Poetry – Built-in Obsolescence

Built-in Obsolescence

There’s an in-built obsolescent

At the heart of everything,

Waiting to expire

by the time we count to ten.

It is placed there by design

And is created by the clever

To induce us to replace

The model for another.

We too have a built in obsolescence

That is counting down the years

Wearing out our parts

With the sagging of our leers.

It leads to our expiry date

When we must move out the way

To allow a younger generation

To have the room to play.

Societies have a built in obsolescence

They begin and flourish, then decay.

The corruption and the inequality

Are acid at their heart

So that they become rotten

And collapse

To give a brand new start.

The planet has an in-built obsolescence

It will not always be this way.

The sun will eat it up, into its own bright new day.

Its tenuous existence will last a billion years or two

And then it will cease

And perhaps another world

Will give birth to life anew.

Opher 16.1.2016

Built in Obsolescence

Much as we like to believe that things will go on much as they are, will follow the same familiar pattern, we know that is not true. Change is the order of the universe.

Manufacturers build in weak links in their products so that they have a limited lifetime. When they fail they are replaced with the latest, trendy model. That ensures a constant market and stream of profit.

It was said that Henry Ford ordered a review of his cars to see when different parts were failing. Rather than address the weaker parts he ordered that the specs of the others parts be reduced to fall into line with the weakest aspects. He did not see the point of wasting money.

Our bodies have a genetic predisposition to age and die. It is necessary. Evolution has devised this solution. We shall not compete for space, food or water with our offspring. When our reproductive roles are completed we are dead space; we are moved out the way. Aging and death are our built-in obsolescence.

Our planet, our solar system and our universe itself has a limited life. It might be measured in billions but measured it is. Our sun will age and expand into a red giant that incorporates the bulk of the planets. The earth will be eaten up. We will shine. And as we shine all evidence of life and human civilisation will be eradicated. No fossil will remain. Likewise the universe will wind down as expansion and entropy change the complex to simple. The stars will flicker out and darkness, heat and hydrogen will continue to expand into nothing.

But when something dies something else is usually born.

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