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Last post Author Topic: Products designed to fail, a documentary  (Read 24284 times)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2011, 05:47:40 AM »
@Carol Haynes:
Quote
...'second hand' goods con turning swathes of Africa and Asia into open sewers.

Could you explain this for me please (maybe in a PM if it is off-topic)?
I Googled the phrase and still couldn't really figure out what it was that you were intending to refer to.
(Thanks.)

It was in the film. US Companies are not allowed to export dead electronics to be dumped in landfill in other countries but they get round the law by saying they are shipping second hand goods. Once they arrive they are simply dumped. There is a whole section in the film in Ghana where there is water pollution andother problems caused by the massive amounts of dumping - even from so called green companies (I won't mention the fruit company again).

4wd

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Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2011, 06:13:44 AM »
Does anyone know a SUCCESSFUL and LARGE company that behaves "decently" towards it customers, and really creates fantastic products that stand the test of time?

Not what you were thinking of I'll bet.......

Kalashnikov_AK-47.jpg

I'd dare say that it's a fantastic product, does exactly just what the customer wants, damn near indestructible.  Just ask the millions of satisfied customers worldwide.

 ;D

IainB

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Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2011, 06:17:36 AM »
I guess I am surprised that some people in this forum seem to be so surprised and indignant about PO (Planned Obsolescence) in action. The reason I am surprised is that I have seen PO in action for most of my adult life. It is a common-place and ubiquitous fact of life in Western economies.

For example:
Cars:
  • Make sure it fails: The infamous case of the deliberate under-engineering of the tab of a locking washer on the end of the camshaft in the British Leyland Austin Princess 2200HL (a superbly advanced design of car for its time). The tab was a known design flaw that was never corrected, though it could easily have been. On assembly in the production line, there was a 50/50 chance that the tab would shear as the torque nut that held it was being tightened. In operation, the shearing would mean that the torque nut, having no locking washer to prevent it, would be rotationally pushed out on its thread. This would gradually give increasingly excessive end float to the shaft, which would perform as normal for typically about 18 months of its operation (i.e., until out of 12-month warranty), all the time moving in an out and gradually chafing its way through the camshaft end-housing. The housing would develop a hole, out of which engine oil would leak, ending up with oil-starved main bearings and eventual engine failure. A new/rebuilt engine was necessary. Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.
  • Make sure it rusts: After the bare metal car chassis had been made, they would be stacked outside in the weather, developing a film of rust before being painted. So the rust worked away under the paint, pushing it off and exposing the metal to the elements. Through the long winters in the UK, it was common practice for local councils to have trucks mechanically scatter sand-and-salt mix over most of the major roads, so as to prevent black ice forming. It was very effective at that. It was also effective as a sand-blasting of the painted underside of the cars, exposing the bare metal so that the salt accelerated the corrosion through an electro-chemical effect. Perfect.
    Unless you had never driven the car during a winter, new cars were all set to be converted into rust-buckets after about 2½ years. What a surprise. (NOT.)
  • Kill threatening new technology: the General Motors EV1. The zinc and steel alloy invented and patented in the '70s. As strong as or stronger than just steel, this alloy became malleable when heated up to a certain temperature and coincidentally was rust-proof. It would have made pressed-steel manufacturing of car bodies obsolete. You could just heat the sheets of metal up so as to easily mould them into complex shapes using simple moulding or blow-moulding techniques. Cheaper, more efficient, and more effective - and how about that rustproof chassis and body, eh?! Buried without trace.

Computers:
  • Mainframes - make 'em fat and bloated: IBM invented the nifty trick of regularly releasing new updates/versions of the OS, and withdrawing contractual support for the older versions. You had to keep upgrading to the newer, faster, bigger mainframes because - well, obviously - the older machines became progressively more fully occupied just running the new OS (if they could run it at all), and couldn't get much productive computing done. (Does this sound familiar? It should do.)
  • PCs, laptops, servers: (Enuff said.)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2011, 06:26:11 AM »
Here's a thought - when a product fails and has to be put into landfill charge the manufacturer double the original purchase price for each item in dumping tax! That would make them think.

It wouldn't change them, any increased cost would just be added to the purchase price for the consumer.

I can't see why not - if they have to increase prices to cover the cost of dumping then they would have an incentive to make sure things don't need dumping - either make everything recyclable (and make them pay the cost of recycling) or charge them an exorbitant rate for dumping (including any branded items that are dumped directly by consumers - say twice the retail price or $50 whichever is lower).

If they have to pass on that cost to the consumer they will soon be priced out of the market and only products that are economically viable (ie. have a long life and don't incur massive end of life costs) will survive.

As for the 'second hand export scam' it would be easy enough for legislation to be put into place to say that every item exported as second hand goods has to have a certificate that it works properly and still complies with environmental and safety limits of the country of export (so they can't export fridges that leak CFCs). Any corporation found to be abusing the system could have their export licenses revoked for all goods (including the new stuff they want to sell).

For a practical question: why do people need to constantly change to the latest model? Its one thing to chage to a new computer every 4-5 years as technology is changing rapidly but why do people need to buy a new MP3 player or a new mobile phone every year?

I am still using the first MP3 players I bought (and have a stock of spare batteries as you can no longer buy them), and in my life I have owned precisely 3 mobile phones and the first two were only scrapped because they stopped working. At the end of the day a phone is a phone and an MP3 player is an MP3 player - why do they need to be replaced so often? DO people grow extra ears every year or have I missed something?


IainB

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Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2011, 06:28:18 AM »
    I know that it's immoral, but I would actually prefer some of my stuff to break early in order to justify buying a newer, better version of it.

    I don't think you could reasonably be called immoral for that.
    There are many examples where changing/upgrading a technologically-rich device was necessary to make progress.
    For example, I am please with my new Epson scanner, and it's much better hardware and software technology too. Yet I am annoyed that I was forced to dump my old HP scanner by HP artificially architecting its obsolescence by burying the OS support in XP and Win7-64.

    IainB

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #30 on: November 03, 2011, 06:31:32 AM »
    Effecting change for the better: Macropathy vs. The Swarm

    Carol Haynes

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #31 on: November 03, 2011, 06:34:13 AM »
    Playing devil's advocate you have to have to ask is it reasonable for a business to pump more money into development costs for new drivers on a device they haven't sold in the past 10 years? Perhaps the fault lies with Microsoft - maybe they should add a driver compatibility layer for legacy devices so that you can use your Windows 98 driver in Windows 7 64-bit - why should the manufacturer pay for the extra work involved because of changes Microsoft made? I suppose HP could argue that you can still use your Scanjet - just use the OS it was designed for!

    IainB

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #32 on: November 03, 2011, 09:07:35 AM »
    Playing devil's advocate you have to have to ask is it reasonable for a business to pump more money into development costs for new drivers on a device they haven't sold in the past 10 years?

    Yes, but it's not as old as 10 years, and anyway it is hypothetical and thus:
    (a) of academic interest only, and
    (b) unlikely to be a useful/valid argument for anything practical, as it stands.

    Similarly, I suppose some people could play devil's advocate to justify the dumping of waste tech products in Africa (thanks for raising that point), but I wouldn't dream of doing so - because it would be a red herring and trivialise the issues. In any event it wouldn't alter the fundamental issues - discovery of the root causes of the problem and addressing those.

    That is, the root causes that gave rise to such as, for example, the objectives of the good psychopathic Corporations involved - e.g., including Lock-in, Planned Obsolescence, maximisation of profit, and externalisation of any side-effects (including massive damage to adults and children alike in some 3rd-world economies).

    The Western economic model and legal systems that created and allowed such as those dumping monsters to be self-sustaining and self-perpetuating is arguably the domain (root cause) that needs to be addressed (QED per The Corporation).
    Fining Corporations for what they would (and generally do) see as legitimate actions, as you suggest above, might be all very well. However, though I rather like the idea of the fines, it would only be likely to address the symptomatic problems, not necessarily the causal problems. It would be like Hydra - cut off one head and another one (a new symptomatic problem) would pop up somewhere else.

    I am not a strong advocate of State control of Capitalist enterprise, as history shows what happens when State/government interference and control becomes excessive - QED the Communist command-economy of the USSR. However, you cannot always demonstrate  that laissez-faire works any better either. So, let Corporations be self-governing as they might like, but where they have demonstrated the types of situations where they have an essential incapacity to do this, then regulate and change/reduce their legal rights as a legal person/Corporation, so that they become legally prevented from committing the same class of error in another form - e.g., lightbulbs - forming cartels that fined a manufacturer for making lightbulbs that lasted longer. Change, not punishment or retribution.

    If communities in the US/Canada can take responsibility and collaborate effectively in taking action to do this (QED per The Corporation), and succeed, then we already know which direction we could move in to address the causal problem.

    Examples of relevant regulations, standards bodies and codes of practice in the UK that already have achieved some effective control over Corporate psychopath behaviours could include:
    Quote
    • The Sale of Goods Act 1979.
    • The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).
    • The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP).
    • The Office of Fair Trading.
    • The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
    • The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
    If these things became compulsory not only on the operation of a Corporation in the UK but also its operation overseas, then we might be getting somewhere.
    Unfortunately, I don't quite see how to implement that in a consistent fashion and with certain results, so I think you would need to go back and review the structure of the Corporate Charter, and probably regulate that.
    « Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 09:16:13 AM by IainB »

    rxantos

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #33 on: November 06, 2011, 12:34:24 PM »
    This is older than even the USA.

    When the Spaniards built a pot they made one that would last at least 50 years. When the British built a pot, they made one that will last for 2 or 3 years.

    Thus the Spanish Empire build expensive things that did not require to be change in a long time. While the British Empire build things that where cheap but require you to replace them frequently. Leading to the British empire to have a stronger economy.

    So incompetence can actually be better for the economy :)


    4wd

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #34 on: November 06, 2011, 06:04:22 PM »
    So incompetence can actually be better for the economy :)

    Too bad that statement doesn't apply to governments.  :P

    Renegade

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #35 on: November 06, 2011, 06:43:38 PM »
    Effecting change for the better: Macropathy vs. The Swarm

    Linked from that article:

    Lawfully Good vs. Lawfully Evil

    Excellent read. Very articulate.

    And yes, he's making a Dungeons & Dragons alignment system comparison. (Which is pretty accurate.) For those of us geeks out there that grew up killing kobolds and the like. :)


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    Ehtyar

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #36 on: November 06, 2011, 07:17:24 PM »
    I must say I am a member of the naive club here.

    Most of my troubles had been with clothing - fabric that just doesn't hold up, pairs of pants typically last me months, not years. For quite some time I've been considering things before I buy them in relation to how long I expect them to last. I now purchase pants and shoes from stores that sell to tradesman, I purchase business laptops for personal use (my lenovo laptops are without a doubt the longest lasting and most indestructible pieces of technology I own), I build my own desktops from parts from vendors who have a history of avoiding bad capacitor suppliers and so on. Without being consciously aware of it, I've spent the past few years of my life gradually moving from mainstream purchasing behaviours to ones I expect to result in the best possible longevity of what i buy.

    The Lightbulb Conspiracy has made me very concious of this process now. I'm at a point now where I'm happy with almost all the products I purchase, longevity-wise.

    That said, watching that video made me absolutely livid, and I'm astounded that the ongoing degradation of quality has not been more noticeable to the general populace. Products from certain companies with bad reputations always struck me as obviously of low quality in one aspect or another, but intentionally designing them to fail brings corporations down to a whole new low. My first thought was "how is this legal?!?!", but you quickly come to realise that those who would be in a position to protect consumers from this type of behavour are most likely getting more than their fare share of the money getting thrown at bad products. Disgusting.

    Ehtyar.
    « Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 08:24:59 PM by Ehtyar »

    IainB

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    Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
    « Reply #37 on: November 06, 2011, 09:55:15 PM »
      Lawfully Good vs. Lawfully Evil[/url]

      Excellent read. Very articulate.

      In the start of that article, it says:
      Quote
      In contrast, activists don’t care whether something is lawful, they care whether it’s good and just.

      If that, by implication, is true of all activists, then you could say that it holds true for (say):
      • Roman Catholicism: RC leaders of yore, who, before the Reformation, were a deadly, and acted ostensibly in the name of God and for our own salvation. I have not seen a historical estimate of how many people have had to die at the hands of this Religion of Peace, over its 2,000 year-old history, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were not of the order of 100+ millions.
      • Islamism: Islamist activists of today, who are eternally obliged by Allah in the Koran to ensure that Islamism is the dominant religion and legal system, and that it is enforced (typically under threat of barbaric punishment or pain of death) in any society/culture where they find themselves. I saw an estimate of 140+ million people who have had to die at the hands of this Religion of Peace, over its 1,400 year-old history.
      • Stalinism: the Russians are a bit secretive about this, but historical estimates seem to vary between 20 to 50 million deaths of mostly Russian citizens.

      All these deadly "-isms" started small. The most recent were, I gather, Facism and Nazism. I suspect that "communism"/"globalism" - i.e., global state governance - may be the Next Big Thing to tyrannize and kill us for our own good.

      But supposing I don't want to forego the freedom to live my life peacefully and in my own way as I might reasonably choose?

      The thing that scares me is the people - whether government bureaucrats, religio-political activists, or politicians - who not only believe that what they are working towards and agitating for is "good and just", but also know with absolute certainty that it is best for us, and so are determined to ram it down our throats, into our statutes and (often) into our wallets. And if you don't like/accept what they espouse, then you are labelled in a deprecatory or pejorative manner and marginalised or killed:
      • Don't believe our [insert religio-political ideology here] dogma? Are you with us or against us?
      • Don't believe in an imaginary concept of God? Then you are an atheist.
      • Don't believe in our ideology of Christianity? Then you are a heretic, (they were generally killed) and nowadays also a lost soul.
      • Don't believe in our ideology of Islamism? Then you are an infidel (who Allah says must be killed if they commit blasphemy or do not submit) and nowadays also an Islamophobe.
      • Don't believe in our ideology of Communism? Then you are a Capitalist pig and also an enemy of the State
      • Don't believe in our ideology of socialist-collectivism? Then you are a member of the extreme Right Wing.
      • Don't believe in our ideology of Capitalism? Then you are a Communist and also a member of the extreme Left Wing.
      • Don't believe in our theory of AGW? Then you are a sceptic or a climate denier.

      After it becomes Politically Incorrect and then made a crime enforceable in Law, anyone who objects, ridicules or denounces the X-ism will be punished. For example, the UN is apparently currently being urged by the Muslim member countries to make it illegal to "Defame a religion" or some such nonsense.

      Sometimes, this activism takes over wholesale, and then it may become a matter for national standards to be imposed, so that the citizens of your own and/or neighbouring countries - who cannot see things the right way - are to be variously excommunicated, imprisoned, tortured, killed, or [insert atrocity here].

      Some people might say, "Of course, this is exaggerated nonsense. How could it possibly be true?"

      Some of possibly the worst historical examples:
      (Source: (Possibly) The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      Estimated worst massacres in history.jpg

      No thanks. Keep your well-meaning "good and just" activists well away from me, mate.
      [/list]
      « Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 10:24:32 PM by IainB »

      Renegade

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #38 on: November 06, 2011, 10:26:40 PM »
      No thanks. Keep your well-meaning "good and just" activists well away from me, mate.

      You're only debating what is good or what is evil.

      That "changes" in different places and times. Well, not really, but people think it does...

      Aristotle -- People only do what they think is good. Anything else is simply people being misinformed/uneducated. (Paraphrasing)
      Kant -- Categorical Imperative. (Duty, veil of ignorance, etc. etc.)

      Slap those 2 together, and you've got a solid recipe for "good" and "evil". Kant might be pretty radical, but it's damn hard to argue against him.

      So at the end of the day, in that line of thought, people only really need to education to solve more problems than you can shake a stick at.

      Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

      Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

      IainB

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #39 on: November 07, 2011, 05:37:45 AM »
      You're only debating what is good or what is evil.
      ...

      Aristotle -- People only do what they think is good. Anything else is simply people being misinformed/uneducated. (Paraphrasing)
      Kant -- Categorical Imperative. (Duty, veil of ignorance, etc. etc.)

      Slap those 2 together, and you've got a solid recipe for "good" and "evil". Kant might be pretty radical, but it's damn hard to argue against him.

      So at the end of the day, in that line of thought, people only really need to education to solve more problems than you can shake a stick at.

      Well, I didn't intend to debate good/evil.
      I was intending to provide a serious note of warning about do-gooders and activists who believed that they were operating on "good and just" principles, and who know what is best for you, me and the rest of humanity - whether we like it or not.

      For example, Warmists insist that there is a risk of global catastrophe from an as yet unproven theory of AGW. I was watching some video footage the other week on YouTube where some Greenies/Warmists had challenged this guy (Lord Monckton) who didn't see that there was any rational justification for accepting the theory of AGW, and said so in rational terms.

      But reason had apparently disappeared, because pretty soon the Warmists started to ad hominem the guy. Resorting to the use of logical fallacies - such as ad hominem, for example - is usually a sure sign that someone is desperate, having no rational basis for supporting their argument.
      Eventually, one of them referred to Monckton's approach or something as being akin to the Nazis, whereupon Monckton - whose wife I think was a child of Jews who had survived the Nazi concentration camps - politely pointed out a few truths. He said that, in using the term "Nazi" for this as a form of labelling only served to ameliorate the perceived heinousness of the Nazi's crimes against humanity (OWTTE), and did nothing to substantiate any rational argument.

      If people can be ignorant like this, then the educational system would seem to have already failed to teach them to take responsibility for thinking critically for themselves. They are arguably as likely to have read and understood what Aristotle or Kant had spoken/written of as a flea would be likely to comprehend its place in the universe. If you looked  into such peoples' eyes you would probably see all the lights on, but that nobody's home.


      Renegade

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #40 on: November 07, 2011, 07:12:45 AM »
      If people can be ignorant like this, then the educational system would seem to have already failed to teach them to take responsibility for thinking critically for themselves. They are arguably as likely to have read and understood what Aristotle or Kant had spoken/written of as a flea would be likely to comprehend its place in the universe. If you looked  into such peoples' eyes you would probably see all the lights on, but that nobody's home.

      I must agree. You're quite right.

      The vast majority of people are complete idiots on any given topic. I know that there are topics that I'm a complete idiot on. On other topics, I'm quite competent.

      The core problem that I see (as per my highlight above), is that the education system has utterly failed in producing people that are capable of thought. Real thought. Not regurgitating nonsense they gobbled down from somewhere.

      Any idiot can cite some source, but it takes reflection, intelligence, and an ability to think to analyze that and produce something of value.

      People spout out "critical thinking" quite often as some buzz word, but few really understand what it is, and fewer yet can do it.

      One of the most important things in thinking properly is knowing when to shut up. It may seem like a cop-out at times, but it's better to simply shut ones mouth than spout of nonsense. I quite often resort to stating that I do not have an opinion on a topic simply because I am not informed enough on it to have formed an intelligent opinion.

      This all is a failure of the education system. I truly believe that education can solve problems. But education in "HOW TO THINK". That's the real problem. Anyone can think, just as anyone can do almost anything. That doesn't mean that the results of somebody's efforts are useful. e.g. I could try to race in a stock car race. While I'm a good driver, I don't have the training in HOW to race properly. I'd lose. The same thing goes for thought. People try to think, but they simply can't because they've never been taught how to think.

      As an expat, I've seen things in different places that are completely insane, and other things that are utterly brilliant. I've also seen things that at first glance look totally nutty, but upon further examination, they work, and they work well. Some things take years to understand. So thinking involves being able to adopt a perspective or a set of givens. Often good thought can solve the same problem in different ways. There's nothing wrong with having multiple solutions to a problem.

      To put that simply:

      X + Y = 3

      X = 1, Y = 2
      X = 2, Y = 1

      2 solutions to the same problem. Neither is wrong. This is something that people generally don't get, and is a huge source of bigotry. i.e. "MY" solution is better than "YOUR" solution.

      In the climate debate, my frustration is the religiosity of it. That doesn't gel well with me. "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him." Why then raise the spectre of some twisted, lesser form of god? Karl Popper ended science long ago. Science is a method. Done.

      I've really appreciated your input here and the many links. (I must confess, I've not had time to follow and read them all.) It's refreshing. A logical, scientific approach where no god is sacred... Truly refreshing!

      Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

      Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

      wraith808

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #41 on: November 07, 2011, 07:46:22 AM »
      Islamism:[/b] Islamist activists of today, who are eternally obliged by Allah in the Koran to ensure that Islamism is the dominant religion and legal system, and that it is enforced (typically under threat of barbaric punishment or pain of death) in any society/culture where they find themselves. I saw an estimate of 140+ million people who have had to die at the hands of this Religion of Peace, over its 1,400 year-old history.

      Have you read the Koran?  I was quite surprised when I did read parts of it, that apparently some things are left out of the rhetoric.  Then I did some research, and found that most things that you hear regurgitated and used as an excuse for violence are misquotations/misinterpretations.  It actually talks of respect for the followers of Christ, not persecution.  And I don't think that this is unique in this situation either.

      Religion isn't necessarily evil.  People have evil uses for religion, IMO.

      IainB

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #42 on: November 07, 2011, 08:50:06 AM »
      The vast majority of people are complete idiots on any given topic.
      ...
      I've really appreciated your input here and the many links. (I must confess, I've not had time to follow and read them all.) It's refreshing. A logical, scientific approach where no god is sacred... Truly refreshing!

      Maybe it's not that people are necessarily "idiots" - though I used to arrogantly think that. A lot of them are quite smart idiots. I reckon that it's the ignorance that does for them, combined with poor thinking skills.
      Much of my adult life has been spent fighting ignorance, bigotry and stupidity - some of which I am embarrassed to admit has been mine.

      Like you, I usually avoid "giving my opinion", preferring to arrive at a rational and thought-out conclusion that can be substantiated with a solid rationale based on good theory and practice.

      My belated start to trying to sharpen up my own thinking skills was when I read Edward de Bono's book Teaching Thinking, in about 1983/4. I still refer to it - still like to keep practicing/reviewing the recommended behaviours/methods. Reading the book made me realise that I was stuck in what de Bono calls an "intellectual deadlock", where your ego will not allow you to accept that you needed to improve your thinking skills, because that could be tantamount to meaning that you hadn't been thinking perfectly well all this time...so, no change was needed for the perfect. (The ego is quite irrational.) He said that the smarter people were, the more likely they were to become stuck in this deadlock, unable to change and further develop their thinking skills. This is like letting your ego run the ship, including your thinking. It's a rut, and we tend to become stuck in it, but once we know it is there, we have some options.

      When my son told me, years back, that he was doing Edward de Bono's Thinking Skills course at his boarding school, I was very pleased. I hadn't known that New Zealand schools had picked this up (it's de Bono's CoRT curriculum - Cognitive Research Trust), though I knew that it was being used by hundreds of secondary schools in the UK at the time.

      I was even more impressed several years back when I read that UK schools had Critical Thinking as a GCSE "O" level (or whatever they call them now). It helped the children to develop a transferable skill that apparently enabled improvement across all their other subject studies.
      The textbook (an extract is here) Critical Thinking - An Introduction (Alec Fisher) was by the professor in charge of the initial Critical Thinking course introduced to secondary schools in about 2001 (I think it was then). I read that it is now in its 2nd edition.

      I ended up buying that book from Amazon, and also Fisher's further study book The Logic of Real Arguments.
      Both books were very useful, and helped me to improve my critical thinking skills through practice of the exercises given. This all helped me directly in my work, where I am often faced with new/complex problems that clients expect me to help them resolve as if by magic.

      By the way: I am very grateful for, and feel somewhat humbled by the recognition in your statement:
      Quote
      I've really appreciated your input here and the many links.

      IainB

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #43 on: November 07, 2011, 09:36:33 AM »
      Have you read the Koran?  I was quite surprised when I did read parts of it, that apparently some things are left out of the rhetoric.  Then I did some research, and found that most things that you hear regurgitated and used as an excuse for violence are misquotations/misinterpretations.  It actually talks of respect for the followers of Christ, not persecution.  And I don't think that this is unique in this situation either.

      Religion isn't necessarily evil.  People have evil uses for religion, IMO.

      I have been studying the Koran since about 2000. One of my favourite translations is the Koran published in paperback form by The Penguin Classics (published and republished between 1956 and 1974). It is by N.J.Dawood , who, according to the biographical notes of my 1974 copy:

      * translated "Tales from the Thousand and One Nights" and "Aladdin and Other Tales", for the Penguin Classics.
      * was born in Baghdad.
      * came to England as an Iraq State Scholar in 1945.
      * graduated from London University.
      * was a director of Contemporary Translation Ltd. and managing director The Arabic Advertising and Publishing Company Ltd., London.
      * edited and abridged "The Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun".
      * translated numerous technical English works into Arabic.
      * had written and spoken radio and film commentaries.
      * contributed to specialised English-Arabic dictionaries.

      If English is your language of preference, then I would suggest NJD's English translation because it is one by a Muslim and an academic who was equally at home with English and Arabic - possibly unlike other translators that you might come across - e.g., there are 6 versions in the Bahai Interfaith Explorer collection - which is a program with a database which includes the religious texts from many of the major sects on the planet. I installed it on my laptop a couple of years back and it gets updated with refreshed editions from time to time.

      It's not easy to misquote the Koran once you have studied and understood it. It is very specific about things. Of course, you would not necessarily expect a child of 6, who has learned to recite parts of the Koran, to be able to fully understand what she is reciting, but she will learn the specific parts by rote.

      The reader needs to bear in mind that the prophet Mohammed (pbuh) had a vision where the angel Gabriel read to him from words which had been inscribed on stone by Allah. Mohammed (pbuh) then recited what Gabriel had said to him, and it was later written down verbatim by the scribes who listened to him. ("Koran" means "Recital".)

      When a Muslim holds the Koran up in his right hand, he knows that he holds the absolute and infallible word of Allah, and that there is no picking and choosing as to what to believe, how to think about things, how to implement Allah's directives. To become a Muslim, you have to submit absolutely to Allah ("Islam" means "Submit"). This includes submitting any desire for freedoms, other than that freedom which Allah allows you. (This explains those placards you may have seen, held up by protesting Muslims, that say something like - for example - "Freedom go to Hell".)

      No other religion has this - the absolute and infallible word of Allah. All other religious texts are invented and written by human authors. That includes the Old Testament of the Bible, for example, and the New Testament (the latter being written mainly by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.
      You submit to Allah to become a Muslim ("Islam" means "Submit"). That is why the Koran is treated with such reverence by Islamists.
      « Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 09:50:17 AM by IainB »

      Carol Haynes

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #44 on: November 07, 2011, 09:55:22 AM »
      Quote
      I don't care what anyone believes so long as they do as I say
      1st - 20th century creed for xxxxxxx

      for xxxxxxx insert your religious or political belief system.

      None of it is a question of real belief - it is all about power.

      My personal belief:
      Quote
      I don't care what anyone believes so long as they don't expect me to believe it and leave me to live own life in peace

      wraith808

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #45 on: November 07, 2011, 10:06:00 AM »
      I have been studying the Koran since about 2000. One of my favourite translations is the Koran published in paperback form by The Penguin Classics (published and republished between 1956 and 1974). It is by N.J.Dawood , who, according to the biographical notes of my 1974 copy:

      Well, then I don't get the quote:
      Quote
      who are eternally obliged by Allah in the Koran to ensure that Islamism is the dominant religion and legal system, and that it is enforced (typically under threat of barbaric punishment or pain of death) in any society/culture where they find themselves

      I know that Mullahs in many cases pervert parts of the Koran to make such things necessary- but I've never seen any argument that stands up to the light of reason.  In fact, most of the Muslims that I know look down on this perversion of the Koran, which is why I was a bit befuddle about your comments.  In your study of the Koran have you come upon something that I haven't in my admittedly limited exposure to it?

      Quote
      I don't care what anyone believes so long as they do as I say
      1st - 20th century creed for xxxxxxx

      for xxxxxxx insert your religious or political belief system.

      Not from my studies of Christianity, which are more extensive than my studies of the Koran.  In fact, it is stated many times in the new testament that worldly authority and spiritual authority are two different things, and that if someone doesn't believe you or receive you, that you are to move on.  Now what it is equated to in practice is quite difference.  But Christianity is about actions following belief, not the other way around.

      Thoughts?
      « Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 10:12:14 AM by wraith808 »

      Carol Haynes

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #46 on: November 07, 2011, 10:52:53 AM »
      Not from my studies of Christianity, which are more extensive than my studies of the Koran.  In fact, it is stated many times in the new testament that worldly authority and spiritual authority are two different things, and that if someone doesn't believe you or receive you, that you are to move on.  Now what it is equated to in practice is quite difference.  But Christianity is about actions following belief, not the other way around.

      Thoughts?

      Not really on here - but what I will say is that all three middle eastern religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) are all based on the teachings of the first 5 books of the old testament (as well as later addons) and those books are not exactly tolerant of dissenters.

      wraith808

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #47 on: November 07, 2011, 11:14:42 AM »
      Not really on here - but what I will say is that all three middle eastern religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) are all based on the teachings of the first 5 books of the old testament (as well as later addons) and those books are not exactly tolerant of dissenters.

      The New Testament (one of the later addons) includes the Great Commandment, which sort of modifies it.  Perhaps because of these same issues.

      Renegade

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #48 on: November 08, 2011, 02:29:01 AM »
      The vast majority of people are complete idiots on any given topic.
      ...
      I've really appreciated your input here and the many links. (I must confess, I've not had time to follow and read them all.) It's refreshing. A logical, scientific approach where no god is sacred... Truly refreshing!

      Maybe it's not that people are necessarily "idiots" - though I used to arrogantly think that. A lot of them are quite smart idiots. I reckon that it's the ignorance that does for them, combined with poor thinking skills.
      Much of my adult life has been spent fighting ignorance, bigotry and stupidity - some of which I am embarrassed to admit has been mine.

      I probably came off harsh there. Let me clarify:

      Ignorance: Not knowing
      Idiocy: Not knowing & not knowing when to shut up ;D

      Everyone is more ignorant than they are informed. That's pretty much trivially true. There's no shame in being ignorant.

      Well, except for some common sense things, like make sure to look the right way for the train so it doesn't bash your head in from the opposite direction as you stick your noggin out over the tracks, and don't get drunk then run around on a busy freeway at night and get yourself killed. (Those are both true stories -- about the same guy -- amazingly he survived the train hit only to die drunk running around on the freeway.) i.e. If you deserve a Darwin Award, you deserve a Darwin Award. :P

      You're certainly not alone in having done dumb stuff, if that's any consolation. I could point to threads here where I've illustrated my idiocy. :P ;D
      Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

      Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

      IainB

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      Re: Products designed to fail, a documentary
      « Reply #49 on: November 08, 2011, 05:56:50 AM »
      None of it is a question of real belief - it is all about power.

      Well, though this is off-topic (and I do try to bring t back, below), I do think it is a very interesting point.

      First off, I should say that you make an interesting and potentially valid point, but you diminish it's validity by over-generalisation.
      Whilst I would be tempted to agree that the statement in the above quote could perhaps be correctly applied to some religions/sects:
      (a) I don't see how you could, by the negative phrase "None of them", substantiate its application to include all of them by default.

      (b) I don't know that you would be able to substantiate what you say about belief as a fact, since there are many leaders of these sects who seem to genuinely believe in what they preach, and who at the same time do not appear to exercise power/influence over others, even if they have it. Thus, unless they are deliberately attempting to deceive us, then I would suggest that such people would probably for the most part consist of harmless, well-intentioned and devoutly religious folk. To such folk, the power could well be a bit like our appendix - we don't seem to know what it is useful for.

      So, whilst there may certainly be some religions/sects that you could say with justification (e.g., the proof of a well-documented and strong religio-political ideology and a charter that enforces that as a rule) that they operate a model that seeks to (say) exert influence/power and extort money from members (usually tax-free as well!) - rather than just having good intentions towards humankind - there are arguably some "non-mainstream" religions/sects that generally do not fit that model at all. Examples of such could arguably include:
      • Atheism. (Only joking!)    ;D
      • Quakerism.
      • Judaism.
      • Buddhism.
      • Bahaiism.
      • Heaven's Gate - a personal favourite of mine.    :)
      • Swedenborgianism.
      • Spiritualism
      • Sant Mat.
      • Hinduism.
      • Misogynism. (Oops! Sorry, that probably more properly belongs in the "mainstream" religions.)     ;D
      - and probably numerous others.

      I could attempt to bring this back on topic by suggesting that, if you consider that:
      (a) The video Products designed to fail, a documentary shows what apparently seems like an inherent and rather obscene (to some people) acceptance of predatory or consumer rip-off strategies by psychopathic Corporations (QED, The Corporation video).

      (b) These things (the psychopathic Corporations and their rip-off behaviours) are a direct result of the Western economies/societies having created them by legislation and accepting them by default/mute acceptance - thus making them characteristic of what has been created (i.e., they are exactly what you would expect to find, under the circumstances).

      (c) That the Western economies/societies have, for the most part developed Capitalism from a Judeo-Christian base system of belief.

      Then:
      (i) We could blame the current sorry state of affairs on religion at its historical root - i.e., what we are experiencing may be a sort of post-secularism after-effect of this religion and associated religiousness or religious thinking.

      (ii) There could be a prima facie case here to say that there is no further point in discussing the obscenities of the status quo and we should get on with planning and agitating to mandate a change to the system(s) that created it.