Thursday, 17 January 2008

4.7 TV's

BBC news have released a feature today that claims the average British home has 4.7 televisions and asks; does that make us sad? This astoundingly mundane revelation comes at a useful time; we're about to switch to digital. Everyone is being encouraged to start buying digital TV's and by 2012, if you wish to continue viewing the placatory mind-freeze that is mainstream media, you'll really have no choice in the matter. Of course, this is a very convenient boost to a flagging economy and yet another cynical attempt to force us to fill our lives with more consumerist rubbish, but digital TV is better though isn't it? ISN'T IT?
Actually, no. On the face of it, the technology is superior to analogue; better picture quality, sound and interactivity but the catch is achingly obvious to anyone who sees a pattern in how new technology is handled by a profit seeking world.
Digital output is compressed, leaving more space in the frequency spectrum, space that will inevitably and thoughtlessly be flogged off to the highest bidding companies for use with wireless mobile devices and other gizmos, causing interference on the TV frequencies. So the picture quality won't be better at all, it'll probably be worse, at times nigh on unwatchable, and that's before I even get started on the content...

The BBC feature is really about Oliver James's new book "The Selfish Capitalist" claiming in a very roundabout way that the rampant materialism of our society is probably not doing us any good. Um, yeah...
The real problem is James's characterization of the British economy and consumerist climate as "Selfish Capitalism". There isn't any other kind Oliver, there never will be.

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