Monday, September 9, 2013
Obsolesence vrs Functional Obsolescence
My problem is that my plans for what to do when the Morlocks actually step out of the tree line are somewhat light on substance. I have a 10 year old night vision device, but no weapon mounted light system, no night sights, no nothing. Just plain old rifles and shotguns. As a larger element of this discussion, it's dawned on me that everything I own is largely obsolete. My place is a Rod Serling Twilight Zone set for the 1980's and 1990's.
You could say the same thing about my vehicles, radios, reloading equipment, firearms, tools, and just about everything else. A friend recently asked me what kind of scanner might be a good addition to his equipment stores and I was taken aback. I quit reading Scanner magazine and Radio Communications magazine back years ago, when I knew enough to accomplish what I wanted. I have no idea what's out there now for the same purpose and my radios have long since been out of production.
Functional obsolescence is something all together different. That's when your equipment is so old and out of touch with current technology that it won't work at all. My first computer was a Commodore VIC 20 that I bought in the Navy Exchance in Naples, Italy around 1982. If I still had that, (quite aside from it's collectors value) it would be functionally obsolescent because it wouldn't do any of the things I need a computer to do, like interface with the internet.
My truck is a 1988 Ford F250. It's a diesel, extended cab , long bed with saddle tanks for additional fuel storage. Old it is, and unsightly compared to todays sleek behemoths, but as a working truck it can hardly be beaten.
Obsolete, yes. But not functionally obsolete.
Even if I can take some pride in the longevity of well maintained equipment, I have to be able to recognize when I have a need for new technology. I try to keep up to speed with developments in medical supplies so that my storeroom contains products that are useful and the best I can afford. Less obvious needs tend to fall by the wayside in accordance with the Russian proverb I'm so fond of quoting, "The best is the enemy of good enough." If my axe has a wooden handle, rather than the new fiber glass one, I consider that to be a relatively low priority for replacement. In the case of this new equipment for night firing, I simply have no capability now. None. It didn't matter when my son was living here, because I could work around it. He could hold the flood light and I could hold the weapon. But with him gone, I can't hold a flood light and operate a rifle or shotgun, so I am going to have to use technology to address that weakness. I suppose the trick to living way out in the woods and getting by is knowing when you have to break loose with a few shekels and when you can come up with a "work around."