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In the not so distant past, Apple represented quality, technical excellence, American-made products, American ingenuity, intelligent design, performance, security, and nonconformity.
However, over the years Apple has morphed, grown, evolved, mutated, and now dominates the technological landscape. With each change Apple's core values have been steadily replaced. It became sadly obvious that these principles needed to be cast off to create the uber-profitable behemoth that Apple has become today. One-by-one these standards were twisted, shred, and shed like restraining straps holding back a growing monster. Now Apple is the latest member among the top of the Evil Empires; ceaselessly tying to track, monitor, sell, advertise, and control every part of our lives. Apple now represents some of the worst that globalization, capitalism, greed, excess, infinite growth, and big brother offer us. Steve Jobs (Apple's former CEO) has been said to embody the phrase 'ahead of his time', and nothing he did was ever short-sighted. Tim Cook (Apple's current CEO) embodies the phrase 'the banality of evil'. These are important ideas to remember when considering anything Apple has done. Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (aka Agamemnon and Odysseus) have always thought about the big-picture and have regretted nothing to make it a reality. Jobs lead the way with the vision and Cook executed the vision with deadly and detached precision. So what is the big picture and what has Apple done to deserve such a repugnant portrayal? To answer those questions all we need to do is allow Steve Jobs to speak for himself about the much anticipated Apple TV: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’” - Steve Jobs Let's expand upon Jobs' train of thought, which I am sure he also did. Imagine a world where you can take pictures of your vacation using your HD camera, be able to see them on your big screen TV, upload it to Facebook from your TV, view them from your tablet computer while at a friends house, and even buy a printed photo album without ever having to manage moving the files across software or devices. Instead of pictures, imagine buying an album of music while at a concert. You download it not to your device, but to your online account. You can then access it from anywhere on the planet, a TV, a computer, a smartphone, a tablet, etc... all of these devices work perfectly together and remember what is done on the other devices. Or instead of pictures you are working at home on a presentation for the boss. You tell your personal assistant to save it to your online account so that you can later access it from the big screen TV in the conference room. You give the presentation from the TV without needing projectors, laptops, or wires. You then end the presentation by telling your personal assistant to send any critical documents to the necessary parties. You call home and tell your spouse how it all went. In a nutshell, Apple wants to monopolize creating and accessing all mass-market entertainment, electronic content, and electronic communication through its products and services. In a Steve Jobs world: - you can create any type of electronic content on an Apple device (iMac, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV) - access and share any electronic content on any other Apple device using online data storage services (iTunes, iCloud, other approved outside partners) - contact any person with text, voice, and video from anywhere on the globe (iMac, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV) - have your own personal assistant [that exists on all Apple devices] to manage all of this electronic content as well as manage your contacts, communication, events, reminders, calendars, and general inquiries (Siri) - all of this is handled using one seamless operating system and software across all Apple devices (iOS, OSX) As you can see the possibilities are essentially endless. Apple would control how you create, access, and use all personal and public electronic content, such as: television shows, phone/video calls, music, movies, radio, photos, books, games, professional documents, calendars, email, text, the Internet, etc... Under this scenario, Apple would have the only truly global, seamless, wireless, and online data storage and electronic content management system that the average person could purchase. Apple products and services at home, in the car, at the office, on the go, anywhere, and at any time. Like James Cameron in producing the movie Avatar, Jobs always had this vision in mind, all he just needed to do was create the technology and culture to make it happen. This may seem like a nice and convenient world but as always the devil is in the details. Enter Tim Cook. Cook's job: is turn this vision into the most profitable reality possible, convince every human that they want this future, and most importantly, convince them that they don't need to worry about how it is all achieved. The words most profitable in the last sentence is what turned everything on its head from a potential technological utopia into certain dystopia. So how has Apple implemented this big picture? What are the economic, social, and environmental costs? What are the risks of one private entity wielding some much influence and control over our daily lives? In Part II, we will answer these questions in depth and explore how Apple is seeking to dominate your life. If you don't think this is important be aware that eventually almost everything you do will be electronically monitored.... even paper currencies are disappearing.
Stay tuned for more next week.
Part II here
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