The Abundance-Machine That Eats Everything

I keep buying stuff and being utterly gob-smacked at how cheap it is. See these headphones

$19. That’s $19 NZ dollars – which is about $14 USD – and if I know anything about retail, it’s that the markup is generally 100% – so they wholesale at $7… which means if you take away all the import stuff… Jesus, what are they making them in China for? I mean have you seen what actually goes into these things? The wires themselves are as complicated as fuck – 3 ply coated with some unscratchable coloured insulating stuff and covered with rubber etc.

People go on about the self-fabbing revolution, and maybe it is a revolution – but even factoring in slave-labour, and externalisation of clean-up costs, I’m not sure that it can quite compare to the revolution in making complicated stuff really cheap. It’s insane.

Still – Banksy’s take on the Simpsons above… and so below…

That’s a particularly insane example – but do a search for Chinese Factory on Youtube…

There are hundreds of things like this…

I keep going on about the web-end of “the human-machine symbiote”… but looking at Chinese factory work videos… it’s manual as well – people are part of the machine. Just parts – with humans gradually being replaced by metal and plastic and silicon. It’s like that old sci-fi thing where a person’s body parts are replaced with mechanical spares… until eventually there’s no human left. We’re doing the same thing at a societal level. Firstly assimilating people into the machine as parts, then systematically replacing them with more efficient mechanical parts.

It’s a crap machine. It’s prime focus is selling beads to the unsophisticated natives of London and Los Angeles and Auckland and Tokyo… in exchange for… debt… aka slavery, aka time… and the value of human-time grows less with every passing year. We owe everything, and there’s nothing we can give back that’s worth anything. Except land I suppose. More slavery.

We’ve got to break this.