Where our computers and phones are coming from…

20 May

This is a short, non-teaching post inspired by Ken Wilson’s blogpost a few days ago, “The Human Cost of Being Connected”

In the back of my mind as I walk down the street and when my mind wanders as I stare at my keyboard looking forward inspiration, I have sometimes thought about how my computer got made.  I’ve usually thought back to my high school chemistry days when I learned that plastics are basically hydrocarbons made from crude oil.  I’ve often wondered what was going to happen when the oil runs out because lots of people think about the cars, the planes, the trains, etc. but I always thought about the plastic.

Well, now I’ll be thinking about something else as well, thanks to Ken Wilson’s article.  It won’t stop me buying computers or upgrading my phone, but I will keep a closer eye on it and I hope you will too.


Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Miscellaneous


2 responses to “Where our computers and phones are coming from…

  1. Alan Tait

    June 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    It’s an eye-opening thought, isn’t it. Neither my partner nor I has bought a new computer any time in the last five years. I know it’s not going to change the world, but I’ve found out that a two- or even four-year-old laptop will run just fine as long as you avoid a Windows OS on it. I’ve owned several secondhand laptops from eBay and without exception you can stick Ubuntu (or I believe any other Linux OS on it) and it will run just fine.

    I know this is a very late comment, but I was following your other blog. Oops.

  2. Gordon Scruton

    June 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Yes, I’ve played with Ubuntu but only as a last-ditch effort to recover a dying computer. I think I’ve probably got an old machine or two that could be given a new lease of life if I took Windows off. Is it completely necessary? No, but it’s always good to learn new things. 🙂


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