Would you like to see the biggest failure of Humanity? It’s what is pictured in the picture above.
For a long while, the way human beings have tended to create has been from source, to product, then product comes back to nature, in a way that is not reclaimable by nature. Hence it’s a one way system. And that gap in the circle above, that what we refer to as “externalization”, where things go to die. Out of sight. Out of mind. But not in a way in accordance with the reality of the natural world.
When the recycle movement came to fruitiion, the recylce arrow attended to the way we use things in society, produce, consume, re-use, hence the three point arrow.
Our current society henges on the idea of use, as a seperate step of a product. And I think it’s this mindset, itself a product of the one way system of use it grew from, that holds us back from making further progress. I think subtly, a new language must appear that is not part of the ‘use’ paradigm.
When I discovered this idea, it was in the framework of engines. Rather than desinging engines that ‘use’, to achieve real progress, we must strive for engines that just produce and build upon, like a feedback loop. So two stages, build, build upon, kind of like a turbo, but without external input in the cycle. (gasoline injection)
Different Application: When a car exists, it spends its life in one of three stages: 1) Production 2) Use 3) Decay. The decay stage is looked at as when the car is junked. My view is that there are only two stages 1) Production 2) Product. And the decay stage is inherent in the product stage. Afterall, when can we really decide the car is in decay? After a certain amount of miles? IF you don’t drive it for months? The reality is, every machine begins a journey to falling apart the second the assembler takes their hands off of it.
But my model is only true for the first revolution. After that, it turns into one cycle, build upon.
So what would be the effects of looking at products more holistically, and simplified? Well, We’d see an iPhone not just as something in our pocket, but also something in a landfill, and remove the third stage of Decay from something we externalize to others. Instead, we would view these things as responsibilities, changes we caused in the universe to satisfy ourselves, rather than “use” product with externalized, out of sight/mind decay stage.
How would this effect manufacturing? It would put greater emphasis on component repairability, durability, and overall environmental friendliness of manufacturing pieces. This is in stark contrast to the planned obsolecence and unplanned, but price oriented production of cheap, built to price with lowered life spec goods we currently encounter, sadly, at a time when we could make things that last longer than ever before.
TLDR; Decay is part of a product, not something that happens when you are done with it. Products are responsibilities to those whom cause them to be built. We need a new language and mindset to keep up with the reality that decay is not an externalized stage, but one the producer and product buyer are inherently responsible for causing, and dealing with.