30 November 2008

Tech Retardation

I would first off like to state that I am not "into" recycling.  I do not believe in purchasing a canvas bag because I think that I'd always leave it at home.  The only time my consumer waste makes it into the recycling bin is when the trash is too full for it,  or when there is a large stack of it and it is convenient.  I just wanted to get the truth out there so that after reading this post you will have no questions as to what kind of "Eco" person I am.


All that being said there is something that I noticed as "Massive Waste" that I felt it important to bring to light.  I view the tech industry to be highly wasteful.  "How's that? Besides the obvious." you say?


When looking up one of my old laptops on HP's website I found a listing for 3 dozen different laptops with greatly varying features, in processor as well as in motherboard.  "Where's the waste? I'm sure that HP came out with those models in a economical fashion as possible" you say.  The waste and the harm of having multiple models occurs in the very notion of having "multiple models."  While I do realize that some tech creations are radically different in price because the actually cost more to manufacture,  what about the thousands of artificial costs created by just separating product into groups. 


Just look at the processors alone dozens and dozens of different grouping of different speed processors.  Each processor grouping and speed step is priced out differently in order to maximize profit.  It is not a giant leap to think that Intel has processors designed years into the future.  If Intel for example was to publish its latest off the bench processors as ready to use imaging how many processors thousands of ton's of processors sitting in landfills four years from now would be saved.


Right now, technology is created with the mentality "Tech for profit's sake,"  could you imagine if a radical shift of principal to "Tech for tech's sake" occurred.  This shift of principal is highly idealist,  not just idealist but altogether impossible since profit drives the creation of the next and great processor.  I recognize this idealist disconnect; however that does not mean that these tech companies in order to be "Eco Responsible"  could not implore some of this "tech for tech's sake" principal. 


How?  I do not have that many great ideas on this front.  However I do think that instead of an upper level manager asking an engineer by asking him "what do you think the next marginal upgrade to this product which makes us money?"  That  manager should be asking  "What will be our next great product?"


Think about that shift in manufacturing principals next time you decide between the 8400 and the 9650 video cards or the 500gb hard drive and the 1.5TB hard drive, or the next thing you buy.


Also part of me wrote this because I want tomorrows processor today!

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