Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gadgets Go to Hell

This is getting a lot of play in the geekier corners of the net (Boing Boing, Kottke), but it's worth reading firsthand: a fantastic, Matt-level rant by a former tech-blog editor on the insanity of America's fascination with consumer electronics. It's a great corrective to early-adopteritis. A snippet:

Kept buying shitty phones and broken media devices green and dripping with DRM. You broke the site, clogging up the pipe like retarded salmon, to read the latest announcements of the most trivial jerk-off products, completely ignoring the stories about technology actually making a difference to real human beings, because you wanted a new chromed robot turd to put in your pocket to impress your friends and make you forget for just a few minutes, blood coursing as you tremblingly cut through the blister pack, that your life is utterly void of any lasting purpose...

Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don't need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn't do what it is supposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it...

Get it together: every single one of these consumer electronics companies should be approached as the enemy. They work for us. Hold their feet to the fire when they say their product is going to change even a small part of our lives.
This is bracing stuff - just harsh enough to make happy to not have a cell phone anymore, not so cruel as to keep me from coveting a new MacBook.