Saturday, 6 February 2016

Why Is 'Why Is This Still a Thing' Still a Thing?

Planned Obsolescence Can't Do Away With *Really* Useful Items; No matter How Much Corporations Whinge.
There’s a sort of tenet in journalism that if a reporter is curious about something, other people probably are too, so it’s worth writing about. Curiosity (or nosiness, depending on the situation) is essential for any journalist who wishes to uncover very important stories, or not-so-important but still fascinating ones. In my daily life, I regularly had friends and family members bemoan the seemingly outdated technology that surrounds us. “Why the hell is this still a thing?” was a common refrain, whether it be in reference to manual can openers, snail mail, or tampons. So much of our technology is advancing at a breakneck pace. You can’t have a new smartphone for more than a year before it’s outdated, and every day there are endless stories about the new gadgets and gizmos designed to (allegedly) improve our lives. Yet dotted throughout this modern tech landscape are these anachronisms: lingering, often centuries-old pieces of technology that are still used with frequency and dependency.

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