For the record I’m on Facebook and essentially it seems to me a method by which people I didn’t get on with at school pretend they are my friends. Whatever! I appreciate how it works and indeed what it is for.
Boris Johnson doesn’t but wishes we had a similar “get-up and go” attitude to the internet. The article is extremely dull and full of BoJo-ish bumptiousnessness until..
I don’t pretend to grasp the economics of the web, which seems to me to be a colossal destroyer of value, reducing the price of text, music, images and voice telephony to virtually nil.
There is one word I object to there. Guess! It’s “value”. Is hearing your favourite song via an iPod via iTunes less valuable to you than if you’d bought it on disc at HMV? Is telephony worth less because it used to cost more?
OK. Here’s a personal tale on the conflation of price and value. My Great Aunt (and family - she was the draw being a qualified nurse) emigrated to the land of Oz in the ’60s. At the time the parting was such sweet sorrow. She honestly never thought she’d see my Gran (her sister) again. On roll times and she can afford to come back on holiday for a visit which she did. So I get (on a number of times) to meet my Great Aunty Pat from Melbourne. “Cost” and “Value” recall? My sister-in-law is currently in the country - we had a roast dinner in Derbyshire on Sunday - though she normally lives in Silesia. She came over because her Gran took a tumble and is currently in Stepping Hill Hospital (Yes, that one). She came over at the drop of a hat because you can these days. She keeps in touch with folks back here via Skype. Hell’s teeth, last autumn I and my wife (her sister) was over her end and but for the tender ministrations of our own version of the TSA it was like getting on a bus - to travel half a continent away.
The only thing that annoyed me was they have (in a small town in Silesia) better broadband and HDTV for a nominal sum compared to what we have to shell-out to Sky. Sky for perverse reasons (this also applies to Virgin) aren’t allowed to lay cable (or absolutely not) run it on overheads. Those BT ads make me wanna puke. They still have the local loop and are still a de facto monopoly.
Anyway. I’m typing this on a Lenovo S205 laptop/netbook (nobody seems able to make their mind up) and whilst it my have cost less in both real and actual terms as my first PC - the Elonex 386SX16 or yore - it brings more value to my life than that heffalumping thing did. And it was beige.
So Boris, please work this out. “Value” does not equal “Cost”.