A few months ago, new friends of ours came to visit for dinner. So shocked were they by the squat television in our living room that they insisted we accept a flat-screen version they had going spare.
Now, I’m usually of the ‘use it until it wears out’ school when it comes to my possessions and I was quite fond of the old box we had – its colours were still fine, it did its job. It was far from obsolete.
But perhaps a combination of shame at being perceived as Stone Agers, the inability to say no to a gift and the determination of our friends, meant that a few days later they duly delivered an enormous flat-screen job. The perfectly serviceable old faithful was despatched to the municipal recycling point, where proper recycling is likely to be the last thing that happens to it.
That box has been on my mind quite a bit, especially as this edition of the New Internationalist magazine is all about technology – appropriate, inappropriate, the excesses of the West, the deprivation of much of the rest.
Also this month, we have coverage of the efforts to declare Ecocide a punishable crime against peace. And a feature on the women fighters of Rojava in northern Syria: democrats and passionate idealists who show a different way is possible even in the direst circumstances.