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Answers: (related questions further below)

1.Durability has been considered the bane or primary enemy of "The Consumer Society" needing to managed or limited: otherwise no one will buy new products.

2.This approach can backfire as it did when

3 The American automobile manufacturers began to experiment with planned obsolescence. It was their foreign competitors who profited. Nobody wanted to buy a car designed to rust away.

4. In the IT world, increased speed and functionality are driving the market.

5.  With such a fast pace of innovation, new models are outmoded in only a few months.

6.  But this strategy too has its shortcomings.

7. Adding too many options practically occludes or prevents a device or software from being user friendly.

8. On the other hand, even as manufactures seek to remain upwardly and downwardly compatible.
( so that they can potentially sell to the largest number of clients)

9. eventually it becomes too cumbersome to still use an old software or device ( look at what is happening to the 3.5 inch disk).

10. Let's face it, how can you expect designers and programmers over the long term to envision where or what improvements the future will bring. Thus causing obsolescence and creating new buyer.


Name a product that you think withstands wear and tear. How does it do this?

What service, application or device do you think has become less (or more) user friendly over time? Why?

As an student what are your shortcomings?

Where do you envision the automotive world in ten years? (you can change the subject if you want to discuss something else)

Is there anything that you use in your daily life that you find particularly cumbersome? How could it be improved?

What do you think of making things fragile so that you are forced to buy again and again,
and how does this planned obsolescence impact on the economy? The ecology? Working people or retirees?

Microsoft word contains at least 3000 functions, how many of them do you use?

Describe the person that you are the most compatible with:

What is your favorite antiquated device or object? ( examples: pedal sewing machine, atari game console)

Ce texte © 2003-2004  Christopher Yukna - tous droits réservés

New Technology Project Manager
Délégation aux relations internationales
Ecole des Mines
158 cours Fauriel
tél. +33 (0)4 77 42 00 82

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