Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Remote controls

Brian Micklethwait comments on the number of remote controls he now has. Most of his commentary is entirely unnecessary, as the photograph of all the remote controls gets the message across instantly because we are all entirely familiar with the situation. Brian also makes an interesting comment that this is an indication of a particular time in history, and that a better solution will likely be found within a few years, and also makes some comments discussing how the number of remote controls alters the relationships between members of familes.

The issue is bigger of course and I could talk about it for hours (This is perhaps a symptom in the break down of a certain type of centralised authority that applies in much wider contexts) but I have no time. However, in my fortnight in Australia one of my jobs has been to rewire, reprogram, set up, plug in, and do goodness knows what to a whole range of electronic devices belonging to various members of my family. (Plus of course I was asked to advise on purchases). I have been asked to do this because I am good at that kind of stuff. Some would say it is because I think in the way that remote controls do (or at least in the way that the people who design remote controls do) rather than the way other people do. I fear that there may be some truth in this. Does this create a new position of authority for me? Not especially. Does it mean that lots of people buy me lunch? Yes.

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