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You can't stop tech - #374

Why does Vanity Fair have the most readable review of Apple's new headset computer? Tech blogs aren't not known for the readability, but usually you can find at least one funny and more thoughtful piece. Ben Thompson had a good one, perhaps the best one I saw in the tech "press." He even asked the inevitable question about what happens to a society when everyone wears headsets and earphones all the time in an intelligent way. The rest of the tech press seemed wrapped around the axle: is Facebook's headset better? Why does Apple's have a separate battery pack? Will the videos be better than on your tv?

To which: who cares.

It's not that we'll won't see people migrate from ever-present tablets to these TV-cum-ski goggles. We will. The goggles will get better or cheaper or somehow more compelling. The writing is on the wall. The tech press seems pretty concerned about how it'll happen. And that's part of it, a curiosity, to be sure, but that's the wave, not the tide.

Vanity Fair measures the tide:

I know deep down that the Apple Vision Pro is too immersive, and yet all I want to do is see the world through it. "I'm sure the technology is terrific. I still think and hope it fails," one Silicon Valley investor said to me. "Apple feels more and more like a tech fentanyl dealer that poses as a rehab provider." Harsh words, but he feels what we all feel, a slave to our smartphone, and he's seen this play before and he knows what the first act is like, and the second act, and he knows how it ends.

It's inevitable.

What do we do about it? A lot of people want to see the only entities bigger than tech companies, governments, step in and legislate against the negative externalities tech produces. I'm not so sure that's the answer. Even when there is a defined harm and a behavior tech companies could stop to diminish the harm, regulations haven't proven to be a reliable. The link below, another great piece from Steven Sinofsky, provides a first-person narrative on how tech regulation runs aground.

The way to stop tech's encroachment on life is to individually choose to stop it. Unplugging has to be a personal choice: our society wants to be more plugged in, not less. Only the people who realize they are slaves to their smartphones can free themselves; only the person who wants to see the world through Apple's ski goggles take them off. I think it's always been this way. We develop our own terrible habits and then look up for a deus ex machina. It's not coming. Whatever we do about tech, it'll be up to us, individually.


Why Tim Cook Is Going All In on the Apple Vision Pro

Inside Apple Park, the tech giant's CEO talks about the genesis of a "mind-blowing" new device that could change the way we live and work.



Building Under Regulation

An essay on the EU Digital Markets Act and Apple's "Update on apps distributed in the European Union" (and some personal history).