Built to bust

Re "At 107, still a real live wire," May 5

I would fiercely dispute the notion that this aging and still-burning lightbulb at a Livermore firehouse stands as an enduring symbol of American reliability. It is an extreme exception.

Most manufactured products have an artificially-introduced life span. Show me another lightbulb that's burned for 107 years. Show me any product, for that matter, that lasts much beyond its precisely engineered period of deterioration.

It is fundamental to any economy to make certain that products need to be replaced and that this need is assured, incrementally and inexorably, faster and faster.

Nothing is built to truly last.

Michael E. White


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