It does not take much effort to recognize the obvious about humanity. We’re a highly fragmented species, riddled with selfish interests, often unwilling to join together for the betterment of humankind.
How does Apple fit into my premise? One can argue that Apple unifies while others divide, but that’s somewhat simplistic (and can be argued the other way around). Here’s what got me to start thinking about how Apple can truly help humankind. It came from Russia.
Android? iOS? Intel? Nyet!
Technology from the United States dominates much of the technology world these days. Google’s Android is on the vast majority of smartphones and tablets. Intel CPUs run most of the world’s PCs, notebooks, and servers.
In a desire to decrease Russia’s dependence on Western technology, the minister of communications plans to replace Android and iOS with software based upon Sailfish, an open-source mobile operating system.
Similar sentiment has resulted in similar actions all over the world. To avoid the Microsoft hegemony, governments have moved to proprietary versions of Linux and open source Office-like suites.
Canada, France, and other countries around the world limit the influence of American television shows and movies in their markets. Such protectionism often results in a government supporting an underdog against a growing world standard (often from the U.S.).
How does Apple fit into this worldwide protectionism?
It’s easy to understand why some government agencies do not like Apple products that bristle with personal protection schemes. Governments don’t like it when others hack their systems and steal their data, but seem to feel it’s perfectly acceptable behavior to perform similar intrusion upon their own citizens.
Let’s face it. Apple’s success is dependent upon it being and remaining a niche manufacturer; big enough to be widely used by those with discriminating tastes (and incriminating data), but not so big as to set the de facto standards which would be circumvented by governments. As long as people are running the show we’re unlikely to have worldwide standards in anything, but we as humans need the likes of Apple to point the rest of the world toward the future.
Sailfish won’t gain much traction in Russia but it might help a few bureaucrats feel as if they’re improving their country’s stature in the world, even if their citizens cannot have the best new products available, regardless of the source.
After all, isn’t humanity under Darwinism simply survival of the fittest?