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Once upon a time..... products were made to last. Then, at the beginning of the 1920s, a group of businessmen were struck by the following insight: 'A product that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business' (1928). Thus Planned Obsolescence was born. Shortly after, the first worldwide cartel was set up expressly to reduce the life span of the incandescent light bulb, a symbol for innovation and bright new ideas, and the first official victim of Planned Obsolescence. During the 1950s, with the birth of the consumer society, the concept took on a whole new meaning, as explained by flamboyant designer Brooks Stevens: 'Planned Obsolescence, the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary...'. The growth society flourished, everybody had everything, the waste was piling up (preferably far away in illegal dumps in the Third World) - until consumers started rebelling... Can the modern growth society survive without Planned Obsolescence? Did ... Written by
A critique of consumer society and planned obsolescence
As for being an informative and well made documentary, The Light Bulb Conspiracy suffers a bit from the choice the creators made when naming it something that includes the word conspiracy.
The documentary itself does not focus only on light bulbs, but exemplifies how manufacturers of products make products wear out faster, so that the demand in consumer society increases - making profit for their own company.
Other products that have been adjusted from being long-lasting to wear out within a given time or after a number of uses include printers (which is portrayed in an amusing way in the documentary) and nylon stockings. Products that could last long, are made short-lasting, to keep a high demand, thus keeping up high production.
A number of people who a critical to this way of thinking tells how they think production should be based around sustainability.
Anyone that has been annoyed by things that stop working for no good reason will find this documentary informative.
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