Here at CrunchGear, we try to stay clear of political debates; after all, our mandate is hardware, gadgets, and technological goings-on. So usually, on all the sticky social and foreign policy issues, we stay mum. But when the outcome of the race could affect the entire tech sector, I feel a responsibility to throw our weight behind some candidate or another. In this case, the choice is clear. The Republicans will advance the industry to a whole new level, and create a technological hegemony led by the industry’s biggest leaders and most ruthless corporations. The benefits are obvious and manifold.
Vote Republican and we will witness a tech revolution. Tax cuts for corporations and allowing lobbyists unrestricted access to legislators will grease the wheels of industry and soon all minor players will be crushed under the heel of the majors: Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, Sony, and all their subsidiaries and manufacturers will run roughshod over the younger companies who have yet to own a single senator or interest group. Good god! you say. It sounds like a calamity more than a revolution! So it seems at first, but by the end of a few years, you will see why I endorsed this course of action.
As people have arrived voluntarily at a restrictive two-party system in which the main difference is in which income segment gets bigger tax breaks, and in which innovation is stifled in favor of pandering and satisfying special interests, so will we model the tech industry: monolithic companies like great nations, tentacular with arms and divisions, will meet all needs and provide the comfort of small improvements on the products you already own and know. Because the post-9/11 technological world is like the political landscape: tumultuous and unpredictable. People will appreciate a little security, and planned obsolescence will become either universal or cease to exist, depending on your perspective.
What we need now is not innovation, but standards. As the smaller companies are eliminated, the number of drivers, interfaces, and proprietary workflows will dwindle until there are only a few. No longer will you have to worry about converting your video from AVI to MPG or from composite to DVI; there will be only one cable, and there will be only one codec. And who wouldn’t want that?
In the interest of security, a state operating system will be named. After all, the cyber-terrorists will find us vulnerable in our state of division – only in unification will we find safety. Obviously, Vista will be the OS of choice, though OSX will be allowed to remain as a niche OS, though Mac users will be put on a(nother) watch list for endangering their data-neighbors. I know we don’t all agree that Vista is the best option, but when it’s the only option I’m sure you’ll find it quite useable. We might even get a discount on state-sponsored software! And America’s Army will come pre-installed on every computer.
The progressive policies of people like Barack Obama will lead to nothing but chaos. With a hundred thousand companies inventing, coding and refining, it will be impossible for the consumer to choose the best! And free, open source software will provide another confounding factor: code junkies slapping together Franken-apps ridden with borrowed structures and designed for interoperability instead of standalone functionality. The internet will descend into madness: a primordial ooze of blogs, user-generated content, and ideologically dangerous social networks. But we have a choice. With a bought candidate like Huckabee whose main interest is in satisfying his campaign contributors and establishing a unified American culture, the tech majors will be able to curb competition and dominate the market completely.
So if you favor a vast wilderness of formats, a free market of ideas, and the endless tail-eating of free and open source software’s constant self-improvement, go with TechCrunch’s recommendation of Obama or even McCain. But if you’re tired of choice, happy with the status quo (whatever they tell you it is), and don’t mind stepping on the little guy every once in a while, vote as Right as you can. You probably won’t regret it!
Unreasonable Stance is a column in which one CrunchGear writer tries to argue for the other, not usually accepted, side. Sometimes it’s satire, sometimes it’s trolling, sometimes it’s gibberish. Most importantly, however, it is an attempt to see a technical issue or product from another perspective, something we rarely do in our compartmentalized, partisan world.