Color me something of a current events news hound with a technology background; an old school journalist of the who, what, when, and where variety who knows his way around a command line interface thanks to too many years learning the intricacies of CP/M in the age before DOS, Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. My first public internet experience dates back to the early 1990s, a Mac, a modem, and a website scrolling into Mosaic.
The last two plus decades have foisted a sea change upon the world that may rival the flood of Noah’s day and the invention of fire or writing. The information superhighway was heralded as a way to make the earth a village, but instead we find ourselves surrounded by a rush hour on the misinformation superhighway where everyone has an opinion which is treated as fact, where actual news is suspiciously misunderstood, and where wrong has become right, down has become up.
Through all these massive sea changes in media and technology and how information and entertainment is distributed, Apple has reigned on top as a beacon of clarity in a cluttered technological world; a company of devices and interfaces and usability that, well, just works. Or, it used to.
Apple has long been a technology brand that customers depended upon to provide a better customer and user experience. Relatively speaking, that hasn’t changed because Apple’s competitors continue to struggle to compete at that level. What has happened to Apple is what is happening to institutions that were once trusted; whether news organizations in print and broadcast, or the phone company.
The misinformation superhighway spares no entity from scrutiny and increasingly it is difficult for mere citizens of planet earth to know what truly is going on these days.
Whether it’s the unmitigated hysteria of Batterygate or the wave of fears propagated by Meltdown and Spectre affecting nearly every computing system in the world, week after week we’re treated to false and fake information mixed with what is true and valuable but without the tools to determine which is which.
What I want from Apple is this. Bring back the information superhighway. Apple can provide customers with a more secure environment through a massive virtual private network (VPN), design and build devices which are more secure and private than competitors, and give users the tools needed to control what comes into (and out of) our devices, whether it’s filters for parents, or fact-checking applications which weed out what is inappropriate based upon options that users control– beyond the morass of apps and websites which purport and appear legitimate but which are not.
Apple’s highly touted devices help us navigate the misinformation superhighway, but I pay extra for the Apple user and customer experience and that expense needs to help us overcome the rest of the traffic so we can get back to the information superhighway.
Here we are in the 21st century, more than two decades after the public internet launched, and misinformation rules. That’s wrong. Apple can help.