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[answered] 1) Identify at least two verses in the Qur'an which sp


1) Identify at least two verses in the Qur?an which speak to the notion of Israaf (extravagance or waste)

Read the artice below.


3) Write a three page reflection essay (12pt. double-spaced) that includes the following:


a) Discuss in one or two paragraphs the two verses you have identified, including


their context.


b) Discuss the notion of planned obsolescence as it relates to your society. In other


words, discuss the ways in which israaf manifests in the society of your


permanent residence. Make sure to provide details when discussing your


examples.


Article 1

The Economist

Planned obsolescence

Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming

obsolete?that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it

from its conception. This is done so that in future the consumer feels a need to purchase new

products and services that the manufacturer brings out as replacements for the old ones.

Consumers sometimes see planned obsolescence as a sinister plot by manufacturers to fleece

them. But Philip Kotler, a marketing guru (see article), says: ?Much so-called planned

obsolescence is the working of the competitive and technological forces in a free society?forces

that lead to ever-improving goods and services.?

A classic case of planned obsolescence was the nylon stocking. The inevitable ?laddering? of

stockings made consumers buy new ones and for years discouraged manufacturers from looking

for a fibre that did not ladder. The garment industry in any case is not inclined to such

innovation. Fashion of any sort is, by definition, deeply committed to built-in obsolescence. Last

year's skirts, for example, are designed to be replaced by this year's new models.

The strategy of planned obsolescence is common in the computer industry too. New software is

often carefully calculated to reduce the value to consumers of the previous version. This is

achieved by making programs upwardly compatible only; in other words, the new versions can

read all the files of the old versions, but not the other way round. Someone holding the old

version can communicate only with others using the old version. It is as if every generation of

children came into the world speaking a completely different language from their parents. While

they could understand their parents' language, their parents could not understand theirs.

The production processes required for such a strategy are illustrated by Intel. This American

semiconductor firm is working on the production of the next generation of PC chips before it has

begun to market the last one.

A strategy of planned obsolescence can backfire. If a manufacturer produces new products to

replace old ones too often, consumer resistance may set in. This has occurred at times in the

computer industry when consumers have been unconvinced that a new wave of replacement

products is giving sufficient extra value for switching to be worth their while.

As the life cycle of products has increased?largely because of their greater technical

excellence?firms have found that they need to plan for those products' obsolescence more

carefully. Take, for instance, the example of the automobile. Its greater durability has made

consumers reluctant to change their models as frequently as they used to. As the useful life of the

car has been extended, manufacturers have focused on shortening its fashionable life. By adding

styling and cosmetic changes to their vehicles, they have subtly attempted to make their older

models look outdated, thus persuading consumers to trade them in for new ones.

Planned obsolescence is obviously not a strategy for the luxury car market. Marques such as

Rolls-Royce rely on propagating the idea that they may (like antiques) one day be worth more

than the price that was first paid for them; Patek Philippe advertises its watches as being

something that the owner merely conserves for the next generation. At the same time as the

useful life of consumer goods becomes shorter, consumers hanker after goods that endure.

Further reading

Slade, G., ?Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America?, Harvard University

Press, 2006

 


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