Tue 2024-May-14

Right-to-Repair Madness

Tagged: CorporateLifeAndItsDiscontents / TheDivineMadness / ϜΤΦ

Sometimes, the “right to repair” can be taken to levels best described as pure madness.

Right-to-Repair Laws

One of the minor controversies of late-stage capitalism is called the “right to repair”.

Why is it a controversy? Corporations would like to chip away as much as they can at your ownership rights. You don’t own your software, you have a license. You can’t let just anybody fix your car, you have to take it to a dealer. Your car can have all sorts of spyware so it’s a security dumpster fire on wheels, but you have no right to turn any of it off. And so on: this way, they can enforce monopoly pricing on repairs and continue to gouge you.

Some states, such as the Weekend State wherein Château Weekend is located, have passed laws about this. Automakers must sell computers to repair shops to read out maintenance codes. They have to publish the meaning of those maintenance codes, and so on.

Your humble Weekend Editor is strongly in favor of this, especially since it is a (minor) push-back against the corporate power of late-stage capitalism.

Today’s R-to-R Champion(s)

But… sometimes people take things to extremes. Actually, almost always. There’s always one in every crowd, right?

It’s not that I disapprove of what you’re about to see. I’m just taken aback by the sheer madness of the entire thing. Sure, he has a right to repair his stuff… it’s just that he’s gone way further than any sane person would go.

To wit: one hkz@chinwag.org, on the Mastodon federated social network. He’s so anxious to repair… well, something… that he’s soldering connections back in place inside the packaging of an integrated circuit:
HKZ @ Mastodon: Soldering INSIDE a chip

Now that, my brothers and sisters, is devotion. It is not sanity. But it is devotion.

This much I can understand. After all: there’s always one in every crowd, no?

But what if there’s more than one? Could there be other people, with brains equally scrambled? Surely not, I thought. But then I had the rashness to look, and was disabused of that notion by a second example in the replies to the above:
Schleussinger @ Mastodon: ALSO soldering INSIDE a chip

After a bit of hunting, I discovered what is apparently a whole subculture of people who are taking their desire to repair to levels best described as pure madness. They open the packaging of integrated circuits and… make stuff work again. This is like open-heart surgery, but with a soldering iron.

I do not wish to be a member of their tribe. But I do admire them. From a safe distance.

The Weekend Conclusion

Yes, it’s madness. But it might be the Divine Madness.

(Ceterum censeo, Trump incarcerandam esse.)

Notes & References


Published Tue 2024-May-14

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