion.
Designed to be laborious so we need more staff.
Designed to be complex so we need more consultants.

And so on and so on. It seems to be a feature of almost any society - promoting wasteful activity once we have a full belly and a warm hut. When we can afford some illusions to keep reality at bay.

Even a Dark Age village may have been able to feed a travelling story-teller in return for a night or two of entertainment - to keep reality at bay.


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Paddington said...

"Designed to fail". For what it's worth, I regularly argue with those who talk about the 'Good Old Days' of cars. Modern cars require much less maintenance than those old one,s which often disintegrated after 50,000 miles.

A K Haart said...

Paddington - I agree, cars are far more reliable that they were some decades ago, but I doubt if they are as reliable as they could be.

The most reliable car I ever had was built in the mid nineties.

Paddington said...

Me too. I just got rid of my wonderful 1996 Saturn station wagon, with about 240,000 miles on it, and few repairs, plus 30+ mpg to a US gallon with an automatic.