Choices of Technology and Dependency

I was given a set of digital bathroom scales and after about the fifth time of using them they started to play-up.  On further inspection I noticed that when I picked them up, the scales would rattle.  I opened-up the scales and I discovered that the plastic workings inside had disintegrated.  Still, these scales nearly work and most times give you a reading of ‘E-E’ but with enough goes, my scales will give any weight-reading you wish.

Alas, the scales will end up in at the recycling centre, and maybe the electronics will get recycled.  The plastic materials used in its construction will, I suspect, end up in land fill.  I believe these scales were designed to have a short life – ‘planned obsolescence’ . Maybe ‘planned obsolescence’ is needed because if the never ending conveyor belt of buying stuff (plastic crap from China) stops, then so does our growth-based economy.

However, I do have buying choices.  I am in need set of non-digital scales, not for weighing myself, but for measuring ingredients for soap making and for jarring honey.  I have seen on eBay a set of scientific balance-scales which were made in the 1960s (perhaps?).  These scales are made of metal and their age has proven they were built to last.  They are simple and have few working parts; put item that needs weighing on one arm and add weights on the other arm until it balances.  Also, no electronics to go wrong, no feeding the machine with batteries and no plastics to break after a while.  If I get to own these scales, then my ownership of them not require a dependency on the current money system for their up-keep and replacement.

In closing, here is a quote from Eric Brende’s book, ‘Better Off – Flipping The Switch on Technology’:-

“Here, perhaps is the first of all lessons in the use of power, whether technological or physiological: trimming back the means until only the essential remain.”

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