Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The country's goin' down the toilet!

Not news to anybody, but jeez, these gas prices, these home foreclosures, this land of unrestrained consumer spending and gas guzzlers, this damn war we started... you can read all these to mean (and I do) that it's more than just a momentary blip and that America is in some sort of real and probably permanent decline economically and politically. That clever guy at the New York Times, Thomas Friedman, says it better than I can, which is why he is a big-shot NYT columnist and I'm not. Microsoft is a apt symbol for where the whole country is at. As Time explains, Bill Gates and a few nerdy friends took some original ideas, became wildly successful and made Microsoft into a world-domination behemoth, but then the company got too big. It got complacent and arrogant and was ruthless to its competition (illegally so), which didn't lose it much money but lost it some respect among the little people. And then because it was so big, it was too slow to react to the Next New Thing, meaning the Internet. It's tried to buy or bully its way as a late party-crasher but hasn't succeeded, and now the thing that made it so powerful (Windows) is too cumbersome and will soon be obsolete in an age where computers and just little things connected to a network instead of big things with fancy standalone operating systems and applications. Microsoft, like America, is still big and is not about to go broke, but it's rapidly losing clout, and it's going to have to radically change many things about itself, starting with its own attitude. Or it will get sent to its room without any supper.

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