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In the post-war boom of the 50s, we were promised “homes of the future,” among other technological advances, that would make life so much easier; freeing up more leisure time.

Then, I think, capital realized that it didn’t want workers having more free time. Free time allowed people to think about the world around them. They would have more time to be engaged in the realm of public affairs, creative endeavors not belonging to capital, realizing how much of their own productivity is lost to capital, and educating themselves for a better life.

People are harder to control when they’re not tired from working all day, or not living under the threat or fear of financial ruin. So technology instead was put to use as a means to make us actually work more, not less. Now we’re always connected; always expected to be available.

I’d also say technology has been put to great use pushing us farther apart as it makes us more “connected.”

A couple employers ago, we were still using AIM for office communication. Even while we may have been just a room away. No need to leave your desk to ask a coworker a question about a project, where you’d run the risk of spending another 10 minutes talking about non-work related topics, away from your workstation. Not when you could multitask from your wage slave cell... I mean cubicle.

There’s also the thread of how technology has been harnessed to target us with even more commodities to buy so we remain constant consumers, while the products we’re psychologically manipulated into buying have shorter and shorter lifespans.

Which brings us back full circle to the benefits of analog, this time in terms of tangible, physical objects. “Things” were once built with quality as the main goal. My table saw is approaching 50 years old. It’s built solid, and to last. Not like most on the market today where you know you’ll end up needing to replace it in say ten years.

Or a modern car that may come with a thousand creature comforts, and yes, safety, but one little chip goes bad and it’s a two-ton paperweight that will cost you two grand to put back on the road. A lot different than the days when you carried a couple spare parts in the trunk and could, mostly, fix it where it died and be back on the road; things like torn belts, etc unlike now where you’d have to remove half the front end to even get to a belt. Even something like a water pump could be replaced in under an hour, on the side of the road.

That did run a bit long, but I’ve long thought about the switcheroo that happened right after we “won the Space Race.”

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