why every television sucks too

not too long ago, i complained about why microwaves suck. while that blogpost got spread around quite a bit, and i still think it's a decent surface-level breakdown, lately i've been thinking more on the issue as a whole.

it seems like other products, not just cooking appliances, are falling into a similar fate. if you've looked at the market for televisions lately, it might feel familiar. they're all incredibly similar, and they're all incredibly cheap. and since you probably already have a television that works, you'd be unlikely to go out and buy a new one, even if that new one is "smart" or whatever.

of course, if you were unfortunate enough to buy a smart TV, you'll have noticed that every time you start it up, the thing is seemingly slower, caused by the ever-increasing quantity of ads that the manufacturer has shoved in. what gives?

given a hypothetical Free Market, it would be impossible for every product to magically become terrible. after all, consumers would simply buy the best product instead of buying the crappy one, right? but that requires a few assumptions. it assumes that everyone is making a logical and informed purchasing decision, and perhaps more importantly, it assumes that there is actual competition in the market.

what microwaves and televisions have in common is that they just aren't as profitable to make nowadays as they used to be. everyone already has one that works, and doesn't have much reason to upgrade. so in the same way that every microwave is now made by Midea, every television is now made by Hisense or TCL. with a lack of competition, there is no real reason left to innovate; companies are left trying out weird gimmicks to stand out, else fight for whatever scraps are left.

in the case of smart TVs, this fighting for scraps is especially egregious. companies eager to milk out any penny they can from the purchase of their device will find as many possible places to put advertisements, even if it makes their devices so bloated that they become practically unusable. any bit of data that passes through the device is to be sold, and every second of your attention span is to be as well.

remember, of course, that these factors aren't just limited to microwaves and televisions. any mass-produced consumer item, once the market reaches an extreme level of saturation for an extended period of time, will inevitably fall to the same fate under capitalism. as prices drop, competition dries up, and consumers are left with no choice but to buy whatever crap is available.

at the end of the world, everything will be cheap and terrible.

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