ubertar wrote:Light bulb regulations now are progressive. In the 1920s, not so much...
I would accept your argument above if longer-than-1000-hour bulbs gradually faded from the market due to lack of demand (though there'd still probably be a niche market, as I said to Chris above). But apparently, that's not what happened. The leading light bulb manufacturers got together and set standards, and the longer-lasting bulbs stopped being produced, all at once. Unless that's a lie-- but I haven't seen anyone disputing that part, only the reasons behind it. These weren't government standards-- those came much later, and there's no conflating the two.
I understand where you're coming from. But it doesn't have to be an outright lie to be worthy of dispute.
Think of it this way: Maybe the industry had to create conventions and standards on its own, because there was no governing body in existence yet that could make these standards on such a new technology. And perhaps those standards really did
stamp out nefarious activity like as misleading longevity claims, wasted power, and a race to make more and more inefficient bulbs as a misleading marketing strategy that would sap credibility from the entire industry.
It's somewhat telling that as soon as government was capable of regulating these things on a legal level, they adopted many of the same conventions. If these conventions were really that counter-productive, wouldn't we have been right to change them? They're literally the same regulations in many cases. How could the same rules be progressive now, but somehow un-progressive then?
Honestly, I think that having useful lightbulbs that use less power is better than having extremely low-output lightbulbs that waste literally, twice as much power. That's true to me no matter which way you look at it: A a consumer, as someone who cares about the environment, as someone who's interested in hidden costs. But more on that in a minute.
ubertar wrote:Yes, there are lots of crappy printers that die just because they suck. That says nothing about a particular make and model of printer that has a counter chip that tells you the printer needs maintenance after a certain count, and stops working, and customer service tells you to just buy a new printer.
I don't have nearly as much expertise in cheap crappy printers, so I can't comment on this authoritatively. But I have a feeling that if you really investigated the films claims, these "counters" may be far less nefarious, or far more necessary than the film lets on. That's clearly the case with how they addressed lightbulbs. Based on their failures there, they just don't have any credibility for me. If you have some more reputable sources you'd like to share, I'd be happy to check 'em out! But I think the real story is likely to be a lot more nuanced.
ubertar wrote:Most printers are cheap, not just because they're crappy, but also because they don't mind taking a loss on the printer b/c they more than make up for it with the ink. I haven't gone so far as to refill cartridges on my own, but you can get pre-refilled cartridges for much cheaper than new ones, and IME they work fine.
Fixed that for you!
It's true: The cost of some printers is kept artificially low in order to appeal to consumers. It's just like how the cost of our iPhones and other gadgets is often kept artificially low, and we pay for their true cost through our inflated service contracts instead. All that comes down to human psychology.
If we wanted to pay less for ink, we'd have to pay more for the printer up front, and that which scares many consumers away. So, companies artificially lower the price of printers and then inflate the price of ink. Consumers unfortunately, seem to reward them for this behavior, which is pretty dumb of us.
If we use a lot of ink, there's a good chance that buying an appropriately-priced printer that used generic ink would save us money. But what often ends up happening instead is that we'll see another company offers a printer that's artificially lowered to half the price and then we buy that instead -- Even if it costs us more in ink fees in the long run.
The printer companies know this about us and price their products accordingly. It's kind of our own dumbass fault.
If industry or government got together to regulate this stuff in order to help prevent us from being dumbasses (much like they're done with lightbulbs) I'd be all for it. But it would almost certainly have the side effect of driving up the price of printers in the short-run. This requires no conspiracy -- Just natural market incentives.
Now, I'm not saying that the early lightbulb trusts didn't "fix" higher prices. That's just wrong. What I'm saying is that if those regulations were wise and were reinforced by government, they wouldn't have
to. Higher prices in the short term would be a simple function of that very useful regulation. But here's the fun part: once we rule out putting insanely inefficient lightbulbs on the market, companies can then focus on beating eachother at making better efficient
lightbulbs. In the absence of an illegal trust, this would only drive down
consumer prices in the long run -- on an what's ultimately superior product that serves the consumer better. So that's why government adopted the same conventions and simply busted the illegal trust. And it was a damn good call!
If anything, those super-long life bulbs were a lot like cheap crappy printers: Save on buying new lightbulbs, spend more on your electric bill! See how that works? For the same amount of light, you'd have to install twice as many bulbs, each of which would waste far more power than a single shorter-life bulb!
Honestly, I think we really need more great consumer-friendly mags out there that provide more real education about this stuff. The only problem is that they require subscription support to take precedence over ad support, and it's hard to get consumers to pay for subscriptions right now! If only there were some really good consumer journals that could convince folks that it's in their best interest to pay through subscriptions rather than through ad exposure. Oh snap! Catch 22. : )
ubertar wrote:If you had said what you just said above in the first place, instead of PROPAGANDA!!! AVOID!! Don't fall for it! Pseudoscience!! (I'm paraphrasing, obviously) it wouldn't have rankled me like it did.
I'm sorry to say it then, but I stand by those comments. I really do believe there's a lot of one-sided propaganda and scientific blindness in what I saw. I'm sorry if that rankles you further. But they just didn't do their research. Either that, or they explicitly ignored the side of it that wasn't convenient to their message.
I'm really not looking for a fight here. It's just that when I see important information missing I have a deep compulsion to throw it out there. I know that can be annoying sometimes, so my apologies in advance if I do it again!
ubertar wrote:Hey, if you're getting tired of this conversation, I don't mind ending it here. Peace.
No worries and no hard feelings! I just really feel like that film left a lot out and it bugged me. So we've both been bugged. But I think we are pretty far OT right now, and you're definitely right: we should probably reel it in.