We like to believe we see progress with new versions of webpages, new versions of electronic products, and even new versions of practical products like cabinet ware. It is my argument, however, that “progress” is a stand in word, a euphemism, for changing fashions. When a new fashion comes in, instead of being recognized as such (as it usually correctly is with textiles), it is hailed as something that will make life even greater (which usually translates to even less meaningful, more hollow, more depressing).
Corporations have the obvious reason of wanting to have new product updates and that is to sell newer versions to gain more revenue. It goes hand in wallet with the planned obsolescence, or the dumbing down of products to milk as much money from it as possible.
However, what is interesting is the new fashion, if you will, of institutions, profit or not-for, to update and constantly change their public pages (the example which lead me to talk about this is an online textbook site – coursesmart – that now made the 2 year old version of viewing the textbooks the “classic” mode, with the now standard version being less useful, harder to navigate). It may be assimilable to professors just publishing and republishing the same ideas just to say they published something that year, and so website designers feeling threatened they will be laid off for not being needed, want to introduce “facebook timeline” or some other fucking stupid waste of energy idea.
Just another irritating phenomenon that I notice in our current culture, and if I think of it I will edit this page in the future and provide more examples of not directly money related earning, wasteful updates that corporations do, just to be part of a nonsensical zeitgeist.
I’m under slept, sorry for anything lacking…