The Art of the Gyp

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People talk about shrinkflation – you pay the same but get less. The 10 ounce pack of bacon for $5.99 vs. the pound you used to get for the same price.

Which means, of course, that you’re paying more for less – but are expected not to notice it because the price hasn’t changed.

There’s another way you’re paying more for less, too.

If you’ve been in a new car showroom lately you have probably noticed the digitization of dashboards. The replacing of physical with virtual gauges.

Many new cars have entirely digital/flatscreen dashboards now. These have the virtue of being “configurable” – meaning, their appearance can be changed to suit whatever look the driver likes from a variety of programmed-in options (e.g., red-backlit “sport” displays with a big, racy-looking tachometer or “green” displays with backlit leaves that coach the driver to optimize his driving for the highest possible mileage). They are also capable of displaying much more information because you can change screens and scroll through various menus – just like a smartphone.

And they look futuristic – which helps sell the car. The first time you see an entirely digitized dashboard, you think you’re flying the starship Enterprise.

Make it so, Mr. Crusher!

But their chief virtue, from the standpoint of the car companies, is that they are cost-reducers. Electronics being the one thing in that gets cheaper – to manufacture – these Weimarian days. It saves the car companies money to plug in a flatscreen – probably made in (cue Orange Man voice) China and certainly using China-made electronics. Usually made of plastic, regardless. Plug and play.

But you pay.

The car’s price doesn’t go up markedly. But it doesn’t go down, either. Which means it costs you more than it should because it costs the company that built it less to make it – the savings not reflected in the price you pay. It is a way for the car companies to maintain their profit margins without seeming to be raising prices much – inflation excepted, which isn’t their fault or their gain (but most definitely our loss).

The analogy here is a plastic digital wristwatch vs. a jeweled Rolex made of metal with fine mechanical works within – often partially visible, so you can see what you paid for. The plastic digital watch tells time just as well, but it is a cheap throw-away.

The Rolex isn’t.

But there is this difference: A digitized car is cheaply made – but it isn’t a throwaway. When the smartphone-style screen goes dark or begins to glitch, you can’t just toss it because of the car it is attached to – which you paid Rolex money for. But without the screen you cannot drive it. That means having to pay to replace the screen – or paying to get a replacement car.

The screens being specific to your particular car means you can’t just go out and buy any old replacement screen – as you might buy a new smartphone or digital watch to replace the one that began to glitch and which isn’t worth trying to fix. You must buy their replacement – the one made by (or sold by) the company that made your car that fits your car and plugs into it and which is compatible with its proprietary operating systems. That means buying it from them or from an “authorized” re-seller. And probably having to pay them to install and program it.

People who own Apple computer products will already be familiar with this.

So, you don’t pay less for the electronically cheapened car. But you can expect to pay more to keep that car operable when the proprietary touch/tap displays fritz and require replacement.

It is also possible – it is probable – that the electronics will eventually “no longer be supported” – as well as no longer made. This happens rapidly to modern electronics. Ask the man who has tried to keep his circa 2010 Blackberry going circa 2021. Eleven years is Methuselean for a smartphone; it is – it was – about half the useful service life of a typical modern car, before they were turned into the Starship Enterprise.

How many miles did you get out of your last smartphone?

When your rolling smartphone goes dark, it will stop rolling – and you will be out of luck. A that doesn’t run – or whose systems (AC, heat) can no longer be operated because its flatscreen has gone dark being a very expensive cheaply made throwaway.

In this respect, electric cars are especially vulnerable as they are completely flatscreen- controlled and displayed. See, for instance, the single huge flatscreen that controls the operations of a Tesla. There are no physical control for any of its secondary systems; everything is tap/swipe. They won’t work when you can no longer tap and swipe.

There is also the flip side of being cutting edge when it comes to electronica.

Today’s latest thing is tomorrow’s cheesy-looking thing. Walking around with a Blackberry today is like walking around wearing breeches and a powdered wig, almost. Driving around in a 2022 car in 2028 with flatscreen that looks like the display of the original Starship Enterprise’s bridge will be like driving around with an 8-track tape player in the ’90s. With the difference being it took 20 years for the 8-track to become archaic and it’s easy enough to replace the thing with a modern stereo – without having to replace the car.

. . .

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55 COMMENTS

  1. And don’t forget hidden codes, BLOATWARE, and “upgrades” which all have suspicious motives. Already when you buy a new car, you sign a EULA (End-User-License-Agreement) which means you DON’T OWN the software needed to run your ride. Ergo, THEY can change it, at will, else, all you’ve got is a pile of iron, glass, rubber, fabric, and silicon with a small amount of precious metals thrown in. And given that most new rides have a built-in proprietary cell phone, which allows the car to “talk” to the manufacturer through a contracted network, it constantly sends feedback. It’s knows when you are sleeping..it KNOWS when you’re awake…it knows your EVERY move, like a wet dream of a Geheimestatzpolezei or Stasi case officer!

    Of course, it’s not much a of a stretch for the communication to go BOTH ways…e.g. your fancy new rides goes where THEY want it to go, NOT you, and if THEY don’t want you to go someplace, or at sometime, or for whatever reason, like your “social credit” is “low”, your expensive ride is a boat anchor. Already there’s a proposal in the Congress, which you noted, Eric, to require breathalyzers in new cars, and soon retrofitting of existing rides will be imposed due to S-A-A-A-A-F-T-E-E-E-E! Next they’ll have you prick your finger or piss in a tube or shit in a cup and run the sample through the mandated analyzer. However, let’s hope there’s meaningful pushback, as there was in 1975 when the seatbelt ignition interlock was mandated, and the damned things were unreliable. It was when a few Congress Critters plunked down some serious simoleans for a Caddy or Lincoln and the damned thing wouldn’t start, thanks to that stupid interlock, that action was taken to repeal the mandate, pronto, and dealers disabled them right away.

  2. Already seeing it in the wife’s slightly older than 2 years old traverse. She has that flip screen rearview mirror so when you are packed inside you can still see behind you with the video screen. Went to use it last night and it was only showing the bottom half of the video. So all you could see were the cars up near your rear bumper and only the bottom half of those cars. Problem #4 to take in to chevy in 2+ years. I’m now actually happy this is a lease. Thinking when the lease is up next summer i’m going to launch it and get her a used something that is just as big but doesn’t have all the gm issues.

  3. My stepdad used to have an 8-track that was 4-channel in his VW Bus! It was quite something at the time. He used to love his Switched on Bach 8-track. It was actually nice sounding.

  4. Since electronics are sensitive to extreme heat and cold, setting up an automobile with these gadgets seems foolish and will all fail in due time. It’s either stupidity on the car engineers part or a brilliant business strategy on the manufactures part to keep the sales rolling by forcing you to purchase everything time you pay the damn thing off. Just give me the old and reliable gauges so I can use my funds for other expenses, like groceries.

  5. I use a feature phone that looks like a Blackberry. The physical keyboard is indispensable; I don’t care how antiquated it might look. Physical keyboards all but vanished from phones 10 years ago for the very reasons listed here. The phones didn’t get less expensive, either, but they WERE less expensive to manufacture by becoming completely screen-operated.

    People’s apparent literary skills plummeted as well. Without the predictive text, people often text indecipherable gibberish. WITH the predictive text, their messages then become a game of wacky Mad-libs.

    At some point, hackers will see interest in their skills greatly increase, and they will become more important for car maintenance and repair than a guy with a Snap-on toolbox, as they will be a less-expensive circumvention of the dealer’s proprietary stranglehold.

  6. ‘The 10 ounce pack of bacon for $5.99 vs. the pound you used to get for the same price.’ — EP

    Not a problem for our Kalifornia komrades:

    ‘At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves.

    ‘National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply.’

    https://tinyurl.com/3cw942ub

    Fortunately there’s … wait for it … soy bacon!

    Your dog may shun it. But that crunchy SBLT (soy bacon, lettuce, tomato) will keep you going for your weekly covid test and your daily anti-fascist struggle session.

    Good times!

    • I would have to agree that factory farming is deplorable in the way animals are treated, and medicated, which medicates you as well. But why not advertise and sell better methods? If they voted for it, it means they want it. A great deal of such is caused by the massive extraction of wealth through taxes and regulations, forcing many to buy the very cheapest they can get.

      • CA’s new regulations also prohibit the animal owner from administering antibiotics to their sick animals.

        A vet or tech has to come & do it.

        Which as one owner noted is expensive enough that’s it’s cheaper to just let their sick animals die.

        • Hi Bill,

          This sort of thing has long been “practiced” upon the human livestock in this country. One cannot simply get meds one needs without going through a Quack – and paying through the nose for the Quack and then the meds. And most Quacks won’t even deal with you if you haven’t got insurance, which makes you pay through the nose, ongoing.

          It’s insufferable. The rent seeking and the presumption of idiocy. I’m intelligent enough to read a label and understand what a given medicine does, how much to take, etc. I don’t need a Quack to tell me.

          But they insist on making me pay for their services.

          • Would there be a plandemic, if Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin were available OTC at your drug store? I know Ivermectin is at farm supply, but many are reluctant to use drugs made for animals. Nearly all MDs refused to even prescribe them. The result is not just more expense, hundreds of thousands if not millions DIED because of it.

            • Ivermectin is only “allowed” for animal use in the US – not sure about other western nations….but is routinely prescribed/taken all over the world by humans. 3.7 BILLION doses, IIRC – not sure if that’s in a year, or total.

            • This was covered 23 years ago in the movie Armageddon, where the flustered NASA doc is discussing the relatively poor state of emotional, physical, and mental health of his rig crew members that would otherwise render them quite unfit for space flight…

              Dr. Banks: Fail. Fail. Depressively fail! One toxicology analysis revealed ketamin, that is a very powerful sedative!

              Harry : Sedatives are used all the time, doctor.

              Dr. Banks : Well this one’s used on horses.

              Harry : Some of these guys are pretty big.

    • > soy bacon
      I want pig bacon.

      >a coalition of California restaurants and business groups have asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to delay the new requirements.
      GFL.

  7. One thing nice about modern technology is that the internet has helped keep my 2 trucks (28 and 21 years old) and my 21 year old Jeep running good. YouTube university and truck forums. The Internet has given me the info and access to parts.

  8. They’ve re-branded Engineered obsolescence as the newest hippest technology in the wooorrrrlllld!

    As an example, light bulbs can easily be designed to last decades. What we have been accustomed to is replacing them in a regular basis. LEDs are better about this, but I’m recently seeing cheaper ones hit the market that are rated for 10,000 hours or less. (The big seller on high priced lighting was 60,000-100,000 hour lifespan) this has been slid in under the radar as most people don’t read or pay attention to anything other than what’s on duh teee-veee. All they think they know is, LED=long lasting energy saving. The gradual nudge towards tech that chains you to expensive proprietary upgrades and licensed software and hardware that only certified magic paper technicians can install and tweek has even invaded the world of farm machinery. Yes ladies and gents, it’s now become a debatable point as to whether or not a farmer is “allowed” to work on his own equipment.

    I have a feeling I’ll be spending more of my life away from centralized systems and more under the cover of speak-easy organizations. Yeah, I know a guy who knows a guy who will sell you raw milk, and hack the computer on your tractor so you can still use it without Jon Deere “enhancing your user experience.”

    This is becoming the world we live in.

    • There is no such thing as a system that can’t be hacked. All it takes is the will and a motive, as in money. Or perhaps post-money, some pork, chicken, or beef etc. Or, perhaps fixing a mechanical component on their equipment.

    • They’ve designed LED bulbs and fixtures to burn out really quick. They do this by chintzing on the number of emitters and driving them with way too much current in order to get the desired light output. The result is a single component fails open and your long life eco friendly LED bulb fails just as soon as an incandescent.
      There are ways to extend the lifespan of modern lighting if you buy high output name brand models and alter their current limiting circuitry to allow the lamps to run cool.

      To learn how do a YouTube search for “big clive dubai lamp”
      https://m.youtube.com/results?sp=mAEA&search_query=big+clive+dubai+lamp

      • Hello Anonymous:

        I was aware of heat being the biggest enemy of LED lighting and I know on the commercial end of lighting the more chips or elements and higher quality heat sinks, the better longevity you will get. Had not heard of Dubai lamps until today looks like somebody has them for sale on Amazon. Not sure of the actual authenticity of the Amazon bulbs but may get a few to check them out. Great link though! Thanks.

  9. Instrument clusters have been chipped for a long time. Long gone are the days of speedometer cables or even thermistors and fuel float rheostats acting on gauge circuits directly. I have no doubt that these displays could last just as long as modern “analog” gauges. My problem with them is their backlighting. I live in the sticks and it gets DARK here. Something city folk never experience. When driving at night any light source inside the car disrupts your ability to see low contrast objects in the road like a fat coon or a tire snatching pothole. Being able to dial down the gauges which only illuminate pertinent information is critical. On most backlit displays no matter how much you lower the brightness or “dark mode” the image it’s still a large glowing impairment staring you in the face. It’s retched in a car. What about saaaafffeety?
    Eric, you’ve driven vehicles from bargain models up to super luxury sport sedans. Have you noticed any difference in panel quality? To my knowledge tech like OLED or microLED eliminate the backlight glow altogether. So do the premuim brands just shovel the same garbage panels as normie cars and hope their customers are big enough suckers to not notice?
    A tablet cluster is another feature I give a hard pass on until they address backlight pollution.

    • Hi Anon,

      I also live in the sticks, where it gets dark – and, yes, they’re all pretty much the same. I would be willing to bet they use the same suppliers, all of whom make their stuff in (cue Orange voice) China

    • What happened to the dash dimmer which could turn dash lighting OFF is so desired. Wait a minute. Then the armed goons couldn’t see what you were up to, or “search” your car for things in plain view. Silly me.

  10. Well, the manufacturers might have gone with fairly standard Android, Linux or VXWorks imbedded OS, basic panels with HDMI inputs, etc. But that’s not how they (at least US manufacturers) think. In fact, I’m pretty sure they are encouraged to make things in house that are distinctly incompatible with everything else. Lots of European parts are sourced from Bosch, especially electrical items. Remember that diesel gate started as a “don’t do this but you totally could if you wanted to” demo from Bosch training VW engineers on their new ECM. That’s slightly better, but still not all that standard. Imagine if you could swap out the dashboard electronics like you would a failed hard drive? Or upgrade when there’s a new one? What then? But then the DOT certification would have to be done again, and for sure “you’re not qualified” will become a problem. Especially when some tuner kid posts his “modification” video to YouTube and some other tuner kid screws it up, making the OEM liable because it was too easy to change.

    • Hi RK,

      My Trans-Am’s main gauge cluster has a big printed circuit on back; it’s repairable and (if need be) one could make a replacement. Besides the functional simplicity/inherent repairability, I really dig the look. Old school gauges were – like steering wheels once were – very distinctive and car specific.

      Now both all look just the same….

  11. There is no distinct advantage to digital replacement of a well designed and laid out analog system. Except for the seller. I’m sure the national addiction to cell phones is a major factor. “See, it’s just like my cell phone.” Show them a gauge cluster and they would get a deer in the headlights effect. You might as well ask them to drive a manual transmission.

  12. It’s the authorized replacement parts that gets me.
    I can’t get an extra key fob without having it programmed at the dealer, so I have just one rather than shell out $150 for a spare.

    I also need some sensors reset after doing some customization, which requires – of course – a trip to the dealer.

    • @Dan I feel you on the “key” fob issue. Used to carry a spare standard cut key in my wallet so I’d never lock myself out of my car or house (these used to cost about $2.00 each) Now that’s impossible as I cannot put a fob in my wallet and they are too expensive to justify having a few spares laying around. You may try calling a locksmith for a spare. I needed a spare for my Ram pickup, the dealer wanted $240.00 a locksmith got me an aftermarket copy shipped and programmed for $130.00. If you need to clear codes on your vehicle, maybe invest in a decent scan tool. They’ve become more affordable in the last few years and fairly straightforward to use. I’ve gotten my money back on that scanner 5x times over in the last two years

      • SS,
        My fob has the inserted key in case the battery dies.

        I didn’t think about trying to have that key copied as a spare.

        Then I would only need a new fob if something happened to my current one.

        Never thought a locksmith would even have access to obtaining these.

        Thanks for the tip.

    • Had a car with proximity features. Walk up to the car with the fob in your pocket, push a button to unlock the door, turn a knob to start it. $300 to buy a spare. Fortunately, there was also a simple key attached that would do all the normal key things. The proximity key that no longer worked had one, so that was my spare key.

  13. Another Pleasant Valley Sunday, here in Status Symbol Land!

    Great song by the Monkees.

    My Ryobi battery-powered weed wacker has no digital readout. Still works good. Change out the spent battery for fully charged second battery, you can keep on going.

    You will still wait a while until the first battery is fully charged, by then, you will have had enough of weed wacking. The same 40 volt battery for the chainsaw, the same for the mini-tiller. No gas needed, just electricity. Great tools for yard and garden work. Two batteries, three mechanical devices. No three gas-powered engines, very convenient method of powering several tools.

    Lithium-ion batteries for powering mechanics tools too. Don’t need an air compressor for the impact tool. Battery power the tool, zips of lug nuts right now.

    A battery is your gas tank.

    An EV will be a different story. You’ll need to know how much battery life you have. Can’t run it dry of stored electricity, what it is. Get the thing to fly in the air, you won’t even need the tires, you can land using magnetism. Fly it anywhere in all directions. Just a better world.

    On the ground or in the air, if it goes, you don’t need a digital screen at all. It’s a gimmick, in the final analysis.

    You’ll have to have some darn good avionics. Small electric airplanes are a better idea than an electric passenger plane. That’s dumb.

    A two to four-seater electric airplane would be a highly desirable product, there would be a market.

    Everything would be fly-by-wire.

    All you will have to do is drink beer and listen to music.

    “Ain’t nothin’ that a beer can’t fix.” – Thomas Rhett

    • drumphish,
      Not sure where you are going with your comment? You are all *in* on lithium-ion but not so on the panel screen?
      My (about to be former) stock broker was telling me how fat dump and happy he was living in Calif under a power outage but was looking forward to the *eco-environment* that Apple was going to be selling everyone. The Eco environment will know your every whim and desire and have it delivered or get it ready for you everyday including your EV at the ready. What a worthless life to live if that is what you want.

      I re-watched the movie “The Worlds Fastest Indian” with Anthony Hopkins again. He was casting pistons by himself in his own garage. If we going to survive the Marxist revolution in progress we better figure out how to do things on our own and it may include living without power for a time. Better go back to that gas engine you dismissed for lithium-ion.

      • “If we going to survive the Marxist revolution in progress we better figure out how to do things on our own…”

        Exactamente, Mr. Gruber.

        • Hi BaDnOn and Hans,

          Maybe I’m the only one bothered by this but the increasing number of libertarians using Communism to describe what is going on is inaccurate and, IMO, counter-productive. Communism is State ownership of the means of production. The “Great Reset” is a move toward Fascism, or corporatism if you prefer, not Communism. Fascism is defined by nominal private ownership of the means of production, but with ultimate control belonging to the State. Fascism is the collusion of State and corporate power, for the benefit of themselves, at the expense of us. This is what is happening. To describe this as “communist” makes us look foolish, and undercuts a rhetorical weapon. Much of the left, and pretty much the entirety of mainstream liberalism, is promoting Fascism, not Communism. We should call them what they are.

          Cheers,
          Jeremy

          • Both “communism” and “fascism” are antiquated political systems limited to the cultural context of modernism.

            What we have now is Techno-Feudalism, a mutant novelty that combines, in Borg-like fashion, every tool of every tyrannical political organization of the past, but is none of those systems.

            • Hi Free_Phi,

              Techno-Feudalism is fascist at its’ core. It is the fusion of State and corporate power to create a worldwide company town.

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

              • I’m gonna disagree. It’s feudal at its core, since it does not arise from the fusion of State and corporate power, but is rather a form of power unto itself, that looms above the “legacy” institutions, and merely wields both State and corporate apparatus as enforcement mechanisms.

                I think using 20th Century terms like fascism and communism is to underestimate and distort the truly revolutionary nature–on multiple dimensions–of the ongoing transformation.

                Humankind is being domesticated by an intelligence that far surpasses our own, leaving the power divide between the individual and the source of the power so cosmically vast as to depart from any previous conception of “government” or “politics.” We are no longer citizens, or even serfs, but defenseless livestock. Today’s human heads of state, dictators, and tyrants have, themselves, been reduced to the role of obedient sheepdogs. This is something new.

                • Well-said, Freelance – I agree.

                  Synergies are at work, not the work of an individual fascist or Communist. They have taken on a life of their own, even if there is no life (as such) behind them. Like a ripe tide, we are all carried along. Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune, was prophetic as regards his elaboration of technology and huge corporate combines.

                  I think this can be beaten back; I have faith in the human spirit. But it will be a titanic struggle and it may take generations before it is over.

                  • Certainly a spiritual process, or to be precise, a de-spiritualization of the human race.

                    I don’t see anything resembling a “battle.” It’s so one-sided as to constitute a slaughter.

                    I don’t dispute that it’s of a spiritual nature.

                • Hi Free_Phi,

                  Interesting, something new is going on, but it has strong links to the past machinations of the power elite. A “worldwide company town” seems a good description of a modern, techno-feudal society. As for humankind being “domesticated”, this has long been the goal of eugenicists, a group that still exists, but presents under different guises (population controllers, climate change activists, trans-humanists, etc…). Yes, something new is going on, but it is not divorced from the past. Whatever the agenda of the modern techno-feudal overlords may be, fascism is the mechanism by which it is being implemented. You are correct, what is going on is not merely fascism but, to me at least, it is important to distinguish ultimate agenda from means of implementation.

                  Those libertarians who routinely label what is happening “communist”, minimize the totality of the threat facing us. As a techno-feudal society, a worldwide company town, is being constructed around us, through the collusion/fusion of State and corporate power, many purists libertarians throw up their arms and say “but,…private”. There must be a better defense against the emerging tyranny.

                  Cheers,
                  Jeremy

      • I’ll gas up and go. Gasoline remains liquid at sub-zero temps, no worries.

        Not really interested in an EV.

        Great movie. Never mowed his lawn. Burt was too busy turning wrenches to make his motorcycle go fast.

        I can throw down a weed wacker if the battery fails and heats to hotter than hot temps. Throw dirt on it, won’t be doing too much harm. Don’t get the battery wet.

        Not so in an EV with a battery pack that fails and you can’t react fast enough to even open the door to escape the fahr, might be locked and can’t be unlocked. 350 volts versus 40 volts is a factor of almost nine times. Too much risk right there. You need to install an ejection seat.

        Faulty equipment, materials, parts can cause failure.

        How come healthcare workers were on the job during a year of pandemic with no vaccine required? At this time, if they aren’t vaccinated, they can be fired.

        Something stinks to high heaven and it ain’t a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

        To digress:

        Nuclear energy can be harnessed. Paul Brown, a nuclear physicist, figured it out with some serious knowledge of nuclear physics.

        In summary, alpha and beta decay are electrically charged particles expelled from the nucleus at near-light velocities. Any moving charged particle yields a magnetic field, in which energy is stored, that is carried along with it. The absorption of this charged particle causes the magnetic field to collapse and this produces an emf. The energy yielded from this field collapse is enormous and is called the alpha or beta voltaic effect.

        The resonant nuclear battery is an LCR resonant tank circuit oscillating at its self-resonant frequency with energy contributed by the beta voltaic effect. The energy contributed to the tank, in excess of the circuit losses, must be removed through a high Q transformer impedance matched to the circuit. The result is a means for converting alpha and/or beta decay energy directly and efficiently into electricity, with a life expectancy determined by the half-life of the radioactive fuel used.

        A lot of brawn in Paul’s brain.

        http://www.rexresearch.com/nucell/nucell.htm

  14. Every car I’ve ever bought I liked the styling or I could at least learn to live with it. There are few new cars that look nice to me other than say a Challenger or even the Mini. The front ends of modern cars make me feel nostalgic for Edsels….. As for the Tesla; I’d rather be seen in a Pinto, Gremlin or even a Lada 1500. Real chrome bumpers again anyone?

    PS- My newest car is almost 20 years old and the oldest over 50 years old (undergoing a restomod presently). They all run.

  15. Yes, I have noticed the digitization of dashboards. Back in the day, I remember thinking more than once while watching Kit on the TeeVee show Knight Rider that they would be great sturdy long-lasting improvements.

    When I first learned about computers, hard drives & the internet I had similar thoughts, great – now information can be stored forever.

    Technology, lately, has been a real let-down. Every time I see a digital dash on anything: lawnmowers, tractors, ovens, refrigerators, washers & dryers, I automatically think: non-durable, short lifespan, overpriced junk.

    Perhaps, someday, something digital will impress me with its durability?
    I ain’t holding my breath on that one.

    • Right there with you on the non-durable part.

      One of my favorite movie quotes is from Spaceballs. When it is their last chance to press the cancellation button, they all race down only to find it out of order. “Even in the future nothing works”.

    • Yes. The ‘8’ on my 9 year old Samsung oven no longer works (I ‘bought’ it with the house) I’m sure it would cost too much to fix.

      • And I just thought I’d add…

        If anything says Bake 7 to 9 minutes, I have to bake it at 7 or 9 minutes. Not a big deal. But if that ‘4’ stops working, I’m in trouble. Imagine not being able to bake at 400-499 degrees…

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