This is why we can't have nice things

26 mrt. 2021
5 959 038 Weergaven

This video is about stuff: light bulbs, printers, phones and why they aren't better. Go to and use code VERITASIUM to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount. It’s risk free with Nord’s 30 day money-back guarantee!
The Man in the White Suit -
London, B. (1932). Ending the depression through planned obsolescence. -
Slade, G. (2009). Made to break: Technology and obsolescence in America. Harvard University Press -
Krajewski, M. (2014). The great lightbulb conspiracy. IEEE spectrum, 51(10), 56-61. -
Planet Money, The Phoebus Cartel -
The Light Bulb Conspiracy -
Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Mac Malkawi, Oleksii Leonov, Michael Schneider, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal
Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Ivan Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller and Raquel Nuno
Edited by Derek Muller
Video supplied by Getty Images
Music by Jonny Hyman and from"Aquatic Planet", "Rhythm of Dreams", "Tread Lightly", "Unexpected Visitors", "Curved Mirrors" "Drunken Lullaby" "Fluorescent Lights"
Thumbnail by Raquel Nuno and Karri Denise

  • In the end is all Greed.

    アンドレスアンドレス50 minuten geleden
  • If it don't last don't buy another...

    k imk im2 uur geleden
  • Why fall into the trap of upgrading your phone more than every 2 years????

    Boom StickBoom Stick3 uur geleden
  • I remember the Maytag Repair Man. He was always bored waiting for a repair call. Now Maytags run like electronic burn outs.

    L CL C4 uur geleden
  • I installed 5 year & 7 year light bulbs all throughout my house about 8 months ago. Half of them have already failed.

    Boom StickBoom Stick4 uur geleden
  • Hey, a lot of people never wondered why salt has an expiration date on it, either. They just throw it out and get some more. And most likely, their new salt is older than what they just discarded.

    Sandou MirSandou Mir5 uur geleden
  • I bet they could make tires that could last longer and save the planet doing it sad

    Kirk MosierKirk Mosier5 uur geleden
  • It's sad to see this channel be about conspiracy theories.. reported and flagged for false information

    Sveer LerSveer Ler7 uur geleden
  • LED bulbs suffer from planned obsolescence.

    AdVolKit RANTAdVolKit RANT11 uur geleden
  • But... but conspiracy does not exists they said

    pock picketpock picket11 uur geleden
  • Apple products...

    Fireclaw2021Fireclaw202114 uur geleden
  • I hate capitalism.

    Black EdelweissBlack Edelweiss15 uur geleden
  • this sounds like a Taylor Swift song

    HandsomeHandsome18 uur geleden
  • the future of planned obsolecense: COSMETIC MICROTRANSACTIONS

    S1nwarS1nwar19 uur geleden
  • Thanks god mine is burning for 6000 hours xd Im happy i never fall for that crap the car thing pulled tho, hence i still use my 5 year old mobile phone

    Tia GenTia Gen20 uur geleden
  • 3:23 Thats illegal and its called collusion. Do we know anything here? Can a lawyer please chime in and tell me im ignorant or spot on?

    Aurora JonesAurora JonesDag geleden
  • Don't know about LED lasting..... I mean as per technology intent but when it comes to limited hours the maker is totally relying on your bucks....

    dale bluedale blueDag geleden
  • Uhh... my LED bulbs last at most like a year..

    Maria ERMaria ERDag geleden
  • Always seemed like planned obsolesence was built into our highway system and modern building as well just didn't know the word for it. Expansion and retraction of steel rebar is a good example.

    Freedom UnrestrictedFreedom UnrestrictedDag geleden
  • Hmm, a bunch of corporations meeting in secret to decide what we the people are allowed to have? COUGH*builderburg*COUGH

  • im poor and I dont understand apple products or fashion

    joshua polakjoshua polakDag geleden
  • and then, ... you have the dubai led light bulb, that shows, we still want our led lights to last less long then they can :P

    TelhmaaaTelhmaaaDag geleden
  • I wish you would also have mentioned the huge impact on the environment and how much this costs us. Sometimes the industry is charged for it, but in most cases they aren’t or not fairly. Also while many jobs could be lost, there would also be positive transformative effects in society. If you don’t have to replace everything you own every year, you need to spend a lot less, which means you could also work less, or work on other things. This would even partly compensate the job losses. It’s really said how much we are holding ourselves back.

    81Earthangel81EarthangelDag geleden
  • Led bulbs don't last. Here in Africa we go through bulbs just like before

    Yiannis MantheakisYiannis MantheakisDag geleden
  • Imagine getting together with your light bulb homies just to control the market by making worse products. That's some major small dick energy

    bad booglbad booglDag geleden
  • my dad owns a model t that's over 100 years old and still works :)

    boxsnotboxsnotDag geleden
  • US: "Planned obsolescence is Da WAY" China: "I've mastered your art, I am now your worthy opponent"

    sir Nortonsir NortonDag geleden
  • Right to repairr

    Abhishek JajuAbhishek Jaju2 dagen geleden
  • There should be tech info on how to build your own ever lasting stuff..

    Ash RichardsAsh Richards2 dagen geleden
  • I love your Videos, as per the smart phones, I find once we get the feature updates for OS platforms it builds and builds and it is software sitting over software once it starts to get laggy for me I reset the phone and it goes back to manufacture default settings and frees up more memory and increases phone speed!.

    Eli EdgarEli Edgar2 dagen geleden
  • Imagine getting chased out of society because you invented something that lasts forever, oh wait, that already happened to Nikola Tesla...

    Vinny VVinny V2 dagen geleden
  • apple's innovation is to make the camera bigger every year

    wijngswijngs2 dagen geleden
  • Same thing with nylons, which women wore before there was panty hose. The first nylons wore like iron and are still good today if you kept a pair. They were deliberately made weaker and more prone to run so women would have to keep buying them to replace them when they were ruined.

    Jane HardyJane Hardy2 dagen geleden
  • The deadpan windchime analogically race because flood prospectively cure underneath a festive radar. wretched, flippant temperature

    jonki leshijonki leshi2 dagen geleden
  • You know the old saying. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for eternity.

    Vinny VVinny V2 dagen geleden
  • This shows how easily we can be manipulated, and how only money matters in this world.

    taleofmanynamestaleofmanynames2 dagen geleden
  • Unless you know how about Electronics, you can forget about owning LED Lightbulbs because the LEDs fails prematurely due to the driver failing. So yes, LED hasn't blown but the drivers suck.

    Vinny VVinny V2 dagen geleden
  • Quick comment about a LED lightbulb... I replaced all of mine twice in the last 4 years, because they stopped working. Sure technology is here, but it brought friends :P

    kschiavokschiavo2 dagen geleden
  • Speaking of changing styles, I'm really impressed how Veritasium's style has changed. It has always been fun to watch, but it is now definitely on another level with music, use historical footage, narration which make it a lot more entertaining while keeping it packed with insights and amazing things and ideas.

    alutinxalutinx2 dagen geleden
  • But let's not question the idea of work or corporate driven capitalism as an all good.

    JT HallbeckJT Hallbeck2 dagen geleden
  • Not trying to be a prick - but anyone who watched the 2nd/3rd Zeitgeist movies...a decade ago................are just like OK AND?

    A. SiphrodiasA. Siphrodias2 dagen geleden
  • Ok if it is normal to have a cartel keeping the light bulb last for not too long, guess it will also be OK to destroy some of their manufacturing power, am I right? Humanity keeps inventing great things but there's always a bunch of greedy-handed salespersons who make it impossible for people to get real benefits of them. In fact, we could have worked 2 hours a day (as opposed to working 16 hours a day two centuries ago) to get ourselves to the same standards of living we have today. And yet there's always a huge fund or an old Mr. Scrudge who stops us from reaching that.

    Eu KhEu Kh2 dagen geleden
    • Start a business, have your employees only work 2 hours a day.

      Candler318Candler318Dag geleden
  • trash the environment for temporary human gain, or trash nothing but some company's greed, you choose.

    racabonracabon2 dagen geleden
  • Everyone needs to be needed, but nobody wants to need someone. It's that hideous strength that dictates inevitably, eventually, only one person will remain. And inevitably, eventually, even that person will perish. And the cause of this extinction is our own obsession to replace ourselves with what we create, so that we no longer need others, nor even need ourselves. We desire to make ourselves obsolete.

    SemiMonoSemiMono2 dagen geleden
  • Have you heard of the electric car? Lol

    B RobbinsB Robbins2 dagen geleden
  • Yeah - and you can forget LED Bulbs - they're crap as well- and intentionally so...

    MyriaddsystemsMyriaddsystems2 dagen geleden
  • "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." Henry Ford - watch "The Money Masters" right here on U tooob - research the "IRS Court Investment System" and what the CAFR is and how everything is operated by contract under corporate statutes and codes that are part of the Law of Admiralty that the whole world operates under. Research the "Uniform Commercial Code".

    Sight EternalSight Eternal2 dagen geleden
  • >makes a bulb that lasts forever >sell it to everyone in the world >no one needs any bulb anymore >leaves

    • @Die Nosor Po we had one. He was named Nikola Tesla. He intended to give everyone free and wireless electricity forever. He had the technology, the science behind it but not the money. He was starved to death and chased down by bankers and other scientists with more capitalist intentions (Thomas Edison) aaaand he died mysteriously in a hotel room and all of his discoveries were “stolen” and well-kept under rocks to this day

      Juanitome13Juanitome133 minuten geleden
    • We need a hero

      Die Nosor PoDie Nosor Po7 uur geleden
  • People should stop using Apple products, but sadly they don't have the knowledge or willingness to get out of Apple's ecosystem prison. Marginal improvement and recycling of designs. I never found Apple designs as enticing. Fashion industry is also another big cause of wastage I this world. Instead of durable products for consumers, they just produce some crap design and hype every season. Same people stay away from such enemies of environment.

    Info-LoadInfo-Load3 dagen geleden
  • One good thing about planned obsolescence is that it promotes innovation.

    Bearie robloxBearie roblox3 dagen geleden
    • How do you think it does? If you plan for obsolescence then you are not pushing for innovation. It will slow down innovation if there is any.

      Pranay M.Pranay M.2 dagen geleden
  • Still using a 2015 iPhone 6S+. You have to give apple some credit for still updating my phone to this day. My android lost updates after 2 years.

    John BJohn B3 dagen geleden
  • Google Ralph Nader.

    Straight talkingStraight talking3 dagen geleden
  • Let’s ruin the earth, because jobs.

    Alexandre BougieAlexandre Bougie3 dagen geleden
  • This is capitalism

    Patrick FosterPatrick Foster3 dagen geleden
  • That thing with the LED Bulb got me... At That logic I sold my house 2 times in just one week or smth... I dunno but thats not what I'd call "long living". I know thats not comparable to normal LED lifespan and was caused by some fluctuations in the local power grid, but it were only the LED's that broke back then. Still awesome video though!

    NexoNexo3 dagen geleden
  • It's the American way to be wasteful consumers. Because we were brainwashed by big companies to want the newest model.

    yankee way farmsyankee way farms3 dagen geleden
  • Obsolecense is the destruction of the environment.

    AbhishekAbhishek3 dagen geleden
  • There's a simple explanation for lightbulb lifespans. It has to do with brightness and temperature. Basically, in order to make a nice bright incandescent light bulb, you have to heat the filament very hot, and over time it will slowly sublimate, until eventually the filament becomes too weak and breaks. This can be solved by running the lightbulb at a lower temperature. This gives you a very long lasting light bulb, but it will also be rather dim. Also, it will be less power efficient, since the lower the temperature, the more of the light it emits will be in the infrared spectrum, invisible to human eyes. Halogen light bulbs have an interesting approach to mitigating this problem. They contain a small amount of a halogen, such as iodine or bromine, which is a gas when the lightbulb is on and the insides are hot. What this does is react with the tiny amount of tungsten vapor coming off the filament, turning it into a compound with a much lower vaporization point. This means that instead of "falling" and condensing as fine dust on the bottom of the bulb, it stays around as a gas, and when it comes into contact with the hot filament, the compound breaks down, releasing the halogen and letting the tungsten stick back to the filament. It still isn't perfect, since it won't land in exactly the same place it left, and eventually the filament will get thin and thick spots and end up breaking, but it lets these light bulbs either last longer, or shine brighter without too short a lifespan. The light bulb in the fire station has lasted as long as it has because they're running it at very low brightness. Thus, it doesn't get hot enough for the filament to deteriorate. Of course, it doesn't put out very much light either... Another factor is how often the lightbulb is turned on and off. When this happens, the filament undergoes thermal expansion or shrinking, but since this will never quite be completely even, it puts extra stress on the filament during the tiny amount of time in which it heats or cools. Ever notice that almost every single time an old light bulb dies, it happens the instant you turn the light on? This is why.

    Keldor314Keldor3143 dagen geleden
  • The LED chips might last for 25,000 hours, but it’s the electronics inside the bulb that control the voltage and current that goes out after a few thousand hours

    RedspecialityRedspeciality3 dagen geleden
  • Wow that is so depressing. I disagree with this business model. It's why the earth is being raped and dying

    The Big BwoyThe Big Bwoy3 dagen geleden
  • I hate that shat. Big companies making stuff just so it breaks.... Annoying AF.

    JMAC191JMAC1913 dagen geleden
  • LED light bulbs are everlasting? Boy, you are sooooooo wrong. Today are impossible to open LED light bulb to replace cheap parts to extend working time.

    Dovla CroDovla Cro3 dagen geleden
  • My grandparents' fridge in Egypt from the 60s still works like new. But our fridge in Canada from a well-known company didn't last 5 years before we needed to get it repaired. Such a shame because we should be trying to create less waste not more. I wish there was something that could be done about this problem

    MomeraMomera3 dagen geleden
  • @1:30 what else do you think this has happened to? everything! race of greedy bastards that could make the world way better !

    TheKruze88TheKruze883 dagen geleden
  • Be sure and do research on the damage of the blue spectrum of the l.e.d.'s, so while we've made advancements and saved consumption, we're doing it at the expense of lost eyesight. Read up!

    tjames22123tjames221233 dagen geleden
  • Is the automotive industry like this too? Make cars with worse gas mileage and such?

    Thomas WeedenThomas Weeden3 dagen geleden
  • The old secretly turn a useful and common invention into a monopoly trick. Works every time.

    Thomas WeedenThomas Weeden3 dagen geleden
  • Hmm... In Europe that LED light bulb works less than a year. I've been replacing like 10 of them in my house during past 2 years. Osram's GU-10 :-)

    Николай КольченкоНиколай Кольченко3 dagen geleden
  • Using a VPN does NOT always allow you to watch streaming content from other countries. I bought a VPN because of this promise and it didn't work at all. The broadcaster (BBC) was not fooled by this ruse at all. Somehow, they knew that the server was a VPN server and so was likely sending their signal out of country. And they refused to allow me to sign into their service. Its all well and good to advertise a VPN for what it is good for, but this is a false promise. VPNs can not always allow you to watch streaming content from other countries. Becau7se they have no control over how smart the broadcasters are.

    Rob FowlerRob Fowler3 dagen geleden
  • For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

    Billie JonesBillie Jones3 dagen geleden
  • A couple of years after they came out, I replaced all my lights with the CFL bulbs because they were promised to last longer. This was VERY important because they cost several times as much as any standard incandescent bulb. It doesn't matter that it uses 1/3 the power if it only lasts as long as a regular bulb, you still wont recover your up front investment before you have to buy another one. The first generation of LED bulb I bought was a fiasco, a complete waste of money. But the second generation after the high intensity LED bulbs came out has now replaced most of my CFLs. So far, they are working well.

    Rob FowlerRob Fowler3 dagen geleden
  • @9:55 That's Alec Guinnes! Young Ben Kenobi. "We just see if BLOOD stains your suit!"

    Rob FowlerRob Fowler3 dagen geleden
  • Edison is a copycat

    konntra feelkonntra feel4 dagen geleden
  • “Capitalism breeds innovation”

    Jens HaraldJens Harald4 dagen geleden
    • It does though. Look at all these innovative new ways to destroy the environment.

      Crowe3717Crowe37174 dagen geleden
  • Agree with this video 100%

    RashadRashad4 dagen geleden
  • Ladies and gentlemen; capitalism.

    Shaun DreclinShaun Dreclin4 dagen geleden
  • OK, I am going to put possibly the dumbest question ever out there. Is this guy Elon Musk?

    ali xenaali xena4 dagen geleden
  • Thats probably why modern phones are made to be so thin and fragile

    Joel SlettenJoel Sletten4 dagen geleden
  • Planned obsolescence creates more waste and hurting the planet

    KePu VlogsKePu Vlogs4 dagen geleden
  • So... Capitalism I shall never replace my 10yo laptop for a new one because i can repair it and change hardware pieces easily. Tried a gamer laptop for a while and LOL not worth it. Even with the most expensive PC you can buy, when the expiration date comes, takes more than a minute to open the internet browser (and mine takes 2min in a bad day, so there is that). Nah, i'm fine with my repairable laptop. Important edit: SHOUTOUT TO ALL HACKERS OUT HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE, PROVIDING OPEN SOURCE PRINTING STUFF, MAKING RESPIRATORS FOR HOSPITALS, BREAKING PATENTS SO MORE PEOPLE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO MEDICINE, TEACHING HOW TO CRACK SOFTWARES, AND EVEN THAT GIRL THAT THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUNNY TO CODE A REPLICA OF A DESIGNER BAG. YA'LL ARE AWESOME!

    Ms Ch.Ms Ch.4 dagen geleden
  • and now education has failed to teach kids how to make these products last forever

    Christopher WallbankChristopher Wallbank4 dagen geleden
  • my mum went to buy shirts with a silk cotton mix that she always bought for my dad cause they lasted years and years, the last time she went to buy the same shirt the salesmen said they don't make them anymore cause they last too long

    Christopher WallbankChristopher Wallbank4 dagen geleden
  • Great for the environment

    phillipflsmithphillipflsmith4 dagen geleden
  • Vote for your right to repair

    David KanellisDavid Kanellis4 dagen geleden
  • You weird an n95 with a second mask but you don’t wear a face shield or goggles. Cringe

    William ThirryWilliam Thirry4 dagen geleden
  • Why do I feel like I heard about this light bulb on 99% Invisible, or Radiolab, or something?

    ChrisChris4 dagen geleden
  • Dodge was the first car company to implement planned obsolescence into their vehicles.

    LXIX TurnerLXIX Turner4 dagen geleden
  • Outstanding piece, speaks to so many of our persistent issues. Also, QI! Which episode?

    gareth cairnsgareth cairns4 dagen geleden
  • What a video!

    Aayush ShresthaAayush Shrestha4 dagen geleden
  • According to those addicted to the system, everything said by the government is true. They have that feeling of being part of the party of power, not the homeless crazy people with crazy theories ... even if they are poorer than that vagabond, they feel that they are rich when they think the same as the official thought, and they will defend that unique thought as if it was the only thing they have.

    divertechnologydivertechnology4 dagen geleden
  • LOL "We finally reached the point of what is essentially an everlasting light bulb" NOT! Those things break all the time and also they are infusing them with WiFi, camera and microphones, so again YOU are the product. Right to repair is such a joke. How about suing for racketeering? What about all the patents public and secret of all the tech they don't want us to have? It's the perfect way for them to keep their power and control over all the slaves.We need to keep the workers happy with building crappy products? You are not ever going to get ahead of the corruption until there is a complete overthrow.

    This OneGuyThis OneGuy4 dagen geleden
  • Talking abut conspiracy.....what about the great and inhuman conspiracy of our time?...talking about 911...i mean for someone who have researched into this and can add 1+1(not 2 and 2...its way more harder), its obvious that it was inside job by US govt..but no one in mainstream media talk about it?...are people really that afraid to speak the truth? else can u explain controlled demolition pattern of towers, jus for starting smoking gun. and aluminum plane punching deep hole in RCC was a joke

    Mustafa A BohariMustafa A Bohari5 dagen geleden
  • Led lights not much better. I have 8 led lightbulbs in my bathroom I change at least one every 4-6 month because it’s not working anymore. I’m not even sure they are last longer than a regular light bulbs

    mvmedvedmvmedved5 dagen geleden
  • Yeah, it's kinda weird. But then again, if everyone had a light bulb that lasted forever, nobody would ever be hired to make them.

    Walter CarvalhoWalter Carvalho5 dagen geleden
  • My current iMac: 2012. Will replace sometime in the next year or 2 (and the new Macs (M1) are much more efficient as they use the new M1 (etc.) processors. iPhones: 5 years (current is 1.5 years old). iPad: 5 years old. Not replacing. Apple: created the smart phone model that everyone copies. And yes, they innovate. Not year to year, but inexorably the iPhones become ever more capable over time. Don't buy one every year or 2. Every 5 or 6 is fine for most people. The whole Apple throttling thing has been completely misrepresented in the media - and in this video - in my opinion. My iPhone 6 at 3.5 years of life had 98% charge capacity left. No issue there at all...

    AlanTheBeast100AlanTheBeast1005 dagen geleden
  • My previous Honda Accord (2003) was still in great shape when I traded it in in 2019 for a new Honda Accord... Reliability and ease of maintenance breeds loyalty.

    AlanTheBeast100AlanTheBeast1005 dagen geleden
  • Nobody exposes the "college textbook cartel". I'm serious this time. Back in college, a math professor told me how it worked: 1. Textbooks for introductory courses, physics 101, for example, are huge, are a relatively good value, and don't change much at all between editions. 2. Textbooks for upper-division classes have fewer students and the used book market reduces revenue over time. The solution? A. Jack up the price of these upper-division textbooks. B. Every few years, come out with a new "edition" which is NOT AT ALL better than the previous BUT has chapters and exercises rearranged so that it's hard to use previous editions. Voila .. problem solved -- good for book publishers .. bad for starving students.

    Daniel HoDaniel Ho5 dagen geleden
  • To quote my wise old friend, "The problem with common sense is .. it's not very common." and educating the public is a big big boo-boo. You, my friend, are now public enemy #1 of: the lightbulb cartel big auto fashionistas big tech

    Daniel HoDaniel Ho5 dagen geleden
  • Have no doubt, they built in obsolescence into LEDs. I've had to replace half of those I've installed after only about one year

    Old Blind DarbyOld Blind Darby5 dagen geleden
  • Allowing company's to do things like this is a big problem causing more waste than necessary for one and also giving them the power to basically run the world through corporations with endless control on what we buy how we buy. We need to reform the capitalist system not only for ourselves and our future but for the planet's furure. So much to disscuss so little interest in change.

    Justin ThompsonJustin Thompson5 dagen geleden