Episode 7: "E-Waste and Obsolescence"

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Nature's Past (podcasts)

Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 7: E-Waste and Obsolescence.” Nature’s Past, podcast audio. 15 June 2009. MP3, 39:22. http://niche-canada.org/2009/06/15/natures-past-episode-7-e-waste-and-obsolescence/.

The problem of e-waste grows with each new mobile phone, music player, laptop computer, or any other consumer electronic device you care to think of. Because many of these products contain toxic substances, disposal is a major challenge. The environmental crisis of e-waste can be attributed to a strategy of industrial manufacturing developed over the course of the twentieth century known as obsolescence. On this episode of the podcast, we hear what Giles Slade, author of the award-winning book Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America, has to say about the historical development of this trend in manufacturing.

Also, William J. Turkel, an associate professor in the Department of History, University of Western Ontario, talks about a workshop he held in May 2009 at the electronic media arts center InterAccess in Toronto. The workshop was called “Hacking as a Way of Knowing,” and participants were encouraged to find creative solutions to problems associated with e-waste.

E-Waste and Obsolescence (36.05 MB)

Music credits: “Running Man” by short hopper , “Do It, Bucky” by short hopper, “Intergalactic Journey” by spinmeister, “Hej rozmaring (Folk Flutes)” by Grizzly616.

Nature’s Past podcasts are posted on a monthly basis on the website of the Network in Canadian History & Environment / Nouvelle initiative Canadienne en histoire de l’environnement (NiCHE). The podcasts contain discussion about the environmental history community and research in Canada. They are hosted by Sean Kheraj, an assistant professor in the Department of History at York University in Toronto, Canada.

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