In an email to friends back in August, I wrote this..
We saw an old TV out the front of one of our neighbours today. Perhaps someone who has replaced their ancient set with something better suited to Olympics viewing?
The TVs of old were like furniture, while today’s TVs are like pictures. They used to have pride of place in the living rooms, in cabinets made from expensive-looking timbers. There were fancy looking knobs, boxes for the speakers. They were substantial pieces, indicating their substantial role in the entertainment and education of families.
But now a TV is a thin, fragile screen that can barely hold itself up straight. They need a stand or a bracket. Some plasma screens need professional installation or they can be damaged. Just like the cost of framing a picture can be a substantial fraction of getting artwork on your wall, this precious screen comes with additional costs to enable you to properly appreciate it.
I wonder though, that at the very time TVs are becoming flat, thin, and almost insubstantial devices, that their role in entertainment and education is at risk of becoming equally insubstantial. Or perhaps more like high-tech decoration, providing ambient audio and vision in modern living rooms.
And in reply, George said..
What an extraordinary pile of codswallop.
That may be, but it’s true all the same.
I’m posting this ancient thread of email because I’m going to explain myself in the next post.