Politics and tech
Posted on July 1st, 2012 in Opinions
What’s the link, some might ask? Bear with me for a while. I’m gonna tell you a story and you’ll see what the connection is.
The story is about a political party. They managed to win the elections and became the main party to govern a certain country. The name of the country doesn’t matter, neither does the party’s name. They governed pretty well, the liberal-minded people would say. They were catastrophic, the socialist-minded people would say.
The president of the party became prime-minister. Previously, he had served as the mayor of an important city. Shortly before winning the general elections and becoming the prime-minister, he had secured a second term as mayor of that city.
Now, let’s get things straight: I call socialists the people who make taking care of the more unfortunate segment of the population as their goal. I call liberals the ones who think the system should work, the economy should prosper, and the unfortunate will automatically do better, with as little direct intervention as possible.
Making the economy work is what these guys tried to do. But this usually implies being harsh on at least some bits of the population, if not all of it. So, the government became increasingly widely unpopular and was eventually replaced by a socialist one.
The former prime-minister ran for office in his home city again. Having become unpopular, his party lost the various mayor seats around the country. With the notable exception of this guy. The former mayor turned prime-minister had won his mayor seat back.
Of course, this happened in the vortex-like climate of the media worshiping the popular topics. What other topics could possibly be popular, other than a semi-chaotic cacophony of voices yelling “The formerly governing party is evil! Aaaaaargh!” The vortex was also fueled by the socialists who were constantly pointing fingers at the unpopular reforms undertaken by the former government.
So, when this guy won the elections, the almighty media was gasping for air. Wow, a disturbance in graphs! A perturbation! A dissonance! How could this possibly be???!
And this, my friends, is where politics intersect with the world of technology. Oh, no, how could the people of that city vote against the popular opinion????! How could they choose the unpopular logo/person? Aaaaaargh! They disobeyed propaganda and marketing! More importantly, they disobeyed a TREND!!! They disobeyed fashion!
This only proves that, just like in politics, it’s not about what’s good anymore, or even about what your opinion is. It’s all about the marketing, propaganda (um, “product placement”), the BS and even social coercion. Many years ago, before the iPhone was made and before Facebook was popular, some teenage boy had a Myspace profile saying something like “Here. It’s called an iPod. If you don’t have one, GTFO.” Or some invective like that.
Now don’t get me wrong, everybody does use this marketing strategy. Because, of course, it’s a popular tactic! And whatever’s popular is the best. Don’t high-school kids all want to be popular?
Apple says buy this because it’s new (there’s always a newer version!) and simply the best. HTC and Samsung both say buy this because it’s all you want, for a fraction of the price. Well, actually Samsung is becoming the new Apple, now it’s all about getting one of their smartphones because it’s different but still trendy and shiny and fashionable, without the “mainstream” stamp you get from having some Apple device.
Blackberry says buy this because it’s serious business, just like you are. Nokia says buy this because it’s an actually functional phone with extra features on the side, but at least it works great as a phone. I’m getting the feeling that Sony says buy this and shut up, but I’m not sure. They certainly used to do that.
Besides, when people talk about a game, they think of a mobile phone game, or maybe made for a tablet. They have to play something, of course, casual, on the subway ride to work. They can’t possibly stand their own selves for an hour.
As a conclusion, we must all be the same and obey trends or whatever’s deemed fashionable. These must be our strictest law. We only get some sort of vote between a few popular options, if more than one thing is popular. If only one thing’s popular, that must absolutely be the choice.
And why? Because it satisfies all the cliches that mark you as a hip, fashionable, trendy person. And those, mathematically added, guarantee social success. Which is what you should be seeking, to stroke your ego and gain power over others.
I don’t know, but it sounds like being a consumer nowadays translates into a person in dire need of a psychiatric consult!