TWIG 561: Lions vs. Gazelles

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

I have the Sense energy monitor that Stacy was talking about. It does have a learning curve and will slowly discover devices the longer it is on. I most recently added the solar energy monitor to it. Stacy will love the IFTTT integration.!


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Thanks to @gigastacey for saying/confirming what I’ve been saying for nearly 2 decades. Predatory capitalism, or the stock markets in general have been bad for business for a long time.

They don’t care whether a business succeeds in the long term, they come in, rape the company for any profit they can get out of it in the next quarter and dump and run, before the whole pyramid collapses.

It is like this constant looking for growth in businesses. Businesses reach a certain size, then they stall, they have reached peak-product, the market is saturated and it is no longer “new and wonderful” that will drive people to buy a new, improved one, it has reached maturity and sales will level off and carry on a that level for decades to come.

White goods are a good example of this. The PC market has moved into this category, there are incremental improvements, but nothing to force existing customers to upgrade. So the products last longer. The smartphone industry has also reached this level, but is saved by the lack of security updates.

If you look back a hundred or 2 hundred years, people bought a good quality product and kept it for their lifetime and the quality was good enough that they held for several lifetimes. Even in the mid to late 20th Century, outside of IT and consumer electronics, quality was king.

My mother received a Sunbeam mixer as a wedding present in the mid-60s. She used it several times a week for decades. The motor finally burnt out around 2002, nearly 40 years of use. My wife is on her 3rd mixer since I met her. Likewise, the dishwasher we bought when we moved into the house broke after just 8 years. Finding a high-quality replacement that didn’t have IoT and would need to be either replaced or disconnected after a couple of years was difficult. Most of the Siemens were App-controlled and could order replacement tabs or salt crystals for you. No thank you. I still have to pack the thing, so I don’t need to start it when I’m not there. The same for the washing machine.

And TVs? We had a colour TV in the early 70s, my father was still using it nearly 30 years later, when he died. We have had the revolutions to wide-screen CRT to Plasma to LCD and to HD, FullHD and UHD, but even so, I doubt none of those devices would still be working in over 30 years time. Heck, my 2017 Android TV had to be disconnected from the Wi-Fi last summer, after 18 months, because the security updates had stopped and it was vulnerable to over 20 zero-days from Android! It is now a dumb TV, with a FireTV stuck in its arse. I bought a soundbar last summer, I deliberately bought a dumb one, because the speakers should still be working in 10 or 20 years, but the IoT side of it will be lucky to still be working in 2, I’d rather invest the extra money in better quality components and sound quality than short-lived gimmics.

But the businesses are no longer praised for good services, good quality products, they are only praised for shifting an increasing number of boxes each year. The whole market has been turned into a pyramid scheme.


I’ve felt since college that a paradigm shift is sorely needed, in which the goal would no longer be the almighty dollar but personal enrichment for everyone. Don’t make the product because it’ll make you rich but because it’ll add something to someone’s life. Companies start that way, but then they get funding from someone or multiple someones who require them to chase profit over quality. I was listening to a podcast today (Economic Update) where Professor Richard Wolff was discussing with his guest whether capitalism might be a phase. It was an interesting discussion, as is that podcast.

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@Leo gave @gigastacey the best practical explanation of cat psychology ever :grin:

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Amen. As a kid I would go on repair calls with my dad or see people come into his shop and get parts for large appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators) that were 10-20+ years old. And for a relatively small investment every few years people could keep these things going. One of my neighbors had a TV repair business and it was the same thing. People would actually get replacement parts for TVs and get them back in working order for several more years. There’s still a parts and repair business for large appliances (though it has gotten smaller and more expensive) but TVs are now essentially disposable because the repair costs are now comparable to the replacement costs.