Been saying this for years and now it's actually happening

Farmers are buying old tractors that they can actually repair instead of new ones which come with DRM lockdown malarkey

A John Deere built in the 70s is actually reparable by yourself, without a diagnostics computer or a ransom

Ironically, capitalism (which was supposed to drive innovation), is eating itself out of relevance

Strongly relevant:
Jonathan Blow - Preventing the Collapse of Civilization

It's a treatise on the transferability of knowledge and skills, which aren't automatic. Contrary to popular belief

Knowledge is fragile. The skills to build and repair must be preserved and shared, lest we fall victim to our own success by depending too much a few silos which hold all the keys to the castle of civilization

@feld And that works for some, but it's still a stopgap. And it's going to be a cat and mouse game of DRM vs circumvention

When time is money (literally, when farming) they'll switch to the less risky alternative eventually

@cypnk you'd be surprised. When time is money, they'll take the tractors that drive themselves and also share them with other farmers
@cypnk I remember being astounded that farmers will buy million dollar combines (usually shared / with a co-op)

When I was growing up I thought big farmers were rich. I didn't realize they were so heavily I debt to their equipment

@feld It's a matter of scale, unfortunately. The bigger your plot and harvest, the more buffered you are against market ups and downs. Unfortunately, that also means much larger machinery. It's a vicious cycle

@cypnk Great to see and I imagine the trend will continue. Imho, 'Capitalism' is (slowly) self correcting by creating the new market for old tractors. Similar to new organic food markets, or new craft beer markets, whatever etc. If a new regulation to limit the stupidity of these overly 'innovated' tractors was created, the old tractor marketplace would never mature. Customer might also never realize the perverted corporate exploitation. (Assuming that is the implied alternative to 'capitalism')

@makelovenotwar @cypnk
People have been calling for regulation for years, but corporate lobbying is powerful.
There have probably been more police raids on pirate site owners than on CEOs who fucked with the future of the planet.
Or look at the Standing Rock protests.
I think this explains the problem quite well:

@cypnk sometimes at antique stores in small farming towns I have stumbled across machinery built by hand to process harvests or otherwise help with farm work. Stuff from the 30s mostly.

Usually, at the heart of these machines was an old tractor engine or a drive shaft that was to be connected to a belt powered by an old tractor engine.

It isn't just that these things were repairable, it's that they were customizable, understandable, and adaptable.

@ajroach42 @cypnk

This reminds me of a lecture I had in University. The professor was showing that in 1930s through to the 1950s catalogues frequently sold motors meant to be attached to hand powered devices.

His point was that how like now only a small number of people buy motors as much as whole appliances with motors in then so will be the case with computers in the near future.

@ajroach42 @cypnk people were mechanically inclined back then due to circumstances. Not to mention most every built back then were built to last a long time, also, built to be repairable.

@cypnk well, they definitely have more than enough money to buy those and destroy them...



technically the aftermarket for 70s tractors (to give them GPS, etc) is still working strong (e.g. capitalism)

it's just the manufacture monopoly / lock-in is backfiring on them.

@rebutte This is true. I've seen lower tech (I.E. imported Chinese) machinery still working because they tend to be simpler, at least until the 2000s. Even when they have computers, they're still far more hackable with third-party boxes or firmware

@cypnk that said, a strong third party market that's platform agnostic is something I love

in computers, servers, orchestration, anything

avoiding vendor lock-in is something to be promoted (whether or not it's "good" or "bad" "capitalism")

@rebutte @cypnk Yeah, I was thinking that going from this particular article to "capitalism eating itself out of relevance" was a leap so far even the Incredible Hulk couldn't manage it.

@cypnk Capitalism is trying to destroy the concept of personal property and tech libertarians are at the vanguard of that attack...

The coming #collapse/#degrowth period is going to be a sight to behold. We see #Amazon depend on #Google at the moment. Google depends on a supply of free-money. And the corporate state and #militaryMediaComplex depending on Google.

When this thing goes down it will be magnificent - and it will.

Locally, an old John Deere 4020 sells for more now than it did when it was brand new. They are still awesome tractors however you still must buy parts from John Deere and their parts are very expensive. They also designed their tractors to use a bunch of extra parts, i.e. make an assembly with several individual parts where many if them could have been combined.

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