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Subscribe or Die

July 23, 2019
The day software chewed off your life

My smart neighbor used to take great care of his lawn. I, for one, only bothered with minimal maintenance. For years, even during the summer's dryest heat waves, his grass held through perfectly, with a bristled bright green, whilst mine turned spotty, threatening yellow. Thanks to generous applications of Roundup and other over-engineered chemicals, his front yard always stood out. I guess I'm not that smart, which explains why my lawn looked normal.

Then a few months ago, the same neighbor sold his house and moved out. Almost immediately, the previously shimmering green turned brown and all the grass revealed itself as dying or already dead. By now this adjacent lawn is but a path of desert land;  a dead zone where odd weeds I do not recognize love to thrive. It still stands out, but for the wrong reasons. By comparison, my lawn looks like an expensive golf course. Seriously: I'm surprised Donald Trump hasn't yet made me an offer. I should take a video and post it on Twitter.  

The moral of this (100% true) story is that in the end, my lawn is smarter than his, and it's not even trying. His lawn tried so hard it died still, on its feet, for the sake of maintaining appearances at all cost. You could say that the neighbor's grass was on a chemicals subscription and that it ran out.



Such is the world we live in.

For a world that's trying to get away from limited life products and packaging, having products that just stop working after only a few years is a tough sell. [source]

In this excellent article published on RedShark, Chris Foreman dares to tackle a subject that is little discussed in mainstream media: the implications of a subscription-based life. We talked about this before, and will likely do it again in the future.

In short, it seems like the smarter your equipment (cameras, lighting, and other smart devices) is, the more doomed it is to suffer quick and unpredictable obsolescence. This is due in no small part to the model of acquisition that these products abide by. In order to stay smart (or just plain working), connected devices need a subscription. The software that runs them does, too. So while there are obvious advantages to using smarter devices, the added, artificial brain power that they are imbued with comes at the cost of slowly draining your own brain (they require continuous management) as well as your wallet. It's something to keep in mind.

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