I love the Kindle, as you might have gathered. Stan’s not so sure. First, he points out how people are carving up bits of Internet real estate – and making it all their very own. Then, in response to my light-hearted accusation of technophobe, he carries out the following most salient thought experiment:
I’m a technophobe? I don’t think so. If I’m a ‘phobe’ of some sort then ‘commercephobe’ would be a better term. People confuse a phobia of restricted commercial practices with luddite-ism.
Ads everywhere, mobile devices tethered to the company that sold them to consume products sold by the same company.
That, is essentially what I am against.
After all, you wouldn’t think of buying a car from Shell, locked into a contract with Shell for fuel, locked into buying your car accessories from the ‘ShellStoreTM‘, with ads, sponsored by Shell, flashing across your speedometer as you drove, would you now?
If you next car was a BP car, you’d discover that none of the cool Shell accessories you’d installed on your Shell car would work on your BP car.
Yet people accept such things when it comes to mobile devices, like phones, e-book readers and tablets. Car manufacturers must look in envy at Apple, Google et al and wonder how they get away with it.
We could, of course, equally say the same not only of the above-mentioned companies but also of government, public services and a raft of other support systems European welfare has cared to provide over the years.
So if it’s OK for big business to integrate vertically, why should it be so wrong for institutions such as the NHS in its current manifestation to do similarly?
Unless, of course, it’s one rule for the rich and another for the rest.
For it’s either bad for competition and market transparency the world over – or it’s not. But it can’t be bad only for the public sector.