Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do your bit for the environment, write a review!

Designers have moved from making products that are as good as possible, to being as good as necessary. We've had beds that last up to seven years, washing machines that last for 4 years, and now cars that don't really go much more than ten years. This is the problem with the way we work. We buy stuff based on what we think we want, not on what we actually need. It's been like that for centuries, but only in the last century has the design of things been so blatently directed at making things appear to do all they things we want them to do, but still not worth having.

I see an end to this due to the internet. Yes there will still be tat for those that do not heed the warnings, but just in the same way as science got a lot better when peer review began to make its way into the main, user reviews are how we get away from products that only appear to be good.

If you think about it, all the tat has to be manufactured somewhere, has to be made using resources of material and power. These are wasted resources because they can't usually be recycled, and the amount of use gained from the tat is minimal so it encourages more production. The only way to stop the tat being made, and thus increasing the quality of goods in general, and reducing the unnecesary usage of resources on unworthy designs of goods, is to make sure we evolve the manufacturers by not buying stuff that is sub-standard. Low cost manufacturers will go out of business, and be replaced by higher quality producers as the demand for quality goes up. This can be done through user reviews of the things we buy. Peer review made science stronger and better. User review, though not really related, can be a form of natural selection for the animal kingdom of commercial goods manufacturers.

So, do your bit for the environment: write a review.

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