I am often surprised by the apparent perversity of humans. No, I am not just speaking of sexual antics here but perversion in a broader sense of destructive behavior. One of my colleagues, Velocity Spin, has been regaling me with the praise of a journalist and in a spirit of testing whether she is not quite as whacked as she often seems, I have added her podcast to my accumulator as replacement for the MakeUseOf Technophilia podcast whose merits I descried in an earlier blot.
The journalist is in the employ of MSNBC, so I had to go to an MSNBC web site to obtain the podcast URL for its RSS feed. I do not frequent such sites often, having a low level of tolerance for stupidity and vapid coding, so I was a bit bemused by how the links for the podcast feed were handled. There were three hot spots for subscribing for different devices:
- Zune: and
- everything not an iPod or a Zune.
Of course the Zune thing is there because it is an MSNBC web site. Is Zune even made any more?
Anyway, in my mind, once I subtracted out the MS foible, this reduced to Apple iPod, and everything else. And I proceeded to contemplate this. I should comment that this is not the only place I have seen this sort of differentiation but for some reason this morning, this one stuck.
Back in the bad old days of the Containment Conflict, aka The Cold War, we used to bemoan the fate of the poor Yugoslavians who being under the Communist tyranny instead of our benevolent Capitalist tyranny were cursed with having only one offering of any commodity. And in many case zero offerings of indispensable things like nose wiping papers impregnated with “lotion” or toothpaste with two colors of stripes built in. We bemoaned this as a tyranny of absence of choice. And, of course, it even extended, begrudgingly, to the Russians whose GUM department store (and bakeries) seldom had anything and what they had was one of a kind. This absence of choice was proclaimed as an absence of freedom. And we used to extend our sympathy to the poor deprived wights suffering under the yoke of Communism and renew our commitment to Amerika, Capitalism, the Nice Jewish Carpenter, and the goal of freeing those “poor people”.
And now I am exposed to evidence that we do this to ourselves. At one time MegaHard had a Lanchestrian monopoly on browsers with Internet (User) Exploiter. Now we are doing it with Apple poo. Tablet is a synonym for iPud, at least when it comes to advertising. The iPod is a synonym for MP3 player, at least for bog music and podcasts. Which raises the intriguing question of how do bog podcasts come about? More to the point, what makes us lemmings rushing to generate thing monopolies like this?
I should clarify, at least for any straying bogs who happen on here, that since I am a user of FOSS – Free and Open Software Systems – hence Linux, I do not use iTunes. Simply put it is too slow and too clutzy. So I use an MP3 player that acts like a USB stick rather than a microwave oven of noise. And I have to have a URL to download podcasts, or music, should I ever be inclined that way – different perversion – to go into my accumulator. Such, in my warped Containment Era programmed mind, is the nature of Freedom. Or perhaps, just choice and self-determination. But then I don’t hang around bogs enough to listen to them brag about what they can do with an iPod.
Not that I brag about what I can do with my MP3 player, since any of my nerd/geek colleagues can do the same. It’s a matter of our shared delusion of competency. Competency that bogs don’t have but think they do until they talk to us and run away like they have seen the Atomic Hand Grenade. Screaming. In fear!
But that doesn’t answer the question of why people do this sort of thing. Why do some products become choices – like automobile brands and models – and others become monopolies – like iPods? I don’t understand how we inflict this on ourselves.