Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Saturday November 22 2008

Today I spent most of the time I had available for blogging, by not blogging but tidying up instead.  My main conclusion is: I have a lot of wires.  But, I do not want to throw them away.  What if, on some future occasion, someone helping me with my various incomprehensible items of electronic equipment asks me if I have a wire to join one of them to another of them?  I need to be able to show him the box, so that he can choose.  If I had thrown that particular wire away, I would have to wait three days while more wire is obtained.  The only way to keep that wire, is to keep all the wires.

image

Also, these wires seem rather expensive and complicated.  You can’t throw them away.  While trying to find somewhere to put this box of wires, I have encountered more boxes, filled with more wires.

As new generations succeed one another, they each have to learn to chuck away more stuff.  Ikea, I have recently been reading, ushered in the age of throw away furniture.  Judging by what I see in the street, people are now throwing away bicycles.  How soon before they are throwing away cars and houses?

There’s a great liberation to be had in simply chucking all of it, but you make a very strong case indeed.

Still, cars and houses ought not be the goal. If we are to wish for the moon, we may as well wish for the sun and the stars in the bargain. We should dream of seeing the remnants of old belief systems chucked out with the trash, sometimes mined for maudlin collectibles like Soviet memorabilia, but ultimately to be looked back upon later as hopelessly primitive.

Posted by Mike Gogulski on 23 November 2008

The Germans call that sort of thing ‘cable salad’.

What’s worse is all the transformers you accumulate, most of them aren’t marked so you have no idea what they are for, and whether you’ve already thrown the original gadget away.

Posted by Mark Wadsworth on 24 November 2008

I have far, far more than you do. I tend to have an “I never know when I will need a standard size A to micro-B USB cable” attitude, so I throw it in the box just in case. Two years later, I find a need for one and remember that I have one in the box (I am very good at remembering what is in there) but after ten minutes of rustling through a tangle of cables, I give up and order one on eBay for £2.50 from some guy in the unfashionable parts of the New Territories. While rustling through the cables, I also notice that many of the things in the box genuinely are obsolete and there is no possible chance of ever using them again. I should probably go through everything and throw these ones out, but this would take half a day.

Or I could just throw everything away and buy a new cable whenever I need one. The great joy of eBay and Chinese electronics markets is that these cables are now usually not expensive at all.

Posted by Michael jennings on 24 November 2008

Then sometimes, you find you have out-organised myself. I needed an ethernet cable at the weekend to troubleshoot the lousy performance of my home internet connection. After looking unsuccessfully in the Cupboard Containing The Cables, I grovelled about behind the desk to extract the ethernet cable that I sometimes use to connect the desktop PC to the laptop.

Over to the Cupboard Containing The DSL & Wireless Router, where I discover the spare ethernet cable that I was pretty sure I had, hanging from the back of the router - where I no doubt previously left it on the basis that that was likely to be more useful there than in the Cables Cupboard.

Conclusion: there is absolutely nothing wrong with my DSL connection itself, but there is something badly wrong with the wireless connection from the router to the PCs. And I still haven’t grovelled around ebhind the desk again to reinstall the dektop-to-laptop network cable. No doubt I will curse and swear and wonder where the bloody cable is the next tiem I want to back up my laptop.

Posted by Alan Little on 24 November 2008
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