Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Planned obsolescence

I sat in the cafe at Jackon's Lane this morning waiting for a rather jovial-looking chap to fix the coffee machine. He had a European accent, and, at one point, the woman behind the counter, who'd been chatting away to him, asked if he was Polish. She wasn't accusing him of anything. She was just interested. His response, however, was telling. Instead of saying "yes I am" with a big, proud Slavic smile, he mumbled an affirmative, looking around, hoping that no one else would hear. Is that really the truth of the post-Brexit world?

On another "is this really the world we live in?" matter, my music writing software has suddenly become incredibly glitchy. I am having to restart the programme over and over again, just to get it to do what it used to do faithfully and reliably. Nathan suggested I went online to see if there was an update for the software, and there is, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's a paid for upgrade. I was moaning about it to Fiona this morning, who introduced me to the concept of "planned obsolescence," where a company or inventor deliberately creates an object or programme with a limited shelf-life, to up the amount of times you have to replace it - and therefore pay the company more money. It's a hideously cynical thing, and probably explains why Nathan's ancient iPod is still working whilst generations of newer iPods have broken down on us. The same is true of those old Nokia phones, and Fisher Price toys... it's made worse by the fact that, in this post-Brexit world, where we're all obsessed with being British, we're still buying shed loads of tatty shite from China.

You can read about the ghastly practice of planned obsolescence here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

But, you know, as long as we get rid of the immigrants and take back control of all of our laws, who gives a damn what the multi-nationals do?

I had quite a lot of fun at Jackson's Lane people watching in the gaps between composing. One little girl, who, based on her limited vocabulary, must have been about two, was repeatedly saying the word "mummy." Seconds later, she caught sight of the giant charity donations pot behind me. She rushed over, threw her arms around the Perspex box, and started intoning the word "money..." This went on for about five minutes. "Money, money, money, money, money, money..." She'll make a fabulous investment banker one day!

Another child stood at the food counter with her grandmother. "Would you like fish fingers?" Asked Grannie. "Yes." Said the girl. "Wouldn't you prefer a sandwich?" "Yes" "Or a beigel?" "Yes" "Ooh, they have chips. How about some lovely chips?" "Yes..." "Well which do you want?" "All of it..." Ask a silly question... I'd have personally quit whilst I was ahead with the fish fingers...

I helped out on another quiz tonight. It was on High Holborn in one of those Edinburgh-esque buildings where one of the entrances is on the third floor on account of the building straddling two roads on very different levels. I think the area is known as Holborn Viaduct. I don't know that part of London at all, so afterwards, ended up walking in the wrong direction, arriving at Blackfriars when I was expecting to find myself at Farringdon. Boo!

The quiz rather finished me off. It was in a loud, hot space and, by the end, my cold was beginning to rear its head again, like that unwanted party guest who talks obsessively about science fiction and then vomits in the bath.

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