I recently bought two items on Ebay, one coming from Oregon, and the other from New Jersey. They were both shipped on the same day, the one from Oregon through UPS ground service, and the other through the Postal Service. Despite New Jersey only being about a 6 hour drive from here, the package is still going to take a week to get here, so the one coming from Oregon through a private carrier will cross the entire country in the same amount of time.
Why isn’t UPS allowed to carry mail again?
To be an individual is to have irreducible complexity.
What do I mean by that? When people are viewed as groups, details about the individuals within the group get lost or ignored. Those details, those individuals, matter. They’re what define us as ourselves and what we derive meaning from.
Being an individual doesn’t preclude being a part of society; that would go against a fundamental part of being human. But to be at once an individual and also a part of society is a challenge. How does one interact with the people around us, themselves individuals, while remaining full in the nuances of who we are? It’s easy to think in terms of groups; to aggregate people loses those details of who they are, and doesn’t force us to contend with information about those people that would possibly go against our assumptions. Our minds see a pattern as it wants it see it, instead of seeing someone as themselves, a full individual. It is the individual within those groups that has value, not the group per se.
There are many terms that characterize me: Christian, male, introvert, depressive realist, artistic, etc., but no single one of them is me. I am a sum of all of those things, and more, more than I could even find words for. Furthermore, just as no one trait of mine could be considered “me”, to remove one would be to artificially reduce the complexity that encompasses my individuality. I am a whole person, however broken in an eternal perspective. “I”, is irreducible.
But if “I” is irreducible, how does one function in a group, or society at large? Groups are based on several characteristics that its members share, which defines the group from others that don’t share those characteristics. Groups, by their nature, minimize the individual by seeking to place value on those characteristics, rather than the people within them. They attempt to reduce the irreducible complexity of the individual, of “I”, and homogenize the individuals within them, replacing the “I” with “We”.
“We” is not a substitute for “I”. “We” is where individuality is lost, experience is lost, and truth is lost. “We” is unthinking, the poor replacement for the discernment of “I”. “We” does not have value apart from “I”.
“I” has irreducible complexity. “I” has value.
I am an individual.
I just sent this letter to Apple’s feedback page:
I have now owned two iPods: A 4th generation Nano, and a current generation Classic. My Nano I bought as a refurbished unit, and I was pleased with it- that is, until the warranty had just expired. Around 13 months old, it started to shut off randomly. Simply pressing play would restart the music. It became more and more frequent until, around roughly 18 months old, it couldn’t make it through a single song without shutting off. Because I also own a Macbook, which I have been happy with, I chalked it up to bad luck, and purchased my iPod Classic.
Unfortunately, it appears that perhaps the problem is more systemic than bad luck. Once again, just past the warranty period, my iPod has started shutting off at random (this time it’s mere weeks past the warranty!). I hope you understand that this makes me question whether I will again purchase an Apple product. My Macbook is five years old, so it will need to be replaced soon, but if iPods are indicative of the quality that you find acceptable, then I absolutely cannot consider another Mac. It’s disappointing as well given that I’ve invested considerable time and money in the Apple “ecosystem”, if you will, including many iTunes purchases, but given that your quality seems uncertain at best, I must refrain from even those, since I’m not sure that my digital future is going to include Apple.
I feel as though the “Cult of Apple” has been supporting them blindly for several years now, and I wonder if they’re poised to be overtaken by the next big thing (whatever that may be). The lifespan of technology being what it is now, maybe most people genuinely don’t care if their tech only lasts a year, but I frankly find that unacceptable. I am a man of modest means, and I can’t afford to keep investing in new technology every year. If (when) this computer eventually goes, I may end up going back to a Linux based PC.