But members break the tools all the time and don't take responsibility for it. Even though there are cameras and people have to swipe their card at the door it still happens.
I think one reason sharing is not as common is because people are jerks.
I remember when I was a kid we used to borrow each other's NES games all the time and never give them back.
I broke a viscometer at work because I dropped something like 2 cm since I'm a clutz. I tried fixing it and rechecking the equipment but to not success. Now, we a big company with tons of money so this should be no big deal.
We call in the vendor and they spend 4 hours fixing it and we spend 10k.
Well, I get bitched out by 4 people on separate occasion as and constantly reminded after repeatedly apologizing and coming forth about my mistake.
That is why people dont come forward. Accidents happen but some people act like it was intentional assholeness.
I couldn't stop apologizing and feeling bad for a tiny slip of hand. But I was crucified and almost lost my job for something that took a 4 hour visit from the vendor.
People would come forward when things break if people had better managerial, parenting, and conflict resolution skills.
I'm happy to explain what happened, and I'm happy to suggest improvements for avoiding a similar accident in the future. If you think I screwed up, chew my ass or write me up. Past that, it is what it is, and if you hold it over my head like a nagging parent, I'm going to use my outdoor voice.
The typical reason things get broken like that is carelessness. And many people wouldn't have come forward like you -- not because they're justly afraid of overly harsh treatment, but because they have nothing to gain by doing so and don't share your moral principles.
That is background context in which your unfair treatment should be interpreted. Which is to say: I think you have the cause and effect backwards. And you, as a fair honest person, found yourself paying for "the way most people are."
Things will break as people learn how to create. Part of the journey.
If you shout at them they'll probably lose interest.
My rule is "borrow to try, buy if you're serious about it"
At our maker space we tell people that they should not worry if they break stuff, unless it's done on purpose we pay for it. Because broken stuff is not the problem. Having broken equipment and not knowing about it is. It's frustrating when you discover that a important machine does not work on Saturday evening and can not use it the whole weekend.
I hate to be so negative about this, because I would love to just be able to share things with neighbors/friends.
I imagine the people you're talking about don't. Have you asked directly, though? Making it clear that you expect them to pay - and will ask - may help them avoid asking to borrow something and breaking it next time.
If not are there other parenting strategies that are more appropriate to use with adults?
What won't work is an organization full of adults who think they are never children. You need at least a couple of adults who realize we're all children sometimes for things to run smoothly.
The school/makerspace comparison sucks.
Relevant aside: in Boston, there is a community boating organization. They own the boats, and members (who pay a fixed monthly fee) can take out any boat at any time… IF they have passed the requisite training courses and exams, both of which are administered by knowledgable staff. Again, this is a process which literally takes years, to work up to the more expensive/dangerous boats.
Also the last interaction I had with a college library was being charged $200 to replace a textbook that had a cup of coffee dumped on it, so in my experience libraries aren't really model replacement-cost internalizers.
When I worked at a hire company, we put a hold on the card for a fixed value for some smaller items - hand tools, things like lawnmowers that we were doing a deal on, or an extra days rent for larger items.
Although actually, the confidence I'm displaying above may be unwarranted. Maybe the hold value was actually a fraction of the full value and then a portion of the rental price went towards insurance. Not sure.
He had trouble extricating himself, his heart beat started fluctuating, and so the staff rushed out to get the Ventouse (think a plumber's plunger, used to extract the baby with a suction to the head).
They yanked it out of a cupboard and blimey - it was broken.
The doctor yelled and ranted, people ran hither and thither, and eventually they managed the job using forceps instead.
That was all stressful enough. But what really astonished me was that they chucked the broken Ventouse machine back into the cupboard - and no doubt the same scene played out again later on, for some other unlucky people.
Its the same deal as people who try the whiteboard markers, find that they're not working, then put them right back on the board for the next person.
I have one cousin who bent the cards while playing Sushi Go at a family function. When called on it, his response was, "oh shoot, my bad." Part of me is curious as to what led him to believe that's an acceptable thing to do to someone else's property and part of me just wants to punch him for being such an inconsiderate ass.
He doesn't think it's acceptable. The issue is he doesn't care. i.e. he doesn't pay attention. He doesn't think about it. He just does what "feels good", and wonders later why people won't loan things to him.
Yes, I've met people like this, too.
On the other hand, I have a friend, one of my best friends, who is completely content with anything in virtually any condition. There are things that bother me that he would never have a problem with. I don't know why, particularly as we have pretty similar upbringings, but the difference is astounding.
Your friend takes joy in using an object aggressively, so the object absorbs their demands.
It's a difference in where you see beauty... Do you see beauty in the human activity that surrounds the object, and the imprint of that? Or do you see beauty in the object itself, and the imprint that makes on the world around it?
Guardians/Idealists tend to be "cooperative" in their use of tools, meaning that they consider how other people and society might use the tool. So they might avoid stressing a crowbar to breakage unless it's to suit the needs of their group. They might also be unlikely to bend playing cards that they don't own.
Artisans/Rationals tend to be more "utilitarian" in their use of tools, meaning that they will subvert a tool if it suits them. So they might use a finish hammer to chip rocks if they have nothing else available, even if it's your finish hammer and you really needed it to put up casing next week.
It's interesting to note that he considers language a tool, and so their use of language may follow similar patterns. There are some parallels with Meyers-Briggs in his system, although his intent was to provide measurable characteristics rather than statements about someone's mind.
Once their place is full of crap, they simply shift their focus to another that they still like. Forests filled with heaps of trash are nice example of that.
There is no beauty in this life style, imo.
IMHO in the context of maker spaces, it's wrong to structure it so that people could unexpectedly be on the hook for large amounts of money if they happen to be the ones who break a machine, it would work much better if such expenses would be like insurance, made small, distributed and predictable, priced in the usage or membership.
We all know how well that works.
The issue with communism is that it (or, more accurately, the behavior/attitude needed for it) doesn't work at scale for larger societies that include strangers, but for smaller communes, including the people that would form a local maker space, those principles can work reasonably well.
"those who gathered in Haight-Ashbury during 1967 allegedly rejected the conformist and materialist values of modern life; there was an emphasis on sharing and community. The Diggers established a Free Store, and a Free Clinic where medical treatment was provided."
It's a survivor of "thousands" of communes started in the 60s and 70s, perhaps the only one. Turnover is about 12% a year. Perhaps the secret to their success is the ability to attract a constant stream of replacements, as members who tire of communism leave.
Even so, it shows that if you want to live in a communist society, you're free to form one here in America.
Me, I'll pass.
If everything is shared, who ensures how everything is shared?
A: The government.
What does any entity do when given absolute power? Hmm.....
How to get totalitarian regimes 101
Accomplishing that requires a government, and has been tried lots of times, most recently in Venezuela.
Given the historical results of government imposed communism, I'll pass on giving it another chance.
It's a direct consequence of people having access to tools they would never dream of buying: they don't fully understand them because of lack of experience and good tools in the hands of people that don't know how to use them will break more often than not.
Makerspaces need good supervision to be useful, usually they're just a bunch of tools in a space accessible to people whether they are capable of using them or not and totally unsupervised.
Wanting to use a certain tool and being able to use a certain tool are not the same thing.
That plasma cutter or laser cutter you referred to above, if you abuse them they can easily destroy themselves instead of the workpiece and it doesn't take all that much to do that either.
I've never owned a lasercutter (too expensive to own, too expensive to run) but I have owned a 12 KW 8'x4' CNC plasmacutter with a water bed and 3D portal mill (homebuilt). There is no way I would let anybody else use either without supervision until I was sure that they would not damage the machinery or themselves.
These are very much not toys.
Laser cutters aren't that expensive - provided your bed-size needs aren't too large and you don't need insane wattage requirements; they also aren't expensive to run.
A brand-new 60 watt cutter from a top-line manufacturer can be had for well under 10k USD. If you go with a cheap chinese model off of AliExpress, you can get it down to under 5k for virtually the same bed size. If you don't mind a slower cut rate, a 40 watt cutter is much less.
There are also kit laser-cutters out there (or you can buy the parts yourself and homebrew it) - for instance the Blacktooth cutter.
The difficult part of laser cutters is the smell and getting rid of the gasses they generate (like from acrylic); you can vent it out (like you would with a plasma table if it's enclosed) or let it run "open" (and just blow the fumes out the garage door or whatnot), but you still have this smell that's similar to acetone - and can lead people to calling the cops (aka - meth lab).
But really, cutters have come down in price by a lot - but again, your requirements have to be small. You won't be getting a 4x8 table on a laser cutter for cheap (or anything beyond 100 watts for cheap) unless you homebrew it (even then, it won't be too cheap). The only other expense is the laser tube; in the case of name-brand cutters, these are mostly "solid state" (usually pumped via RF), but the cheapo stuff (homebrew and otherwise) will be liquid cooled glass tube laser heads, pumped with high-voltage. You have to use these often to make them live the longest (its a strange case where if they aren't used, their life expectancy is lower than if they are used constantly - due to the physics and such of the system - too much to explain here).
> These are very much not toys.
Agreed on that!
A lasercutter of similar size would be a lot more expensive even when homebrewed.
Though I'd love to have one :) 4x4' would already be a really nice size.
I agree with this. I visited a local maker space a number of people raved about (and still do) online. They did have a number of tools which I probably would not otherwise acquire (for instance laser cutters, etc.) either because of cost, space, or rarity of need, and I thought it would be neat to have a community of other similar minded people, however I found myself really turned off by the way the place and tools were kept up. Maybe I'm too fastidious when it comes to tools, but I found the tools weren't really kept clean, stuff was scattered about, unorganized, and ultimately I thought an untidy hodgepodge of mid-tier tools that weren't really well cared for by their users.
It is too bad, I think it is a good concept and I've seen youtube videos of what appear to be nice operations with hobbyists that are a bit more 'professional'. (I guess that could be somewhat of a contradiction..).
I can imagine that, if they lived in a functioning society where the dominant method of acquiring tools was by borrowing from some community pool of tools, the community might develop customs that protect the tools. Perhaps instead of having "bothersome bureaucratic certification" to get approval to use a tool, which is what I often see at hacker spaces, such a community would have elders who explain to the youth how to use and respect tools.
I imagine such a society could offload most of their survival needs to automation.
Sometimes, people are just jerks, no matter how they were raised, where they came from, or what they are doing.
"Capitalist Society" or not.
I think you should use other types of society for comparison: African tribes or Eskimos maybe?
This has nothing to do with capatilism. And capatilism is not necessarily evil any more than socialism is.
And I agree with the other poster - USSR was not even remotely socialist, it was a state capitalist society. The state owned the means of production. I am more interested in societies where the workers own the means of production - so some kind of Marxism.
However my original comment could be satisfied by a capitalist society that chose voluntarily to fund open source robots that provide for human survival - no Marxism required. In a way though, open source is similar to everyone "owning" the information, so in that way open source resembles communist ownership of information.
This type of revisionist romanticism towards the USSR is an excellent example of the No True Scotsman fallacy. We don't like the result, therefore it wasn't socialism.
Being a worker in a capitalist society (be it a democracy or not) and in the USSR meant, in both cases, that you didn't have much of a say in how your job went. Corporations are not democracies. And if you live in a society in which you don't really have a say or much control, you can't really expect people to care.
And this is what my interpretation of TaylorAlexander's argument is. It is also why I think it would only make sense to investigate this matter further if we looked into societies that are different in this respect. Do the Amish take care of each other's stuff better? I don't know, but I would guess so.
Either of them is run by specific people and has specific interests. And I believe it is generally fruitful to look at an organization of living organisms as a thing in its own right.
This means, there have to be 'Members' in the workshop, at all times. That is, you can't use the space if you haven't been checked out, and are under the guidance, of another member.
Then, when things screw up, the other member has the responsibility to report what happened, and you gotta fix it.
(It has surprised me, over the years of observing the rise of hackerspaces, that the social engineering aspect of the ethos hasn't solve this problem. But it is very interesting to see that the phenomenon of irresponsibility is global.)
Related, I don't think I know of any hackerspace that solved the problem of keeping the workshop clean. We've been struggling with this for our entire 5 years of existence now. Nothing helps. Not asking, not pressuring, not shaming, not even cameras everywhere. People don't clean up the workplace after themselves, and the core members always end up doing that. If we had bigger budget, we'd consider hiring a cleaning contractor...
1. Even in an environment with conscientious and considerate people with the best intentions, there will be a non-zero amount of "whoops I totally forgot to throw that out". People aren't perfect and they forget to do things sometimes.
2. At scale (for instance a company kitchen shared by an office of 50 people) even a 1.5% error rate will result in at least 2 "this should have been taken care of but wasn't" incidents per day (assuming each person goes to the break room 3 times/day).
3. The real error rate is likely to be higher than 1.5%. I consider myself a considerate person (eg. at work I load cups I didn't use into the dishwasher so the sink isn't full, I wipe off the countertops when I see them dirty etc.). But I'm sure even my own personal error rate is higher than 1.5% (eg. I'll bring a coffee cup and a water glass and forget one of them on a kitchen table when I go back to my desk; now that forgotten glass is someone else's responsibility to clean up).
What this means is that unless most of the people who use the space take ownership of problems, regardless of who created them, you're always going to have cleanup issues. I don't know if it's possible to create that type of culture.
If you leave a cup behind once in a while, no problem, just shove it in the dishwasher.
If you make a coffee and leave sugar, and milk out and bits of coffee grinds on the counter every single day that's not ok.
Honestly, most adults are 5 year olds when in comes to cleanliness.
I think it's drilled into people from the conscription military culture, where:
1. nobody signed up for this shit
2. and yet there's tons of busywork/cleaning to do
3. rather than everyone milling about shifting responsibility, have a clear expectation that the most junior guys will do all the work, and once future generations come in they, too, can relax
There's even a saying, "your ass is heavy", which is a prod to juniors who stay seated as more senior people are doing busywork.
This results in a huge flurry of activity and a lot of walking around looking for things to cleanup and in fact it works. The space stays relatively clean.
Wait a few weeks. Rinse and repeat until the problem is solved or you have no more members.
They had a high replacement rate. So they switched to a system where the GIs were given a clothing allowance to be spent on boots. What they didn't spend, they could keep.
The replacement rate for boots dropped in half.
I remember our college had a policy of free boots and uniforms for NCC cadets. While the uniforms were passed on from batch to batch, boots weren't. Cadets presented boots totally worn out and often asked for replacements. What was happening? People were using boots for every day use hence far higher wear and tear.
Anything offered for free is generally abused this way.
I still wore the shoes every day, but I stopped scuffing.
It's the same thing.
I've often heard people say "it's a rental car, what do I care" while treating the car badly. Ex-rentals have poor resale value. The same goes for hotel rooms, free housing, etc.
Cost replacement into the price of admission and kick out members that consistently abuse the privilege.
Libraries don't rent thousands dollars equipment that can be misused and broken. Moreover, it is much easier to fix a book than a damaged CNC vise.
I think some European languages have the same word for both lend* and borrow (German?): is that actually the case?
We also use the same word for nephew and cousin.
I'm not sure about German, but they do got "sea" and "lake" mixed up ;)
I definitely remember it being a very collective ownership thing in my neighborhood when it came to NES games.
I'm also part of a maker/hacker space. Culture is contagious, but takes work.
I applaud any effort to rebuild our fractured society.
Since I graduated and in the Bay Area now I realized that my closest friends, and pretty much anyone I knew, is no longer located next to me. Every time I want to borrow something it involves figuring out when someone living 20km away from me will be available, worry about bothering their schedule and making them stay home when they don't want to be, and then spending $25 on Uber rides* round trip to get it, and then another $25 on Uber rides to return it to them later. In most cases I could just buy that drill off Amazon for less than $50 instead.
*I don't own a car because I avoid using a car when not necessary (e.g. commuting with a bicycle and public transportation), only need a car for occasional hiking trips and events, and believe in sharing, and my Lyft+Uber+Zipcar+Enterprise costs per month are less than the cost of car ownership.
Especially if you count the cost of externalities. Thanks for doing the right thing!
I go to ASU, the only mailing lists I'm a part of are the ASU Linux User Group and a bunch of MIT lists that I've found my way to.
I had an algorithm trained to recognize free food, for example.
At MIT they can also double-up as AFS groups so it's easy to control access and message a team without having to update membership in two places.
Basically, the causality in the grandparent's analysis is wrong. We aren't refusing to borrow stuff from our neighbors because we're unable due to some modern affliction, we don't bother because someone gave us that drill for father's day last year. The junk is the cause, not the effect.
 Which is hardly a new phenomenon. The home I grew up in 40 years ago was drowning in these things too.
The thing that interests me about the maker spaces is that they provide a _place_ for this activity where the equipment is already set up, and a community of people that are interested in sharing their skills. You don't really find that at the commercial tool rental places.
Eg I wouldn't even work on a light switch without a power drill because I don't want to make the literal 200 revolution over 5 minutes per screw to check if it's out. Also it's harder to shock yourself.
And to be fair I own not just a drill but woodworking tools and metal working tools (lathe mill) and a 3d printer and cover a laser cutter and a welder that does aluminum. So maybe I'm biased.
200 revolutions, 5 minutes? What kind of screws are in your light switch?
I've never seen one that took a sizeable number revolutions.
A quick check suggests 6-32 threading is standard. That means 32 threads-per-inch, so your 200 revolutions means your light switch screws are six inches long??
And then you get to flat head decorative screws, I find it way easier to use a drill on those as it is easier to not scratch the paint off of the screws, which bothers me.
Hammer drill is getting into more interesting things, I own one but I would definitely lend it out to a friend (with maybe some supervision the first time). I got mine at a steal like 25 years ago. But most people need to go through wood, plastic, or drywall, not concrete.
Also my drill has seen several hours of runtime but I also redid my loft apartment, and am generally handy.
This also means that drilling a hole in ten seconds doesn't work often.
Even then it would be anecdotal.
If we've got data let's go with the data. If all we've got is opinions let's go with mine.
I'd probably not be inclined to borrow a thing if it cost next month's cash to replace it when I break it.
I would be more inclined to hire a thing from a company who hires things. That way, if it breaks, no one is put out.
As for renting stuff, rental gear is usually beat to shit by people who a) don't know what they're doing, b) are too cheap to pay for the real tool, so they'll use a small sander (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006EKFZQ4/ref=asc_df_B006EKFZQ450...) rental to resurface their floor when they need a full size one to really do a house (https://www.amazon.com/Clarke-Drum-Sander-Ez-8-Expandable/dp...) [had a friend do this, but he just under rented and went right back an hour later], or use a drill as a saw, c) or just don't give a shit about the equipment and beat the crap out of it anyway... eg moral hazard. I've rented tools where it looked like it was fine and immediately broke (person glued the pull starter onto the engine when string broke). I then had to spend an hour discussing with the rental place if I broke it. Another time they forgot a part and tried to charge me for it then 20 minutes later found it on the floor. They're generally a good store but it's a shitty market.
But even a $10 tool I won't led out. No, you're not borrowing my 15mm spanner because I'll never get it back.
That could be less of a problem when you're borrowing it from an actual service like the one in the article.
Yeah, that's basically it: I won't borrow or lend out from individuals, but when there's a contract in place (supported by a membership fee in this case) that defines the limits of liability and cost of replacement then it's not borrowing anyway. It is, as someone else mentioned, hiring.
The alternative explanation for those items is that items whose price is subsidized and/or not fully disclosed to the consumer tend to rise. The graph shows everything dropping in price except:
- shelter (slight rise - real estate is tax advantaged and routinely debt-financed over decades)
- medical care (significant rise, and insurance and tax shelter of insurance and government programs hide the full cost)
- college (very heavily subsidized, by government, schools, and parents)
The other items the article mentions (summer camps, veterinary care, and broadway shows) are all luxury goods. At least if you're not a farmer/rancher for a living.
Yes, the thesis that services become relatively more expensive is interesting, but the effect of subsidies and hidden prices is well understood already.
I am usually the one with all the stuff, especially tools. And people tend to borrow from me a lot. I tend to be fine with it, but some people abuse it.
They damage my stuff or lose parts and don't offer any kind of compensation, expect me to take care of the return or just forget it, etc... These people are a minority, but they are also those who tend to borrow the most.
With this mindset, it is no surprise people get protective of their stuff. At least, a "library of things" has ways of dealing with abusers without endangering friendly relationships.
At the same time, moving for people without college degrees is even lower, because their lives require a strong social support network, and that doesn't move with you. This is part of why growth in the poorest parts of the country is not in any way catching up with big metro areas.
What is really weakening social structures is that we both have a country full of suburbia and unstable work environments. This leaves few opportunities to build friendships after college. Friendship is easy if you met the same people all the time organically: Super dense cities or even vacation resorts give plenty of opportunity to keep interacting with the same people without trying hard. Nowadays, the only place that gives us that opportunity is work, and once someone changes jobs, the interactions go away.
We see very similar situations in multiplayer videogames. A first person shooter with dedicated servers that people select builds a community. Joining a random queue makes sure you never meet the same people often enough to build connections.
In life, people get through this by just using group hobbies as excuses. I know many people that go to 10+ conventions a year, just to meet other people that also do this, and end up building friendships even when living far away. Similar things happen with computer conferences. The flipside is that all that travel weakens families: I know someone that this year is on track to spend 3 months away from home, mostly because this person enjoys it. The problem is that they have two daughters. You can imagine what the girls aren't taking it well.
I suspect that humanity will keep working on new techniques to avoid the loneliness and inefficiency that comes from very weak social links: Like in many other areas, it's a case where changes are coming faster than humans adapt, but we can't just keep working this way.
4/5 times if I make a new friend one of us (sometimes me, sometimes them) moves far away within three years.
I bought a house a few years ago so now I have forced stability (moving is too expensive so to make me move it would have to be an incredible opportunity).
Not so much any more, I think the market has improved. But still, most of the low to middle income people I know don't live in their home town any more because there simple aren't a lot of job in small town America so they go to cities.
I run a neighborhood mailing list and was thrilled when my lawnmower broke and I asked to borrow one on the list. I had five or so folks happy to lend me theirs.
However, it was hard for me to ask. Was it pride, fear of being turned down or them thinking "why doesn't he just buy one"? Not sure.
FWIW one of the older neighbors has a snow blower and uses it to snowblow the sidewalk on his side. I asked him to borrow it once and he quickly said "I never lend anyone my tools."
More to the point, those 'golden days' still happen, and are not unique to any particular culture. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the world still yet where these things happen.
For higher value items, I've been meaning to extend the above apartment-wide setup with a Google Doc inventory of things that people are willing to share, but want where participants want face-to-face confirmation, like loaning a camera or a mountain bike. I wish there were a way (a social institution moreso than a technical solution) to make quick contracts for borrowing things. I'm privileged enough to be able to replace minor things, but I am definitely relucatant to loan big things if I don't know if a friend can/would replace the thing if something bad happened on their watch. And no I don't want to rent them—I don't like the cognitive overhead of markets, and that's not the point.
If this sounds oddly specific, that's because it is- In my community we have a communal pool for our apartment block of 10-15 units. In general, everyone gets along, but there do exist problems where self governance and trust have failed, as far as taking care of shared property. Those who just want to live peacefully are retreating into their homes, those who care enough to say anything have been dismissed by the tenant in question, labeled as racist, bigoted or otherwise are browbeaten by the more fearful tenants into not reporting the problems.
In our case, it is a swimming pool, and a struggle with a tenant and her friends who sit around the pool drinking alcohol loudly all day, never once leaving, who enter the shallow end of the pool about twice an hour for 10 seconds, swishing their hands in the water around their waist before they exit. There is a restroom in her apartment which is less than 20 feet from the pool; I'm not positive what's going on in those 10 seconds, but people like myself who's balconies overlook the pool are noting this, and nobody wants to swim anymore because of it. Any suggestions about just talking to the tenant elicit a gasp and dirty look from the pacifist crowd. How would you, dear reader, handle a delicate situation like this?
After realizing how futile any complaints would be, I've stopped swimming until I find the respectful and correct way to put a resolution on this.
This personal anecdote may have strayed from its target, but relating the situation to the void felt somewhat cathartic.
You really can't get away with that with laptops or desktops because the need for fans causes a lot of component wear and environments are so divergent you can't trust used sellers to not have a lot of the internals damaged. Or the keyboards and trackpads - heavy wear or use or just abuse and one damaged key can ruin a purchase.
Phones are nice and self contained enough that looking at the outside generally tells you the condition of the inside.
I've had luck buying laptops (specifically Thinkpads) previously owned by companies and being replaced by lot. Probably due to a mix of better environment, better treatment by workers and more likely to get fixed if broken.
I just recently bought a Thinkpad X1 Carbon on eBay. As a mac user I was shocked to learn that I could get a very capable device that was sold for € 1500 - € 2000 in 2013 for € 300. In great condition.
It doesn't say anything about the condition of the (now commonly non-user-replaceable) batteries and the battery longevity. The device may not have any scratches or dents, but the owner might've used it primarily to watch videos and play high-intensity (graphics wise) games most of the time. Those actions make the battery a "needs to be replaced sooner" thing (or worse, make the phone a "needs to be replaced sooner" thing). Even checking the battery cycle count is inadequate because it doesn't say how quickly the drain happened during use (that also impacts battery longevity).
I don't buy used myself, but it surprises me to hear that you avoid used desktops. I generally buy my workstation equipment new and keep it for a very long time. Yes, the fans need periodic servicing (e.g., a thorough cleaning every couple of years), or outright replacement if you don't keep them clean. But desktops are easily user-serviceable. If I were to buy used, it seems replacing a few bad fans would be easy.
The variability in the state of the hardware you get is much wider in notebook and desktop hardware because there is just more circuitry to break and more moving parts to wear out.
On the other hand I've been buying only refurbished electronics for a couple years now and have had no problems.
In all seriousness, as others have noted, I see this as a rather damning comment on how badly human contact is getting abstracted away to businesses more and more. It's rather sad that people no longer feel able to just talk to others without some organisation to mediate.
And maybe it does reflect something sad about socialization today, but that doesn't mean it isn't useful or good.
Student loan was shown to be the primary deterrent. Of course what wasn't to blame was that the disparity between median wage and comfortable life is growing. Another thing they fail to attribute this to is that millennials are smarter, avoiding the spendthrift mistakes like large mortgages which tie them down to a place and make them paycheck away from homelessness.
source: Just google 'Millennials aren't buying <insert anything here>'
That article seems to be overreaching about what's 'killing' industries a little bit. The industry that's really in trouble is the diamond industry. That industry wasn't mentioned anywhere except a tweet which was dismissed
There are downsides (apart from being expensive of course) like forced labor in Botswana, etc. Even if they are specifically advertised as not Blood Diamonds, people just want to get away from that industry. Mossanite is an alternative that is getting popular.
This might seem like a very small thing to care about, but I'll say it has wide ranging ripple effects. Millions of people depend on the unreasonable margin that diamonds provide, ranging from specialists to the stores that litter every single town because of course, people had to have a diamond shop. That was more important, than say, a blood bank. On first look, it might not seem economically feasible, but just the absurd lengths people go through to pay for that one diamond keeps the industry alive -- and thriving. Culture is the only thing to blame (or thank)
On the flip side of the unemployment that will be caused in developed countries, you have to consider the sheer amount of labor that is put (or forced) in Africa. Because of the value of diamonds, many were forced into labor and that will hopefully go down.
:https://twitter.com/UweBollocks/status/748679268599758848 - this tweet was embedded in the article. Shame that it wasn't talked about in detail
PS: I'd recommend the movie Blood Diamond
It's hard enough to get enough time to do something, imagine requiring that time to be in commercial hours, prefaced by a drive or walk somewhere, a talk with somebody, then postfaced by the same. And then you forgot something...
I once lived out of two bags for 11 months. After living in a one bedroom apartment by myself for about a year, I was surprised just how much I had to sell, give away and git rid of. I even tried to keep in my head that I wasn't /really/ buying anything, but basically renting it until I took off again. I always tried to buy used or from thrift stores whenever possible.
Also take the idea to places where people aren't used to having and owning these possessions --get them while it's still a nascent idea.
I'm currently doing this with a car for my visiting son. Too young to rent for but not a big deal to buy an old car for 2 months and sell it when he leaves. Basically paid the registration fee for 2 months + gas which is $300 for a 2 month rental. Then the "fun" (which it is to some people) of dealing with cragistlist crazies while selling it. I actually enjoy dealing with the flakes, putting myself in their shoes and getting practice negotiating.
If someone wants to borrow my spanner for a few days perhaps I'll just sell it to them for the replacement price with the guarantee that I'll buy it back from them if it is returned in the same condition it was sold.
Would need to come with insurance from some 3rd party :)
Still, I find it interesting that he managed to raise $30k on IndieGoGo. It signals that people care about those ideas/ideals.
It makes sense, I don't have children so I don't know if $55 a month is expensive or not.
The problem is that people aren't 'settling down' and instead are frequently moving around for work. This makes it hard to build up communities with the people around you. Your work becomes your 'stand-in' community - which has it's disadvantages. This has ramifications for health and happiness far beyond borrowing stuff. The studies that show people living longest aren't correlated with western health care or even good diet - it's the strength of their bond with their community.
You should buy what you need with the rights you're entitled to, and figure out the difference between what you need and what you really don't.
I so don't miss owning a car. If you don't need a car for daily commute then taxis and renting is much much cheaper for when you do need a car.
And it's not just the money. The life drain of owning a car is a big cost.
If I lived in Houston I'd reluctantly own a car though.
I owned cars from my 18th birthday and a significant amount of my earnings went into them. Now that I am closer to 40 than to 30 and living at a place that can actually provide me with a decent public transport I can see myself not owning a car but the thing is that I have a kid and really don't want to tell my wife and my daughter that we have to go on a bus or wait for a cab to go to the nearby lake for a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon. Also I lease a car for around 200 GBP per month which is less than what I would pay for public transport. With those 200 GBP per month and for a three year lease tires and maintenance are included. What's not to like?
What's your total cost that you should compare to? 600 GBP a month maybe? 700? (maybe with your deal only double the number you said)
I'd rather have "wait for uber" over "searching for parking spot" any day. Or I rent a zipcar. You could rent a zipcar every weekend and it'd still be cheaper than owning a car.
But no, I'm not in your position, and there are things you don't mention that I know about, like child car seats, that has made a friend of mine keep his car.
I have an e-bike, live near public transport, bike lanes, and hate owning my car too. Would I switch to using Lyft exclusively? If the south bay invested more in the VTA like Muni in the city, and Lyft was much cheaper for long distance driving, yes. Otherwise, no.
There are drivers that rent Priuses for hundreds/week and earn a living on Uber/Lyft. The owner is making a killing I'm sure.
There's also the Edmonton New Technology Society, which was the original Makerspace in Edmonton. Unfortunately for me, the location means that I'm unable to visit regularly.
It's as eternal and essential balance as CPU vs MEMORY.
I did grow up on the phrase "he who dies with the most tools wins", so it's taken me some time to transition to rent/loan. But I've got so many tools and supplies now, and I've reached a point in my life where I'd like to do more and own less, and all those tools are now somewhat a burden. I bet I'm not alone and that these tool libraries could probably get a lot of high quality donations.
So really anything that can be rented out already is and the magic of capitalism means that is at market price already. Plus there is ebay, where else does one go, Craigslist? In these market places people get rid of old hobby gear. It may not be rented or you can see on the purchase as rented indefinitely with a reasonable return deposit.