First of all, I would like to send my condolences to David Carradine's friends and family. His death has been a great loss for the acting community and he will be missed.
And, my condolences to the families who have been affected by General Motor's demise. Many people seem surprised about everything that has been happening. Layoffs, dealerships being cut, and now the bankruptcy. But I think a majority of people realize that this has been a long time coming. It all started with invention of "planned obsolescence".
What is planned obsolescence? It is the process of a product becoming obsolete or non-functional after a certain amount of time as designed by the manufactured. In essence, it is designing something to break.
On paper it might look good for some companies. Design a car, build it to last five years, then every year introduce a better, more expensive upgrade. After 5 years those upgrades add up to profit because people have no choice but to buy the newer, shinier model. GM has been doing it for years, Apple is doing it, video game console designers have done it. And it works... until people get tired of it.
Here's the deal: companies like Apple are going to end up like GM if they don't take a lesson from this. Instead of building stuff to break, build stuff that can be upgraded. Look at the Japanese; they mastered the art of upgrades through the import tuning market. They figured out they could sell a well-built, inexpensive car that people could sink money into by adding options and after-market parts. And if a third-party company wanted to get in on the profits they had to pay royalties in order to be a "certified" company. It's an idea that has taken off, everyone is doing it, even companies like GM and Apple. But if the companies who use planned obsolescence want to continue to function, they will stop jerking around these third party companies as well as consumers and start making things to last.
People have jumped on the "progressive" idea bandwagon and they are embracing ideas like sustainability and corporate accountability full-force. I don't see a future where people throw their money and resources away on buying the latest shiny thing every five years. That kind of thinking is dead. If you don't agree with that, if you do not think GM is dead, you are fooling yourself. They may continue with the same name, they may continue to make cars, but they are not going to be the same company. It's a new world for them, but their future is about as dark and apocalyptic as it can get.
Rust in pieces, indeed.