Sunday, November 24, 2013

Products aren't revolutionary, get it straight!

The term "revolutionary" is overused.  Changing your form of government from a monarchy to a representative Democracy is revolutionary.  Browsing the Internet from your tablet instead of your PC is not. 

Revolutions are about upheaval not convenience.  Changing your method doesn't change the context.   The core of the word "revolution" is "revolt."  "Evolution" is just another form of "evolve." 

Simply put, revolution and evolution are not interchangeable terms regardless of anything you see in a Microsoft or Apple advertisement.  When you buy an IPAD you're not revolting against anything, not even Microsoft. 

There's nothing wrong with evolving, it's the reason we aren't still beating our clothes on rocks or retiring to a little wooden shack with a moon carved in the door when nature calls. 

Yet the word "revolutionary" gets thrown around quite a bit.  Maybe that's because the so-called developed world has long since moved on from debates over social justice to be replaced by the most popular color of Iphone. 

Perhaps the misuse of the term stems from our fascination with technological doo-dads.  They need do nothing more than change their shape or offer a bigger screen to suddenly find themselves on par with a certain conflict in 1776.

It's more than a question of semantics, it's a potentially dangerous devaluing of the term.  If a regime change is on par with the latest "product" we become desensitized to both.  That's fine for the crap found on late night infomercials but not for events that potentially affect the human condition. 

I'm probably screaming into the wind but it seems obvious that the more we muddy the meaning of what we say the less value our words have. 

Think about that the next time you're browsing the wares at your local best buy or Amazon.com.