Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Fix is In

This is a wonderful expose of the repair cultures that exist in various parts of the world to fix electronic goods. The powerpoint slides are here. As a dedicated tinkerer from immigrant stock, I must say that I have a pretty strong hankering for fixing things myself. There can be something very beautiful about repairing objects when it becomes a national phenom - witness the American cars from the 1950's that are in Cuba, all lovingly restored and still on the road.

Most of the people of the world fix at least some things when they break - it's only in America where you get a virus and the computer gets thrown out. Reminds me of the classic image of the King taking a bite out of a chicken leg and throwing it over his shoulder. Is there really no market for fixed things? Are we really all paid that much that it's not worth our time?

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