Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Living in the Silicon bubble, the Sequel

I would dearly love to live in the world of tech commercials.  I'd never see a landscape that wasn't a scenic vista. Every city street would be a model of urban renewal with stylishly clad inhabitants happily dancing through the day with their Smartphones and tablets at the ready.

Business professionals would conduct high level meetings in their Speedos comfortably reclined on some sunny tropical beach.   The view only temporarily obscured by perfectly toned examples of the human form interrupting the crashing waves.

This is the world promoted by tech pundits.  Pseudo journalists who often forget that they're living the dream that few of their followers could ever enjoy.
Oh! what horror it must be to cover a Smartphone launch or have to spend a week in Vegas covering a tech toys convention.  

So when a recent Saturday night Live skit shone a light on the tech punditry by mocking their surreal point of view, the punditry could only chuckle nervously.  If you missed it the skit focused on a fictional panel discussion with three tech pundits airing grievances about the shortcoming of the Iphone 5.  Later 3 Chinese factory workers countered with sarcastic responses citing inhumane working conditions

We'll leave alone the hypocrisy of the stereotypical Uber humanitarian Iphone Devotee embracing a product whose very creation advocates abject slavery for Chinese workers on the line.    Oops,  I guess I didn't leave it alone ah well, moving on...

Response from the punditry ranged from tepid amusement to complaints that the pundits in SNL's skit looked like "they were out of the 80's" and not consistent with the "real" punditry.  Actually, the depictions were fairly accurate if you watch enough tech podcasts. 

That's the problem with living in a bubble, you start to lose touch with how the rest of the world sees you. 
Perhaps, like many others, I'm making more of the SNL skit than it deserves but I think it was a perfect depiction of the techie mindset.  Gross consumerism and perpetual upgrade cycles trump ordinary reason.  Only the device matters. The next killer app is always just around the corner promising to let you do absolutely nothing with greater speed and utility. 

Who cares if the factory that made it employed abject slavery to make it, your world view is safe right?  Worse, who cares if the mechanisms to produce the next killer device were devastating the economy of those not so blessed to be in the tech punditry.  Hey there are plenty of jobs at Starbucks and Amazon warehouses right?

I've noticed a new wave of complaints from the punditry lately.  Suddenly they feel unfairly trolled and will go so far as to call the Internet "mean".  

I'll clue you in punditry, the Internet isn't "mean" it's just worried about its next paycheck.  It's growing incredulous at your denial of reality.   Tech toys are expensive for the rest of us but you seem to be oblivious to that fact and prefer instead  to cite your distorted reality as the de facto norm.   

I thank the pundits for their input and appreciate the information.   What I don't appreciate is the assertion that their lifestyle in any way reflects that of their audience.  It doesn't.  Perhaps when you realize that you'll be able to graduate from podcasting to actual journalism.