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Ever stop to think about how, in our modern world, we basically have no signifier for quality?

Price does not equate to quality. Many expensive things are uniquely shitty.

Brands are now meaningless. Who even owns kodak anymore? Is your Pyrex made of pyrex? (Spoiler: no! Not if it's new.)

Success can't equal quality, many successful products succeed due to planned obsolescence or other market manipulation.

The best way to know if a thing is any good is go ask someone who has one.

Except we've weaponized and incentivized reviews to the point that you can't trust them either.

And quality control varies so wildly from unit to unit that even a sparkling review from someone you know and trust could just be a fluke.

(This issue of living in a post trust, post quality society spreads deeper than just signifiers of worth in product, obviously, but that's a place where it's really apparent if you look.)

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Two buck chuck wins prestigious wine awards.

Monster sells audio cables, that function identically to wire coat hangers in multiple double blind tests, for $50+

Your TV is spying on you, no matter how much you pay for it. We've passed the point where the system can even pretend to function fairly.

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I do not say this to inspire despair.

Frankly, it makes me hopeful.

If we can see the seams, we can split 'em and do something new.

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Capitalism is eating its tail, is what I'm saying.

What are you going to do about that? What am I?

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In the meantime, my primary laptop is 10 years old, and I routinely use one from 1993.

My favorite pair of headphones is brand new, but it's a design that's 60 years old and comes with a lifetime warranty.

My car was built in 1992. I still use my Pentax K1000 from circa 1975 for film photography, and I use lenses from it on my (11 year old) K5.

My home stereo is mostly components from the 70s, with an early 80s CD player, and a home made digital audio player.

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This is not to say that older things were better. There were lots of shitty stereos in 1975, and lots of shitty cars in 1991. The benefit of hindsight is that I can pick up the ones that aren't shitty, and I can buy them relatively cheaply.

This doesn't *solve* any problems, but it's a necessary step in a world where cheaply made crap is peddled like it's high end luxury.

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@ajroach42 And I can see you go on to make that very point. Carry on.

@ajroach42 I cannot trust a review site with Amazon affiliate links. But affiliate marketing is the only way for review sites to make money, apparently.

Not to mention that a package my wife bought on Amazon (from marketplace) came with an insert that said they would _send her $5_ if she left a 5 star review and emailed them a screenshot.

@ajroach42 (sorry, i got the tone of that comment totally wrong, and couldn't figure out how to fix it, so i've deleted it)

@thamesynne I definitely went to bed, so I have no idea what the comment was.

@ajroach42 Even the most basic do it yourself skills can help extend the lifetime of an object several times. It sucks that 50%+ of the population won't learn those skills because "it's not manly" or something

@ajroach42 what headphones have you got? One day I'd like a nice pair with a lifetime warranty too!

@davidoclubb I'm rocking a pair of Grado sr-125e's right now, upgraded from a pair of 60e's that I lost in a move.

@ajroach42 @davidoclubb I've been looking for a new pair of headphones this year. Grados have made it as a finalist, but also something as different as the newish Sennheiser 560s.

@ajroach42 50? I went to their site to check prices, because I was certain that 50$ for speaker cables was on the cheap side for them.

I'm surprised to see that all their cable products are in a category "legacy" and you can't seem to buy them anymore. Have they pivoted to headphones?

@loke I worked for a company they were screwing a few years ago, and probably can't talk about them at any length for legal reasons.

@ajroach42 I'm not at all surprised to hear that they were screwing over companies. When your entire business model is built on deceit, I guess that gathers employees with a certain moral attitude (or lack thereof)

@loke They were supposed to re-brand our already premium offering and sell it at their prices, giving us access to a new market.

We spent a few months doing industrial design and overhauling the branding of the software.

They pulled out at the last minute, after we had ordered the products with their name on them.

@ajroach42 Consumer Reports is good for some things, but one thing they usually can't test for is reliability. But you know what you can get reliability data for? Used stuff.

@freakazoid ?This is a good point. Aside from dev-kits and development hardware, nearly everything I own is either used or an upgraded version of something I had used (like my Grado 125s to replace the SR-60s that I used for 6 years.)

@ajroach42 I think about this constantly. But have nothing meaningful to add to this conversation. Tugging on that thread always leads me straight to shores of nihilism

@ajroach42 & that fails if they define good differently than I do. I miss being able to examine things in person, preferably at a second hand shop. (Either it survived one owner or I can see its main failure mode clearly..)

@ajroach42 I see a lot more value in free stuff than I do in stuff with a price tag. Sadly, money is still the incentive or catalyst for development. So I'm disconnected between what I consider valuable and what the general market offers.

@ajroach42 Quality is the enemy of late stage capitalism, because it allows us to have and find good things that vendors and the state are unable to arbitrarily withhold

@ajroach42 supposedly PYREX (uppercase) is still made of borosilicate glass, whereas pyrex (lowercase) is tempered soda-lime glass.

@ajroach42 yes, long live reviews... but but... lol i have some branded things that are known for their proven quality - in binoculars, knives, shoes & other outdoors stuff...

But indeed... I did not find those by commercials, but of hearsay & warching and reading lots of reviews...

Good things don't need advertising...

And indeed, more expensive doesn't mean it's better - it's just more profitable / commercialised...

But there is a link between quality, reliability & price... your 20 dollar sleepingbag might do fine for sleeping in the backyard on a summernight...

And to be fair - for most people that will also be good enough... Even I don't need my stuff as durable as it is 🤣 - but I just like decent quality - if I buy something, it should last a lifetime, or atleast be as durable as can be... (shoes dont last lifetimes)

I don't like the "try and buy" culture... Buying something, and if you don't like it - just send it back - or ordering 10 different things to see what you like best...

Just do some research - look into the matter, and stop buying all that plastic cheap crap that will eventually disappoint 🤣

So I'm in the middle: decent products for a decent price - I never go for the toprange... workable & decent is good enough gor me - above that is for fanatics, the show offs and the well endowed... haha... Like with high end expensive cars...

I like seeing them, I love sering peolle driving arround in them - but I don't have to have them :)...

So I think it's good to save some mondy for stuff you really like or want... It's an investment... Good quality costs a bit more then low quality... because resources, time & effort put into the product are a bit more too...

You never see a Porshe commercial on tv... lol - because people KNOW it's good
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