Monday, November 19, 2012

Social Media and The Limits to Growth

I've been writing a column for Duluth's Zenith City (semi-) Weekly, profiles with portraits, of the kind of people I've covered on this blog. That's taken me away from here for a while.

I came back with the idea of short, frequent comments, and found that the software had changed, gone beyond what my decade-old iMac could do, beyond what I could upgrade to.

The IMAC is a great old workhorse. Congratulations to Apple for making something that's easy to use and that lasts!

One of the suggestions that The Limits to Growth made for limiting industrial investment to depreciation, and avoiding worldwide economic collapse, was producing long-lasting things that are easily repaired. Think of the old Volkswagen Beetle, or the chest freezer in my basement that's probably as old as I am.

Changes in Blogger (and other social media site) software doubtless fit Google's (and other companies') business plan and contribute to their bottom line, but they force us to scrap perfectly good tools, or opt out of the civic conversation. Do wrong or be disenfranchised. This depletes society's actual wealth, even though it employs and enriches some. It's an example of how individuals' interests can be contrary to society's, of how the short term preempts the long.

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