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About that Apple add

Of course I mean Crush, which is quickly becoming Apple’s second-most iconic add. Much like 1984, Apple’s most iconic add, it will be remembered and reference for a long time to come and for the same reason: it is an accurate, impartial representation of the effects technology has, or will have, on the world.

The only difference, and the reason why 1984 is still better, is timing: it took almost three decades for technology to break “The Man”. So 1984 was prophetic to the extreme, the second-order effects of “The Man” breaking weren’t immediately clear, and the add was well-received. Alas, we now know all to well what they are and how they came about, as described by Martin Gurri in his 2018 book “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium” and as seen on your favorite and less favorite social networks.

But imagine that add airing in 2020, in the midst of the Covid pandemic. Here is Anthony Fauci ordering you to socially distance and mask up. A year later he drones on about vaccines. And here comes our valiant antivaxer, ready, willing and able to break the mainstream media, the deep state, the uniparty, or whichever else term is popular with that particular crowd these days. I haven’t checked, but I am quite sure there is a meme out there with 1984 cut in just such way.

What 1984 was to media, Crush is to the material world. It is not as good as it is quite late to the game: we are already seeing dematerialization in action, at least in the United States, and are closer to its second, third, nth-order effects. These range from beneficial (to the planet and natural resources) to potentially devastating (to our sense of identity, history and culture), so the anxiety is completely justified and Apple was right in deciding not to air it on TV. But it is still good, educational work which I will be showing and talking about with my kids.

Kudos to Apple for making it.

Update: As promised, Pratik wrote more about the creative destruction aspect of the add. For many people, as bridges are collapsing and the world is crumbling, destruction is destruction.

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