Get an iPod for Christmas?

As we discussed in class, one of the environmental promises from the new information economy is the emergence of virtual goods. Bill Mitchell calls it “dematerialization”. We will increasingly read e-books instead of paper books and listen to mp3s instead of buying difficult-to-decompose compact discs.

Feel great that you got an iPod and are therefore helping the planet? Check out the latest offering from the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition: From ipod to iwaste: trash in your pocket. Why are we targetting Apple?. Maybe dematerialization isn’t the solution to environmental degradation it’s sold to be.

Feel guilty yet? (Paraphrasing Charleton Heston, “Take my iPod? When you pry it from my cold, dead hands!”)

2 Responses to “Get an iPod for Christmas?”

  1. lisa sideris says:

    I am feeling guilty about my iPod. I’ve been telling my class on religious ethics and the environment about Hindu concepts of non-attachment and mentioned my own guilty consumerism that included a recent purchase of an iPod. But I had no idea that there were all these environmental problems associated with my iPod as well. Talk about bad karma! (of course, it was a gift … does that get me off the hook?)
    Lisa Sideris

  2. Henry Balen says:

    Actually the same toxic materials in the iPod can probably be found in all the other MP3 players (and also in computers).

    As for the irreplaceable battery, yes the iPod is not designed to replace the battery. But, you can open up the iPod (if you are careful) and replace the battery.

    So how long does an iPod last compared with other electronic consumer devices?