Why, this car is automatic…
My desktop background image is a nighttime photo of Manhattan’s West Side, taken from across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey. The picture’s field-of-view spans an area of approximately 15 blocks, from 49th Street to 34th Street, with the multicolored hues of the city reflected by the river in the foreground.
That it is a nighttime photo only emphasizes my vision of the city as a massive, living monument to human achievement; every pinpoint of light that pierces a window, every amber-hued penumbra that falls from a sodium-vapor streetlamp is a shout of protest, a battle cry against mankind’s oldest, most implacable foe. The same darkness that once held humanity in desperate, fearful thrall, huddled in caves against its approach, is now soundly routed from the night sky by glass-and-steel titans clad in the incandescent armor of human ingenuity. Darkness has been banished to those blighted regions in which a certain kind of person takes comfort in being humbled by a swath of stars, of feeling pleasantly and irresponsibly insignificant before the unintentional vastness of nature, while at the same time being unable to see his own hand before his face. That he considers this a folksy kind of virtue is ethically and metaphysically revealing, though no less revolting.
The same person who falls to his knees to genuflect at the alleged grandeur of a mountain is quite often the same person who is quick to deride any human achievement; the sight of New York at night, or the shuttle orbiter riding a plume of smoke and flame to the thinnest edge of the atmosphere will fill him not with a sense of wonder and triumph, but with a feeling of lurking dread and an undefined, unexplainable (to him) hatred. To the nature worshipper, technological achievements are met with a sidelong sneer and a snide comment about the “irresponsibility” of such endeavors, meaning that the physical manifestation of human thought, ambition, and creative ability made real in the world — a city, a computer, a book, a rocket booster, a car, a video game, a phone — is to be subjugated to an unknown hierarchy of social concerns which they get to define by subjective whim. Hence the claim by one particularly noxious hater of humanity that the iPhone Lightning connector is bad for the environment.
This kind of manipulation-by-association is nothing new; the enemies of mankind have been using the same methods for thousands of years — quote a single “authority” out of context in support of an abject falsehood, dress up your lie in the threadbare guise of a “greater good,” shout it stridently and frequently enough, and you’ll win the hearts — not the minds — of millions. (Those who can be moved by such epistemologically flawed rhetoric have no minds to win.) From that point on, those who are taught to speak with authority, but never to question it, will form your ready-made vanguard of destruction.
Consider the undiluted arrogance, the obscenely unconscionable gall that it takes for someone to complain about their “need” to purchase a $30 adapter, after first spending between $200 and $400 on a phone, while simultaneously committing to spend at least $2400 over the next two years to maintain service on that phone. Apparently, 1.5% of that total cost is just too damn much to preserve the usefulness of various devices that they’ve already purchased. The internal dialogue that precedes this kind of decision goes something like this:
“$2600 for an iPhone 5 over the next two years…no problem. Twenty percent of that involuntarily going to various governments and agencies? Fine. $30 for an adapter to use the myriad gadgets and gewgaws that I’ve bought for my iPhones over the last five years, just so that Apple can make a phone that’s thinner than most magazines and lighter than turtle shit?! THEY’RE CASHING IN! MONEY GRAB! MONEY GRAB!”
To claim that Apple’s switch to the Lightning connector is a “money grab” is ignorant and perverse. Such statements reveal the criminal premises of those who regard money as something to be “grabbed,” not earned, and not freely given in trade for products or services. To them, money must be taken by force, through either gun or guile, which is why they transfer their own ethics to anyone who seeks to make a profit from the sale of a $30 adapter; they think the world works That Way because they work That Way, and they are incapable of conceiving any motives for production other than force, deception, dishonesty, and fraud. (The fact that customers are paying twenty percent of their cell phone bills in taxes and regulatory fees goes completely unchallenged by these tenderhearted purveyors of the common good.) To these people, the fact that the government (read: everyone who is not you) has the Constitutional right to demand your money by force is not a money grab, but Apple’s for-profit and entirely voluntary sale of a $30 cell phone accessory is.
Do not make the mistakes that I made for most of my life when confronted by such blatant, undisguised horror. Do not make excuses for it. Do not give its proponents the benefit of the doubt by assuming that their philosophy is born of benevolence, or that their goal is to make the world a better place for anyone; they’re after power, and they mean to attain it in the only way that their pragmatic programming will allow — by any means necessary. Those means include, but certainly are not limited to, the enslavement of industrial innovation to stagnant, committee-ruled, consensus-approved standards with the unquantifiable end of “preserving the environment” or the subjective determination of what’s “good for the consumer.” Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on the laughable and the ludicrous, as a European commission and a San Francisco-based blogger — from their non-productive positions of safety and sanctimony — presume to preach to Apple about what’s good for the consumer.
Why it’s greased…. Well, you know
Today they claim that the “environment” (and the “environment” is whatever they choose to define as such) is their utmost concern, but when the wheels of civilization creak to an inexorable halt, when the lights of that city go dim for the final time, and darkness shambles out of exile to terrorize mankind once again, you’ll know that you’ve witnessed the ultimate end-game of anyone who’s tried to make you feel guilty for any amount of joy that you’ve ever felt for being alive.
Usually they accomplish this goal with a bullying, overbearing concern for the unknowable (religionists) and the unprovable (religionists and environmentalists), by deploying an array of subjective, seemingly plausible statements (“few, if any, obvious tech benefits”), without even a cursory acknowledgement of fact, truth, or reality. The tone of their “work” is salted with the churlish belligerence of the commentator, who knows that the smallness of his words is matched only by the cozy insignificance felt by the human sewer rat at the base of a garbage heap, his upturned gaze held by nothing more than the radiance of a star that burned out a million years before he was born.