20
Jun
22

Adaptor Anxiety and the Common Good

FAIR WARNING: This is going to sound like a rant. A rant from some ill-tempered old man… the blog post equivalent of me standing on my front porch, waving my arms, and yelling, “You kids! Get off my lawn!!”

But I promise… that’s not what is going on here.

[Well, maybe except for the “ill-tempered old man” part.]

Do you see this picture? The one showing the two wires coming out of my MacBook laptop. One wire goes to the power cord while the other one connects to the charger cable for my FitBit.

This picture clearly illustrates the HUGE gripe I and many others like me have with the Apple Corporation. 

You see, Apple has this infuriating practice of regularly making their own cables and connectors OBSOLETE when they introduce a new product! 

Do you see my FitBit charger cable? The black one? It is meant to plug into a USB port on the side of my laptop. But does this laptop (purchased just last year) actually HAVE a USB port? 

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Of COURSE not!

It has something brand new from Apple called a Lightning port. I am sure the super savvy tech people at Apple can give you one hundred great reasons why the Lightning port is a VAST improvement over the USB. But what it means (in effect) is that you must either buy a Lightning-to-USB adaptor (like I did), or just throw out all your old USB connecting stuff and buy NEW!

They call it “product evolution.” I call it “creating an artificial market through manipulated obsolescence so that your already bloated P&L statement can be pumped up even MORE.” 

[See? Doesn’t this sound REMARKABLY like an ill-tempered old guy yelling at the neighborhood kids? But please… hang in with me for another minute or two, would you?]

Well, imagine my JOY when I heard a news report the other day telling me that by the year 2024, the EU will require ALL (yes… that means you too, Apple) electronics manufacturers to use ONE… and ONE only… kind of electronic connector for ANYTHING they make. 

Period. No exceptions.

But of course, since I live in the US, not the EU, this ruling will do NOTHING to ease my Adaptor Anxiety.

It seems to me that the lawmakers in the EU did something quite extraordinary in passing this new law. They paused and asked themselves, “Is there something we can do to promote the common good? Could we make a law that would benefit a LARGE number of people, all at the same time?”

They paused… looked around… slapped their foreheads in unison, and said, I’VE GOT IT! Electronic connectors!”

The point here is not the connector. It is the idea of making decisions while looking out for the COMMON GOOD. 

  • Not just the good of MY district.
  • Not just the good of MY pocket.
  • Not just the good of the high-priced lobbyists who took me to that five-star restaurant last night.
  • Not just the good of MY party.

If you are a citizen of the U.S., I will challenge you to pause for just a moment and ask yourself this question: “What are the chances of ANYTHING like this EVER passing in this country?” 

Here, it is all about ME. ME and my individual freedoms to come and go as I wish… to own whatever kind of deadly firearm I wish… to force people to buy whatever kind of connector I wish… to spew whatever form of hate speech I feel like spewing… and to hell with the consequences for everybody else.

I might be wrong, but I don’t believe this was God’s vision of the world when God created it all in the first place. I believe the entire point of the Ten Commandments was to instruct God’s fledgling people how to live effectively together IN COMMUNITY. To be just as concerned with the well-being of our friends and neighbors as we are about our OWN well-being. 

You know what else? I believe the Original Sin in the book of Genesis was a shining example of the human saying, “I’m going to do what I want to do… no matter who else it hurts in the process.” 

You might say to me, “Well, if you think things are so danged perfect there in the EU, why don’t you just shut up and GO LIVE OVER THERE!!”

Sorry, friend. You’re not going to get rid of me that easily. 

I think we can do better right here… just by making a few, simple, CONNECTIONS.

Abundant blessings;


9 Responses to “Adaptor Anxiety and the Common Good”


  1. June 20, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    As the proud owner of a drawer full of obsolete cords, I have to agree with your analysis. “New and improved”?! Right.

  2. 2 ephesians413
    June 21, 2022 at 12:27 am

    Ugh! I could go on a rant as well. It all started the other day with trying to up my data usage from 4 gb to unlimited. I’ll spare you the details, but in the end I said, I’m old fashioned and I don’t want to do that (the other thing he was trying to push me into). I told him that I don’t like the direction in which the world is going and I’m not going along with it. I had had enough. It feels like the tech companies are just forcing people into whatever mode it is that “they” want these days and you are expected to just agree and continue paying more and more for less and less. I really don’t think God wants us to be tethered to our tech gadgets or to the tech companies. I’m sure He appreciates how useful phones etc can be, but enough is enough.

  3. 4 HAT
    June 21, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Not the main point of your lament, which I also share! But my solution, since my hugely negative experiences with Apple when my daughter was young, is just never to buy anything from them again ever. This has contributed a fair bit to my peace of mind.

  4. June 21, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    An excellent rant, Russell! I’m right there with you. Here in dear old Blighty, the brexiteer brigade have cut us off from the EU, and now, Because We Can And Won’t Be Told By Anyone Else, we’ll probably knee-jerk refuse to join in this perfectly sensible move – and as a result, we’ll almost certainly end up a dumping-ground for all the Tom Dick and Harry connectors as the EU moves to a more sane way of doing things…


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