This is why we can not have nice things

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The Man in the White Suit —

London, B. (1932). Finishing the depression through planned obsolescence. —

Slade, G. (2009). Made to break: Science and obsolescence in America. Harvard University Press —

Krajewski, M. (2014). The terrific light bulb secret plan. IEEE spectrum, 51(10), 56-61. —

Planet Money, The Phoebus Cartel –

Extra thanks to Patreon constituents: Mac Malkawi, Oleksii Leonov, Michael Schneider, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy ‘kkm’ K’Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal

Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Ivan Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller and Raquel Nuno
Edited by Derek Muller
Video supplied by Getty Images

Music by Jonny Hyman and from”Aquatic Planet”, “Pace of Dreams”, “Tread Lightly”, “Unexpected Visitors”, “Curved Mirrors” “Drunken Lullaby” “Fluorescent Lights”

Thumbnail by Raquel Nuno and Karri Denise


  1. LED lightbulbs have planned obsolescence too. Some don’t even last one year.

  2. Nicely explained. You left out how Apple purposely puts out a new version of IOS to cull the Apple App store. Smartphones are a horrible investment.

  3. At the beginning of the video when I saw the ‘forever on bulb’ all i thought was “doubt it. It’s probably just thicker guage metal, that creates heat, emitting light. Maybe someone wanted to purposely make an art project and made the bulb as a project.”

  4. Tim Hollingworth

    They now have discovered regular, planned vaccinations! Maybe they have figured out that we are onto the military industrial complex as wars are so profitable. Now they are turning to regular vaccinations to get the same effect as wars used to…

  5. In conclusion, Apple is evil (like most tech companies).

  6. Ilmari Vahteristo

    This is just really sad 🙁

  7. In an economy like we have there is only one way out of this, by not selling the product but leasing it. Then the factories own the product and have an incentive to make it last.

  8. “There are no Oogway”
    -Master Accident

  9. Theology Unleashed

    I basically change light bulbs for a living (commercial electrician). Pretty cruisesy job.

  10. Planned obsolescence is PLANET obsolescence!! Bye bye oceans and atmosphere: billions of people had to have a new shiny car and rounded edge smartphones…

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