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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Guest ajc

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On 23 December 1924, a group of leading international businessmen gathered in Geneva for a meeting that would alter the world for decades to come. Present were top representatives from all the major lightbulb manufacturers, including Germany’s Osram, the Netherlands’ Philips, France’s Compagnie des Lampes, and the United States’ General Electric.

As revelers hung Christmas lights elsewhere in the city, the group founded the Phoebus cartel, a supervisory body that would carve up the worldwide incandescent lightbulb market, with each national and regional zone assigned its own manufacturers and production quotas. It was the first cartel in history to enjoy a truly global reach....







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That documentary was great.


I have no evidence to back this up, but my guess is that planned obsolescence is a good thing within reason.

It wouldn't surprise me if it forced people on most products to keep innovating because they know a new, improved version is always going to be needed.

Of course, that depends on what the product is and it might also be argued that marginal improvements are more likely in these situations instead of revolutionary ones.

I also feel like the Ghanaians could be missing an economic opportunity there as far as waste sorting and processing goes, but perhaps that is just a reflection of my naivete and self-interest more than anything.


Anyway, it's an interesting issue and the history around it is quite fascinating. I especially liked the people singing Happy Birthday to the lightbulb. It might be a while before I see something like that again.




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