Our cable TV company bill is too high so e’re shopping content providers, and there-in lies the problem. There once was a time when television was free, but limited to less than a handful of fuzzy channels, and nothing in color. Television today is a beast that no longer resembles television of just a decade ago, thanks in part to YouTube, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and the many ways to stream an ever growing array of video content.
When once we used to buy the music we heard on radio stations, today we can listen to any of 30-million songs for a flat monthly fee. When once there were only three or four TV networks supplying the masses with television content, today we can view video– live or recorded– from a few thousand sources with millions of video clips.
Television as we knew it is dead.
In its place is the information superhighway, a method which brings audio and video and reading material to billions of people through a number of devices that go far beyond the capabilities of mere TV sets. Local cable TV has 300 channels and nothing on. YouTube has millions and millions of videos, arguably the world’s largest video library and while some of the entertainment stored there is of value to someone, far too much of it is the result of a human tendency toward voyeurism and the inane. If you thought humanity was wading through an accumulation of its own trash, take a look at what constitutes information and entertainment in the internet age.
One translation of the Bible, specifically Ecclesiastes 12:12, states:
the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body
Amen to that, but a thousand or a million times over. Look around. Humanity is being bombarded with, well, humanity’s ever changing perspectives, personal views, and momentary slices of life in an overabundance of the mundane, trivial, and nonsense masquerading as useful and beneficial information.
Most of what is available to read, view, or listen to is anything but useful and beneficial.
Not only are the choices of information content growing at an alarming rate, so are the methods of distribution and collection, with Apple at the forefront defining the very devices humanity will use to pay more attention to humanity in an endless circle of regurgitated information from, by, and for the masses; or, just anyone.
There are 300-million channels and nothing is on.
What the world needs more of is what Apple provides, and not just in the devices we use to view, read, or listen to more content. Apple is about curating the experience and humanity is in dire need of curation. “They can’t put it on the internet if it isn’t true” isn’t just a punchline in a TV commercial for insurance, it’s a pervasive attitude when seems to give everything published anywhere the same value.
Today’s personal computer user– and I stretch the term to include PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, Watch, and every device made by any tech company which manufactures such devices– has almost instantaneous access to more information and entertainment than even existed a few decades ago, and worse, humanity does not seem to be the better for it. Phone companies, maybe. People, not so much.
As much as we may appreciate Apple’s ability to curate the technology and help us curate the content, curation starts at home, and it seems there is where less is more. iPads and iPhones are used as babysitters, as platforms to exploit, or as eyeball machines for advertisers, rather than devices that enlighten and inform in a manner that benefits members of society.
I choose to use Apple devices because, generally speaking, they ‘just work’ and they work together within an ecosystem to make it easier for me to curate the confusing din of uninformative noise and entertainment prattle of lesser intrinsic value that permeates the world. Apple works diligently to secure my personal privacy and security while the various governments supported by my taxes do not. The very ones who decry the dangers of big government are the very ones that want to access to everything there is to know about me.
So, in short, thank you, Apple, for being Apple and for providing the tools– somewhat expensive tools– to help humanity get through the din of noise that comes from every direction.