If you had taken a look at the S&P and Nasdaq charts recently, you’d see a lot of “growth” which is money being put into the indices simply because people had the money to spend. Logic tells you that you shouldn’t judge a chart by what it looks like because what matters is the performance of the underlying companies. But when you analyze the complete history, it’s hard not to worry about a collapse of sorts when charts appear so dauntingly high.
We’ll have to wait and see what is the right way to think in the example above. But what we know better of is that regardless of how much we love using tech devices and how useful they are for our lives, they’re not exactly environmentally sustainable. Many of the reasons for that we won’t change any time soon, but there are some things we could do to make our phones more sustainable, only for them to get blocked for capitalistic reasons. For instance, when’s the last time you had a phone that would allow you to take the battery out so you could simply swap it and not the entire phone? Turns out, I actually remember the last phone that allowed that . . . I have it in my draw. It’s the Motorola Moto G4 Play, and I was using it as a secondary around-the-home phone up until a few months ago, though the inability to connect to high-speed WiFi and the small display meant I could have kept it in the drawer before then. One of the reasons I didn’t was because I bought a handful of batteries that were compatible in the hopes of swapping one for the other, which would all but guarantee the phone lasting a long time. However, Android had made it clear that it didn’t want apps running on my phone anymore, so there are other exceptions on the software side of things that still stand in our way of keeping phones for many years. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do a better job on the hardware side of things. By allowing batteries to be swapped, you may not be able to use apps forever, but there are still many people who would need to swap the battery and not the full phone. That’s why the Fairphone, which, like Consuming Tech, has a rhythmic name if you don’t think about it too long, is worth considering. It struggles to offer phones as cheap as the most prominent of manufacturers. But it allows for the entire phone to be pulled apart from a screwdriver — no glues or anything designed to make your life difficult during repair/swapping of parts. They’re also wise enough to offer spare parts directly from their website.
When I go laptop shopping, I always look for ones that easily allow me to change parts, because I’ve lived through hard times with those that don’t. Ideally, you want the bottom of the laptop to have a case that can be taken off with a screwdriver, and you want to have access to things like the battery, RAM, and other everyday replaceable parts that computer experts love to swap. Today, laptops are of better value in this regard because the software on them lasts longer than software on phones. I’m not a developer, so I can’t work out exactly how necessary that is (we do use more apps on phones, I guess.) But the sooner we can get our phone’s parts being replaceable like they are on laptops, the better off the sustainable world will be.
Oh, and as for the stocks, you probably ought to head toward innovation. Regardless of whether monopolies and oligopolies keep their elite stature for the exact things they already do, it doesn’t mean innovation won’t still come along and do things differently. This means I feel comfortable investing in ETFs like Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest regardless of whether what she says about innovation being disruptive comes true. I can understand her point that innovation is likely to be disruptive. But you don’t technically have to disrupt to innovate; you can do things differently and gain users who weren’t all that captivated by what was happening before. This makes me all the more comfortable with Ark’s charts, which look much friendlier than traditional indices when just assessing the patterns and ratios. My only concern is does it fall along with everything else if everything else should fall? (Probably, at least to some extent.)