At India’s TV Repair Shops, a Worker Discovers Technology’s False Promises

Is the 'Use-and-Throw-Away' Consumer Ethos Keeping Us Dependent on Corporate Giants?

In a repair shop in South India, an employee was sitting next to me, trying to figure out what was wrong with the circuit board on his worn blue work table. The board was from a large, expensive flat-screen television lying face-down in front of us; the customer was due to return in another day or two.

As he prepared to examine the circuit board under a bright magnifier lamp, the power cut out across the service center. The soldering iron, the lamp, the shop’s overhead lights, and the ceiling fans …