New and improved, really?

// Posted by on 06/11/2015 (6:45 PM)

Last week’s reading made me feel stupid.  Stupid because I had no idea about high frequency trading and data farms.  I can honestly say that my awareness has been raised.  This week’s reading about e-waste made me feel guilty.  It made me feel guilty for wanting new things especially when the old ones are working just fine.  Recently I have been thinking about buying a new car.  I have been looking online at different makes and models to see what I type of car I may want.  I hate buying a new car.  I hate it because I am a nervous wreck until it gets its first scratch!  I also think that a new car is a complete waste of money because they depreciate as soon as you drive them off of the lot.

I drove my last car for 12 years before buying my current car in 2007.  I like the car, but it is having some issues that have made me turn my head to look at newer models.  In 2007 the thing that I wanted most on my new car was power door locks.  Sad, I know, but that is what I wanted.  (A good stereo goes without saying, but I am saying it anyway!)  Actually I wanted to be able to plug my iPod into the car.  I can do that and it gets 32 miles per gallon.  My car came out before the backup cameras, and Blue Tooth syncing and other gadgets that I did not even know where available.  I am okay with not having those things.  My first car didn’t even have air conditioning or a FM radio.  So I can put up with not having all of those gadgets, it is just that they look so cool.  Here is a link to a Andy Rooney and his thoughts on all of the gadgets in cars these days!  Forgive me Andy Rooney.

E-waste, I did not know it was so bad.  I have at least 3 old cell phones at my house in addition to the one that I use every day.  You know the one that I couldn’t find before class the other night because I was using it?!  I have always been afraid to turn them in because of not being sure that all of my information was removed from it so I just keep them, the cases, and the chargers.  I saw promise at the end of the article when Giles Slade wrote about manufacturers making phones that could be repaired and improved upon.  I think the only way that this will work is to raise the public’s awareness regarding the e-waste problem, mining for the rare earth minerals it takes to make our electronic devices, not just phones, and the government to hold manufacturers and consumers accountable for the waste.

I have an idea,  I think we could and should store our e-waste at Bluffdale!

Where do they all go?





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Rosatelli said...

Hi Ginger,

I, too, keep things much longer than most. My car was new in 1997, and my students told me that I was not fit to teach digital culture with my Blackberry, so I upgraded last year under immense pressure from 19 and 20 year olds. I think this has more to do with the face that I’m thrifty and hate waste in general (I have a massive composter in my back yard for food waste), but I also see the value in thinking about what you purchase and where it goes when you are done. I hope that the ewaste case study was a fair end to our summer class because it caps off the rhetoric that we were promised with Brand, and the idea that digitization is somehow not physical. I wanted to show you all that digitization is very physical. There is a materiality to the web that we should understand in one way or another, and this isn’t even the entire story! We didn’t have time to delve into the manufacturing of our products. Rhetoric is powerful, the rhetoric that shapes our culture is powerful, but we should be knowledgeable about various perspectives as well.

// 06/12/2015 at 3:16 pm

Shirley said...

You go girl! I have owned at least two of the phones in that pile… I vaguely recall once seeing a sign that old phones could be donated to batter women. Thank goodness there are too many cell phones to satisfy demand. Do you think Professor R is allowing her students to lead her astray >:)

// 06/12/2015 at 6:14 pm