Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, October 21, 2005

  Digital To Analog TV subsidy - Please Stand By, I'm experiencing Temporary Reception Difficulties

Attention Consumer,

Congress is planning 3 billion dollar subsidy of digital converter boxes for analog TV sets, so that YOU, yes YOU, (well, some of you) can get your TV reconnected to digital broadcast at a substantial discount!!!

(also, by the way, we're pushing back the expiration date for analog TV by 3 years)

When I heard this story, this went through my head:

If I got one of these converter thingies, was I also required to plug it in and turn it on? Couldn't I just get a coupon for something else, instead? I need a new toaster.

I can think of a lot better uses for 40 bucks a taxpayer... like pay for some better hurricane prediction software, and maybe a couple more high-resolution weather satellites.

And, what could 3 billion do for American broadband... which has slipped to less than 14th among the developed nations?

3 Billion... So that 70 million of the perceived population can tune in. Sure. Like all of them want to tune in. Maybe some would just like a nicer fishing hole, a couple music lessons, or a local library? Maybe most?

Jeeze, what could 3 billion do to distribute 100 dollar laptops? Thats... 30 million... 100 dollar... laptops. With a mesh network that size the last mile... and the coffeeshop mile... and the park in the middle of nowhere mile... all come free.

Ah... the tax and spend Republican senate was as usual, spending money it didn't have, on a subsidy for a dying industry, for a president that doesn't know what a veto is.

I miss the days when all we cared about was who was blowing who in the big house.

I wondered if these well meaning misguided senators counted me among the 70 million that would miss broadcast tv if it went dark in 2006. As if I'd care about missing 3 simultaneous 1024x768 episodes of COPS, or reruns of Survivor in surround sound.

I thought:

Let broadcast TV die. LET IT DIE.

Cast that spectrum out into the commons, let it lie fallow.


OK, OK, sell some, but unlicense the rest.

Wouldn't it be great if we just could obsolete analog television? Let it go the way of vinyl, the horse and buggy, and hydrogen filled blimps?
 
Comments:
TV is the opiate of the masses. Do you really want all those people unsedated?
 
Yes!
 
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