For generations, when your electronics broke, you could take the toolbox out of the garage, open it up, look at the manual, and figure out how to fix it on your own. If you couldn’t figure it out, you could call your friend, neighbor, the repair shop down the street, or the company that made the device for help.
Now, we’re moving toward a world where you can’t do that anymore.
Our stuff is made to be difficult to fix. For example, batteries are often glued into our phones. And if the battery wears down, you need special equipment to remove it. Even if you can get that special equipment, you can’t often buy a new battery straight from the manufacturer.
For many devices, including tractors, ventilators and electric wheelchairs, even If you manage to find a part and fix your device yourself, there might be a digital lock on the device that prevents you from using it until you take it back to the manufacturer or wait for their own technician, who may be hundreds of miles away, to come to you. This means that manufacturers are locking down the market on fixing our stuff. In an era where we are constantly trying to figure out new ways to do things, we do not need to find a new system to fix our stuff. The system that we had has worked for generations. And, the new way of only allowing the manufacturer to fix your things is harmful for lots of reasons.