Technology affords us each god-like powers just as it unearths, likely deepens, our most human traits. Look up irony in the dictionary and it no doubt says: see also, God.
The new, the shiny, the rare, our fire.
Apple is the richest corporation in the world. This no longer means what it once meant. Even when I use exclusively Apple products — Apple TV, Mac, iPhone — I find that Apple’s AirPlay is less reliable than Google’s Chromecast. How? Is it utter incompetence on Apple’s part or perhaps some pernicious way to cut into YouTube streaming?
We have supercomputers in our pockets, can videochat across continents, but even obvious software features are lagging, craven business strategies continue to generate cash, wires everywhere, everything about us is known and nobody understands how anything works.
What can you go without? Because everything will work or nothing will.
On the subject of failing to get even the most obvious details right, the year of our Lord, 2017, and iPhone still can’t support a customizable home screen? Is this institutionalized laziness on Apple’s part or simply a disdain for users? Perhaps it’s because Apple users don’t care for the very best features? I’ve had a beautiful AMOLED display and wireless charging on my smartphone for years. These don’t exist on iPhone. I guess, Apple users simply don’t want these features.
More confounding than Apple customers with low expectations are those who cover Apple. They continue to insist the iPad is the future. THE FUTURE!
The iPad is almost universally unnecessary. And always will be.
You can go a day without an iPhone. You can go a week without a Mac. You can go a lifetime without an iPad.
That’s never going to change.
Worse still, these analysts don’t even understand even the most obvious directions in tech. The iPad doesn’t point the way to the future. Rather, the Mac. The Mac combines integration plus openness. A locked-down OS is the wrong side of history.
What Apple does have a lot of, besides very tolerant customers, is cash. Hundreds of billions of dollars of it. A few of which they should use to buy Twitter. I can’t promise it will be worth it to Apple, but it’s the only remaining hope for Twitter. Apple offers a privileged user group, always on their phone, eager to speak and share and like and follow, and who can more fully leverage Twitter’s sad forays into live sports and other television programming.
Grown men blocked federal government representatives from entering a local Washington, DC school this past week, similar to what happened in Alabama in the 1960s. Fortunately, these angry men are only temporarily denying poor, minority children from receiving a better education. Nearly everyone in America can get YouTube, possibly the greatest free and accessible source of learning in history. A $500 tablet can put the nation’s heritage and its greatest works into the hands of any child. Learning has become stunningly affordable. Consider the breadth and quality of these online courses, many available for less than $20.
Knowledge at scale.
That’s never before happened.
A revolution in learning is already well underway, even as regressive forces hope to keep change outside. They are on the wrong side of history. And it’s glorious.
The breadth of wrongness in this essay is revealing. It’s thesis: “Silicon Valley” is making so much money that its richest companies, like Facebook, Apple, Google, et al should hire janitors, cooks, bus drivers, millwrights and others rather than simply purchasing these services from other companies.
The fact that the tech industry notoriously outsources (or subcontracts) nearly every lower- and middle-income job to another firm (all in the name of cost-cutting) needs to be reexamined. From bus drivers, to janitorial and security staff to, yes, manufacturing jobs, it’s high time to start making people who do work for a company into employees of that company, with all the rights and benefits that entails.
Wouldn’t it be better if Apple cut the price of an iPhone in half?
Think of the magical improvements in the lives of everyone — including the nation’s poorest, and even the world’s poorest — thanks to the free services provided by Google, for example.
There’s simply zero good reasons for Apple, say, to have its own bus drivers and its own janitors. I suspect the author knows his theory is foolish. Why write it? The truth: we simply do not know our way through this. We want to think that automation and globalization are the way forward — just keep pushing pushing pushing, maybe take a few dollars to help those left behind — but the full and complete truth is we do not know. Those who howl at President Trump for attempting to bring manufacturing back to the US or gnash their teeth and take to the streets when he proposes deportation policies almost word-for-word exactly the same as the previous president, are foolish or lying or both. Trump’s way might work. Probably not. This is all uncharted territory. Those telling you their way is best almost certainly mean: it’s best for them.
Many Americans threaten to cut the cord. They’re not liars, just weak. No one can give up television, that’s clear, and now throw in a hundred channels, a DVR, live sports and dramas, weather, news, comforting aspiration. For $100 a month that’s a solid bargain.
I know a better one.
I subscribe to YouTube Red. $10 a month and I have instant access on all my screens to an almost unimaginable range of history, comedy, dramas, foreign films, music, silent classics, visual art, cultural flotsam. I can think of no better value in media. Meanwhile, Hollywood offers up bland junk, fake provocation, and a sanctified reverence of all things not like you, nor likely to be remembered by anyone five or ten years from now. It’s an easy choice, really.
Conservatism is the new counter-culture. No wonder Baby Boomers and those they taught are so enraged.
Why hasn’t any developer yet created an app that lets us cast our own patronus with our smartphone?