Friday, July 13

iPhone Hesitation

In his provocative essay, “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer,” Wendell Berry established nine good rules for why and when the latest and greatest technological innovations, gadgets, and gizmos can in good conscience be adopted:

1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.

Even if I do not entirely agree with each and every one of these rules, taken together, they should give adequate pause to all our high tech impulse buying.

3 comments:

Paul said...

Those points are very interesting. They would definitely disqualify the iphone since in order to replace the battery, you have to send the thing in to Apple every few years for them to replace it. This sounds a little like 1984. Everyone who buys an iphone is now almost guaranteed to come back to the "gods" of technology to get their batteries replaced. They are in their power now.

Also, if I ever buy an iphone, I'll wait until after they release the version with 30 gigs of song storage as opposed to just 4. Yes, very clever on the part of Apple-everyone gets excited and buys one, then when the next latest and greatest version that Apple could've released right away comes out, they all come back for the upgrade. But that's marketing! And that's when I should have a chance to pick up a really cheap iphone with only 4 gigs of song storage.

mattb said...

I'm not sure I would agree with any but 3 and 9. While some of the others might be nice, I don't know that I would ever require them. However, in the case of the iPhone, there is no reason that they couldn't have made the battery replaceable by the consumer. That is definitely a sticking point with me--although I do love my iPhone!

Michael R. Shipma said...

Reading Berry's essay some time ago is why I went to the Moleskine for my note-jotting and calendar needs.