Batteries not included
Well, as the holiday seasons rolls in, we’re starting to think about gifts for the family. The first thought this year — as it has been for the last dozen or so — is electronics. Simply because most of us think we have to be plugged into a digital world seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Except, in order to accomplish that plugged-in feeling, you can’t be plugged in. Nope, your iPad, iPhone, iPod, MacBook Air, iWatch and MacBook Pro all scoff at wall outlets and prefer their energy be delivered by negative electrodes interacting with a positive electrode and an ion-conducting electrolyte. Throw in a separator and — voila! — you have a battery.
Or, as we prefer to call it, iElectricity.
Apples now require more portable power than a fleet of nuclear submarines. Most of us used to just gnaw on the darn things, throw away the core and try not to burp.
Today, they are the center of our universe. We ask provocative questions of Siri about the nearest fast-food restaurant (which we’ve visited some 1,200 times previously). We secretly get directions from MapQuest (without telling the wife). Then we shoot high-definition video of the dog on her evening constitutional.
All of this from a phone that is obviously much smarter than its owner.
Frankly, it is hard to tell if this is really progress. Let’s face it, there just isn’t that much demand for a clip of poop patrol, high definition or not. And it was always a lot of fun to angrily deny to the wife that we were lost, even when we’d been circling the same seven blocks for half an hour.
Have to admit, though, that Siri is cool. If only we could think of an intelligent question to ask her.
For now, though, our investment destiny is being driven by this proliferation of Apples. No, we can’t actually afford a single share of Apple itself. Instead, we’re trying to corner the market on batteries.
The king of iElectricity has a nice ring to it. Or was that our phone? Something was ringing . . .
(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.