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I think most tech is bullshit. 4k screens, multi-camera phones, new gadgets. Bullshit. I have a 6 year old laptop, and an external monitor someone threw away. I have a 30 Euro 18 buttons mouse, from a non-brand, and a 20 Euro pair of headphones that are some 5 years old. All good. Am working on a multi hour documentary with these. My phone is 7 years old. My desk is made out of an old closet. My electric scooter is 8 years old. Not made out of an old closet!

Audio systems....bullshit. Microphones...mostly bullshit. Cameras, pretty bullshit.

What I mean is the difference between brands and prices is almost non-existent in terms of quality + what you do with them matters. The reason people are obsessed with these is because companies are great at selling illusions and useless features, plus blowing out of the water tiny miniscule differences to make them look important. Hard truth to swallow if you are a techy-guy/girl. But that's the truth.
This is very true of 90% of consumer goods, although heavy use items and tools that last and don't break or fall apart on you over time is worth paying a lot more for a high quality one --if you can find one--, or even for a used one of a much older vintage and better durability compared to what's modern and available.
i was just grocery shopping earlier and it's kinda depressing to see the "choice" and "competition" of an entire section having like 20 slightly different varieties of a product

from maybe 2 companies if we're lucky

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Yes we made a book where we highlight just that, how a few companies make most of the stuff you see in the world. We even made a search engine here where you can search for a brand and see who owns it.

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yeah but the difference is with most non-electronic tools etc the more expensive name brands are the sturdy and durable ones
That is not the case with computers and phones etc
(Not saying tech vs non tech bc technically a wrench is tech)
i don't know what three or more cameras does, but my phone has two, and it kind of gives camera apps the ability to work a bit like a dual-lense reflex camera, meaning you can achieve bokeh and have closer-than-infinite focus.

i'll agree that the amount and rate at which new stuff comes out, especially now, is completely absurd. no one was ever lining up for the latest land line cordless phone.
I think a lot of it is people have really bought into this idea that you need the top of the line, "what the pros use".
Which is like me deciding I need a Formula 1 car to go to the grocery store.
With all the goddamn tax you and I and everyone else pays we should have a formula one race car for groceries.

I don't know about you, but I need a F1 race car and I need it now. 😀
as technology becomes mature, companies need to advertise new features in order to sell new products. That does not mean that the old ones are not good. Of course those new features may not be necessary or even important. often it's just a marketing trick.
You missed gaming chairs. There are ones with built in back massagers
That's not the truth but nothing short of reverse marketing - being bombastic and shouty to draw attentions in order to sell an idea.

What makes this worse is the use of personal use-cases predictably led the post into a Twitter-style rant. When the "cold hard truth" can be observed from an object as simple as a kettle.
Cameras went pretty far since the first usable digital ones. The storage, sensors, software, everything is generations ahead now. And yet I'm still waiting for a camera with non-compromised slowmo.
Yes cameras improved for the past decadeS, but for the past decade, very little. They just add more cameras to the mix.
Sometimes it feels as if they make them imperfect on purpose. There's always something missing or just bad.
They exaggerate claims...for instance they may advertise a 4k camera on a phone, and you may think it is the same as a professional (or normal) 4k camera. Not at all. My 2015 phone has a "4k camera". If I compare it with a normal camera that has proper 4k filming capabilities, it phone one is complete shit. And I compared with new phone models too, same....

4k, 8k recordings are a scam for phones. Maybe for other cameras too. need a 4k screen to see a 4k video and take advantage of that. This is another BS. Most people don't have a 4k screen, let alone 8k one. And the difference in video quality is minimal.
taking 4k video is useful, because you can cut out something, stabilize and stuff. Problem even with professional cameras is, that sometimes you lose functionality otherwise present in FHD mode like flat colour profile with higher dynamic range, your field of view gets smaller, you may be forced to only 30 fps, lose face/animal focus and shit like that. And those are pretty big compromises for such an expensive piece of equipment.
Yes if you film for a documentary or some professional videos, nature, and such, 4k can be useful. For the vast majority of people it is not. We filmed the documentary am working on in 4k. The interviews for that matter. Helps a lot to zoom in and do the cuts because it is 4k and it will be released in Full HD. But this is a rare use compared to how most people use cameras/phones nowadays. And the 4k-thing is advertised to the average Joe. In that regards it is BS. Not to mention the average Joe uses the phone to view videos, and most videos are uploaded /thus converted) on online platforms, making the 4k-thing even more useless.
Agreed. It's a cliche to say this now but the motto is instilled into a lot of people from poor backgrounds from the start, inc me (mainly because we had no choice) is 'Repair, Re-use, Recycle' is how I approach all hardware when possible. Currently typing this on a 8-10 year old Dell laptop, revived with Pop_OS! (testing purposes) & I've swapped my iPhone 7 (updates now stopped) for a Google Pixel 1 running LineageOS which absolutely flies and the camera is great! Not sure why I'd upgrade.
That is fair, but what does that have to do with tech? You seem to assume that brands are tech?
Tech is one domain where this kind of BS is spreading, of selling very similar products every year or even month, for the sake of selling them, not because they are better. They invent a lot of bs features that are useless, and exaggerated claims about the "new features". This is ofc true for clothes, food, and pretty much everything.

I write about these in detail here
Tech products sold by brands are successful because they are not buy by tech savvy people. That's also why you'll never win an argument with these folks who are blinded by look and marketing. It's so satisfactory to think you're belonging to an elite because you have the best product... While the reality is that you're buying this false sentiment.
But is it really false? If I buy elegant shoes or a nice hat, I can wear them and feel good about it, and people will see me wearing them and will appreciate them. There is nothing false about it. And the same applies to the other accessories, like headphones, watches, and even smartphones and laptops to some degree, if you are around people who appreciate those things. The sentiments are true, there is nothing false about them.
I was focusing on tech products because it may be different for other products. The sentiment I was talking about is the one that will make you think you're part of an elite who knows about technology better than anyone else. It you're buying a product to look cool that's a different story and exactly what the brands marketing is made for.
I don't really see much difference between this and, say, buying an electric guitar, or a motorcycle, or a particular handbag, or whatever is considered cool in your community. They are gadgets and they are subject to the laws of fashion as all gadgets. The fact that recently our gadgets tend to have some piece of electronics inside them is just an effect of electronics getting more ubiquitous.
We're on the same page. All I'm trying to say is that getting a cool object doesn't make you a specialist in the technology it contains. Because of the way marketing is done nowadays, some people will argue that their cool products are the best piece of technology because they look cool. To be very simplistic there's a general confusion now between what makes a product a good piece of technology and what makes it looks nice.
I don't think anybody argued that getting a cool object makes you a specialist.

I don't think there is such a thing as general "goodness". You always need context. Whenever someone asks if something is good, ask "For what?", or even better "For whom?". Insisting that there is only one correct measure for everything, and being angry at people who use a different measure is not going to help. A well known and recognized object may be good for your presentation.
You may know clever and more open minded than some I talked with 😀 I stopped counting the number of times when I asked the specific questions you mention and received responses like: "it costs XXX so it has to be built with top notch components", "I bought it because my colleagues did so it has to be the best"... All these responses missing proper knowledge, context, specific user needs information to support/strengthen/validate these statements.
Everyone is free to buy whatever they want and do so for whatever reason. I just keep the discussion short when they make the statement that a product is good because it looks nice, it's used by a lots of people, and the ads say so. Some people just make overstatement or spit on some products only based on the brand name while knowing nothing about the technology used in these products and even less if it's suited to given needs/situations.
While the first statement is a little bit dishonest, the person probably ashamed to admit what they are looking for in their choices, I don't think those responses are missing "proper" knowledge at all. After all, who gets to decide what knowledge is proper?

If you want to buy something expensive so that everybody can see you can afford expensive things and care about them enough to spend money on them, or if you feel left out because all your friends have something, it's valid.
I think it's time to say that we both agree. I can buy a space shuttle if I have the money and I'd look super cool to some people but that doesn't make me an astronaut or a space engineer (if I'm not one already) so I can't legitimately say that my space shuttle is "the best" if I don't know what it's made of and what it can be used for.
The sentiments are perhaps true, but likely created by false advertising for these products, making them look more important than they are. "fashion" is an umbrella word for "selling more shit that is useless/exact as the previous shit". For the sake of trading. It is a trade based society after all, so all of us have to constantly trade. Which is insane.
I am pretty confident that we had fashions way before we had trading, and we had trading before we had commerce, so I don't agree that fashion only exists to improve sales.

Do you think that this false advertising is more common in tech than in other areas? If yes, why do you think that is the case, and how do you think it could be improved?
People have traded for thousands of years. Sure, what you call as "fashion" may not have started with trade, but trade for sure promoted and abused the concept. You can call "fashion" anything and sell infinite stuff based on that. In this regards, "fashion" is a very harmful practice/notion.
Do you think that this false advertising is more common in tech than in other areas?
I do not know, but the amount of BS in advertising in general is astonishing. Actually advertising is all about selling you false or exaggerated claims.
how do you think it could be improved?
That's what I spent the last decade trying to figure out. The short answer is to move past a trade-based society, towards a sharing-society. So that people are not incentivized to promote false products and so forth. The long answer resides in this book I wrote "The Origin of Most Problems".
You are very persistent in advertising your book, even though you are not selling it – don't you think it's curious how moving from trading your book for money to sharing it freely somehow did not magically remove the incentive to advertise it? Do you think it's an exception from the rule you have discovered, or that maybe there are more similar cases like that?
I am not advertising anything. I am sharing. It is a big difference. Advertising is a practice withing the market system (trade society). And my book is free you don't have to trade anything for it.
That is your (re)definition, and it doesn't match the usus. It being free is exactly my point, despite the fact that you are not trading it, you are still advertising it, and as a solution to most problems, no less, which strikes me as exactly the kind of exaggeration that those tech companies use when describing their products. So no, I don't think your hypothesis holds.
Go read more about advertising for some context - this is what I am referring to. Me sharing my book, or the free things I am doing, is not advertising. If that's advertising then anything you share about your own personal projects is advertising. And that will make the world a lot more confusing.
Fine, it's not advertising, it's promotion, but it suffers from all the same problems, including exaggeration, selective information, and annoyance. Whether for commercial gain or other reasons, people will always try to manipulate other people into doing what they want, and removing trade is not going to change that.
It is true that one may be biased in sharing their own things (books, videos, projects, whatever) but when they sell these products (thus relying on an income that's generated via these products) the likelihood for them to lie, exaggerate, deceive and so forth, is far greater.

To put it simply, if I were to sell my book, and that money helps me pay my rent or buy food and so forth, then I will be more aggressive in "promoting" my book simply because I need to pay my rent and need food to eat. However, because I do not trade my book for anything, I am a lot less biased in sharing it with people. I have nothing to gain personally if you read it.

So yes, trade has a very bad influence and makes things a lot worse in this regards.
I have seen a similar sensor used in this project: but I really wanted to see if I can make something really small — after all that's the main selling point of pendant ocarinas. I know the ocarina iphone app uses its microphone for detecting blowing, and that seems to work well enough for them, and in my testing a simple integrator for measuring the acoustic energy seems to be working well enough.
In our commercialized world, commercial gain dominates as an incentive, but if you remove it, it's not like all the evil in the world will disappear with it, magically turning people into angels. Other incentives would fill the void and become more prominent, chiefly the desire for power, however it would be achieved in the new regime. Status, fame, honor, divine favor, mating opportunities, belonging to a group, etc.
A slave master has power over their slaves even greater than an employer over employees, and there is no trade involved. It's not the removal of trade that improves things, it's limiting the power they can have over others.

People seek status and fame because we have certain psychological needs. We need to feel competent and welcome, and fame gives us that. We need to feel in control of our lives, and status gives us that. Money are secondary.
Well, white people don't have monopoly on slavery, and it certainly existed in many cultures way before there was currency. You seem to be equating commerce with any kind of social structure, which is of course a huge simplification. Sure, the western society today is dominated by the financial-military complex, but it's not the only way it can be. Religion works as well. Slaves were needed to feed the armies. Psychological needs are known from psychology, sociology and anthropology.
I do agree that things like UBI, LVT, public healthcare, public education, public transport etc. are a great first step, but I disagree with you that removing trade will magically solve fashion, exploitation, struggle for power or any other human vices. If you propose a change to our society, it may be helpful to look how other societies that have that changes work or worked historically. Sure, there is some extrapolation involved, but it's still better than your pure guessing.
Removing the need for trade will greatly improve our society overall. I am not just "pure guessing". I spent at least 15 years digging into this. I wrote over 30 books, made a 14 hours documentary and working on a 6h one now. Made many videos and so forth. Thousands of sources, plenty of examples. This is the main project that's all about this work

From all of that, I can strongly argue that yes, trade is the source of most (not all) problems. That includes slavery, poorly made products, waste, struggle for power and so forth.

I have looked in depth at communism, socialism, technocracy, metabolism, the evolution of trade, money and more. Self sustainable communities, cases of abuse and slavery, corruption and so forth.

So I can say with confidence that my comments do not simply come out of "pure guessing".
Out of curiosity, where did you find a working example of communism to look at?
There is none I could find, but a bunch of communities tried some ideas inspired by Marx. However "communism" like pretty much all "isms" are shallow ideas and I'd argue you can't organize society based on some ideas. Society evolves. What I propose is taking away the bad influence (trade) and let society run its course.
The only thing left for me is to sincerely wish you good luck. We definitely could use some decommercialization. Thank you for the discussion.
Thank you and I appreciate you are able to have a friendly discussion even when we may disagree in certain ways.
If it applies to clothes, food and pretty much everything, why single out tech? What is so special about it that makes it so different from everything else that makes it particularly worth protecting against the vagaries of fashion? Why not food and clothes, which seem to be much more important in our everyday life than gadgets?
Am not just talking about tech, is just that this post was simply a "rant" about tech in particular. But this can be said about pretty much everything. But also, ewaste is a lot more harmful than food waste in terms of the impact on the environment. In that regards tech (electronics) are a bigger issue. We throw away 350 cruise ships full of electronics every year. For 1 200g phone 80kg of waste is produced while manufacturing it. For a 2kg laptop? 1 tonne.
One brand is notorious for advertising these "new features" while they are not new but actually built-in features created/developed by others and only unlocked in these specific products.
> What I mean is the difference between brands and prices is almost non-existent in terms of quality
you had me in the first half not gonna lie, but this take is so wrong, everything else was okay, but brand vary WIDELY, both in quality and in value/price.

If you have ever worked with e.g. blender or had to compile large projects, it's also obvious that hardware matters, it can be the difference between days or minutes.

Yes they market it over the top. Yes, I'm on hardware mostly from 2012 and I have basically no need to upgrade anything, only repairs. No, a 750w power supply would not meet the needs of my system, I need one with 1500w, that's not an useless feature, that's how much power it can provide to my system.

Denying that there are objective measures of hardware quality really dilutes you message that I actually agree with somewhat.

Some brand are also more FOSS aligned than others, and choosing those might save you a lot of hassle down the line, and help you promote you and your friends self liberation from proprietary garbage.
> If say Mozilla calls their VPN as “free” as in “the source code is open and you can ‘fork’ it”, but they charge money for the service….it makes 0 sense. I can “fork” the code, ok, but can I use it with their VPN servers? No. Then what is the point of that!? Call the VPN client as “Public Source Code Software” that can be Edited/Shared/Copied or whatever “license” you want to attach to it. And call it a day.

Free as in freedom dork, please consider being a bit more informed about the things you talk about. This is so fundamentally a part of FOSS.
There is no freedom, fork, without having money to "buy" it. If it costs money, it is not free. You want to open yet another can of worms and discuss for days about what "free" means?
Yes I know very well what "free-software" is. I am saying the word makes no sense anymore since if you have to pay for something, it is not free. Yet some say it is. You also took things out of context with the quote you posted from my original post about it. Read that post and the comments on that post.

The "Free-Software" "movement" is great, but also they bastardized the word "free" and that was abused by so many companies.
> I am saying the word makes no sense anymore since if you have to pay for something, it is not free.
as a left-libertarian I agree with the idea you're presenting... but that's really missing the point.

is it not free speech if it's published in a paid magazine?

maybe it's not freely available, and it would be great if it was, and personally I actually wanted a version of the AGPLv3 that was non commercial... but I fail to see how the free software foundation makes a mistake in using the definition of freedom that is most widely used.

Surely you could say that we should redefine “freedom”, but this just comes of as you wanting reality to conform to your opinion. Which is post factual in my book.
*liberal not libertarian lmao
I am saying that if you say "this software is free software and costs 9.99$" it is confusing. Yes, if you then read their concept of what "free software" is, you'll get the point. But the truth is that it is confusing when you use the word free to mean something that has restrictions of use. It goes against the idea of "free" itself.
Logiciel libre vs Logiciel gratuit.

No confusion possible un french.
If you have ever worked with e.g. blender or had to compile large projects, it's also obvious that hardware matters, it can be the difference between days or minutes.
Of course a great GPU is better than a very low spec one. There are differences in hardware but mostly between high end and low end ones. The rest are kinda not that important and new graphic cards, new models, are hardly improvements over the previous ones. Tiny differences are sold as big differences.
AMD uses freesync which is an open standard, nvidia uses gsync which is a closed standard. That's an example of a brand being superior to another.

A samsung phone is practially impossible to root, a google pixel is recommended by graphene os.

Not even to mention that a pinephone is much more free than that still.

Brand matter.
The "brand" is a company and does a lot of things. The difference between AMD and Nvidia can be seen as a difference in practice. Both are companies tho, so both are badly incentivized in their own regards. So the "brand" does not really matter. Practices are what you are looking for.
>> A samsung phone is practially impossible to root, a google pixel is recommended by graphene os.
> The difference between AMD and Nvidia can be seen as a difference in practice
> Both are companies tho, so both are badly incentivized in their own regards.
> So the "brand" does not really matter
So?! What is your point? The brand is a logo, an idea, that stands behind a company. This company has multiple practices over many years, mostly bad practices. What are you trying to say that the brand matters because the AMD "brand" seems to be doing some good things while the Nvidia one does not? If so, in terms of products it still doesn't matter what brand it is as it matters what the product is.
To say there’s no difference is just sour grapes IMO. My $400 1440p IPS monitor with a wide color gamut and accurate colors is a much more pleasant experience than my basic 10-year-old 1080p one next to it. Same with the $200 mechanical keyboard vs a mushy rubber dome setup, and $350 headphones vs some $30 Amazon special.

It’s true that cheap tech can still be “fine”, but to say the expensive stuff isn’t actually better is just cope IMO.
im on a 1080p panel and its serviceable but i have to use fractional scaling and the ppi isnt enough for crisp, unhinted fonts. sux. Color accuracy is like, shitty as well, serviceable, but mediocre. same with speakers and such.
As someone taken to squinting at individual pixels like I've got nothing better to do, I will never buy a monitor below UHD resolution again
I've seen several UHD monitors but even for a 17ich laptop could not tell the difference between that and a FullHD one. How big is your monitor? Second, out of curiosity, what videos do you watch in 4k considering there are not as many of them (at least not native, but blown-up to that res or converted heavily)?
Oh, it's more of a 28-38 inch thing for me. At 17 inch, I'm not sure there's a point
it's not about videos for me, though 4k is nice there when you can get it, just like it is nice when you can run a game at that res option without tanking the frame rate -- mostly it's the clarity and detail of fonts, UI elements, icons, or images _while_working_with_them_ that does it for me
Ok. I have not yet tested a very large monitor in 4k. I am also skeptical about games-frame-rates 😁 - do they really make any difference if there are 60fps or 120fps?
I have not had a chance to try anything above 60 fps, but I would expect that there’s a difference, albeit with diminishing returns as you go up from there…
I mean, I can definitely see the "jumpiness" in 60 fps games, or when moving things on the desktop for that matter
I get you, but I wonder how important this is? I mean I never thought about this until a year or so ago when I've heard "gamers" talking about it. Never bothered me. I feel like these things are made obvious and emphasized by companies trying to sell newer monitors. Honestly I do a lot of video editing, made a custom linux distro, edit images, write and design books, do a lot on my computer...and never thought about or be bothered by framerates. It is true I do not play games.
It’s not that you *need* it; it’s just nicer when you have it. But unlike a high resolution it has not been important enough for me so far to spend that much extra money on it. Especially when I’m not sure what the state of mixed-refresh-rate monitor setups is with Xorg (I like an extra vertical monitor to the side… I’m one of those people)
My fridge was my parent's one. It's approx 38 years old, and still working, and amazingly, doesn't pull more power than the much newer smaller one I was gifted a few years ago when a friend was moving.
You're missing out on smart fridges that can tell you what's inside even without opening the fridge door - how cool!?

Look at the updated version - amazing! Your fridge can't do that my man!
Hmmm, I know what's inside... I put it there 😛
Nah cant be sure of need a new fridge!
For the most part, I agree with you. I can definitely say having more pixels on a display is a generally good thing for me, so I do love my 4k for everything. And there are some price points in terms of what's "pro grade" and such. But, for the most part, many of those differences have disappeared over the last several years and it's all just different points of marketing hype.
I find a large 4K monitor is fantastic for working in Blender and Kdenlive. You can edit 2K video at full size and still have room for all the UI (and be able to read it).
I am doing documentaries/videos on a 17inch laptop + a 23inch (quite bad) external monitor. I do really fine with that. I edit 4k videos too. But when editing it is not advisable to edit the raw 4k for example - use proxy clips. Makes editing much faster.

So I personally do not understand the use of 4k screens for video editing. Also, since pretty much no one has a 4k screen, and on 20ish inches and lower screens seems to not even make any difference between that and fullhd, plus all online 4k videos are extra-compressed.... is it worth it?

I am again extremely skeptical about these practices. I suspect it is the ad-market that made people think these differences are important.
I am skeptical about 4k monitors, but then I haven't seen a very large one in 4k playing a 4k video for instance. I wonder if it is 4 times better quality than a FullHD. I am skeptical about that 😁
I have a 48" 4k monitor. I *love* it.

I don't need it, though. It makes work easier, but a 1080p monitor that was half the size would probably be good enough, too.

I can't imagine that I'd *ever* want 8k, and I'm not buying another monitor until my current one dies - which should hopefully be more than ten years from now.
I mostly agree with this.

The problem IMO is that people don't like "good enough."

I have a great pair of earbuds that ran me $50. The sound quality *is* audibly different compared to, say, dollar store earbuds. I've wanted to try out other pairs for a while, but my conclusion is always the same: what I've got is good enough. There's no reason to buy a new pair, and it would actually be deeply unethical.

Ditto for the Framework laptop: I want it, but I have a good ThinkPad. Good enough.
I have a gaming PC at home, and for that there's a reason to update every few years since video cards do change. For anything else? Nope. A 10 decent year old laptop with a bit of ram and an ssd is basically going to run perfectly for most tasks.

And as for video, unless I'm specifically looking at something, 480p is just fine. Who needs that detail for most things?

I think that changes a lot for a lot of people. It's great that we can have more power, but we are unlikely to need it for anything. At that point, making stuff that lasts sounds like a better deal to me.
I'd also like to point out that video isn't that hard, short of 4k.

My thinkpad T420s can, WITHOUT THE GPU, play 720p@60FPS video with unoptimized (non-vectorized) software decoding. Using "proper" asm decoders and a few other optimizations should get to 1080p at 60FPS easily enough.

It's Good Enough.
The problem IMO is that people don't like "good enough."
And this feeling for sure comes from the ads-industry. From youtube reviews, to TV ads, online articles, and so forth. Everyone screams at you to buy the new tech, because they say it is so much better....
Er. Not the framework. Stupid me, posting at midnight. Framework is my work laptop >_>

The MNT Reform: I really want it, I can afford it, but it's just an expensive toy.
spoken like a hobo

Ji Fu doesn't like this.

I had the same thought driving to work the other day. It’s easy to become intoxicated with the hypnotic marketing by tech companies.
let see how's your setup :nigmathink:
17inch screen, fullhd. Core i7-7700HQ, 32GB of RAM, 500GB SSD + 20TB HDDs in total. 😀 - and I max out everything considering I run over 30 websites, 5 servers, write lots of books, and work on a 6h documentary that uses at least 3TB of files 😁