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Cultural blackout.

31 March 2011

So, my wife and I don’t have cable, and that’s by choice. It’s not that we don’t like TV, or that we think it’s too expensive or what have you — it’s just that, with Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu, TV.com, etc., we have a hard time finding a need for cable.

The great thing about the way we do it is we can watch what we want on our timetable. Cable claims the DVR is the perfect way to watch something later, but DVRs can screw up, and often do. Watching things on demand is way more focused on the viewer, not the networks’ need to attract advertisers.

I see ebooks as a similar animal. They’re more focused on the reader, giving them options as to where and when they’re going to read. A Kindle with 3,000 books on it gives you a lot more choice, say, on an airplane than whatever 2 or 3 novels you can cram into your ever-shrinking TSA-approved carry-on. Last plane trip I took, I had the choice of sci-fi, classical lit, horror, contemporary fiction, comic books. . . whatever I felt like.

Now I think back to the first plane ride I remember taking, back in the early 1980s. It almost seems like the two experiences have nothing in common, apart from being inside an airplane. No in-flight WiFi. One book, which I’d already finished halfway through the flight. Music was one god-awful channel, and headphones cost money, if I remember correctly.

Of course, there’s been no Internet at the house lately, so I’m in withdrawal on most of the above. Sadface.

So, what’s your favorite new way companies are bringing products to you on your terms, rather than the old way of making you watch, read, listen to what they wanted you to?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 31 March 2011 1218

    I’ve discovered Kindle for PC, which is fantastic. My computer is essentially an extension for me due to my physical disability, and not because of the ability to write or play computer games, and having my fave books on (such as “47 Echo” :D) at such easy reach.

    • 1 April 2011 0713

      I used Kindle for PC for a long time, then switched over to Kindle for Android, as my phone is quite close to surgically grafted to my hand these days.

  2. 31 March 2011 1906

    you had a WalkMan, as I recall….with a busted headset, lol

    • 1 April 2011 0714

      And, most likely, the Footloose soundtrack. Because that’s how I rolled.

      • 1 April 2011 1751

        i thought it was ST eps on tape 😛

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