We live in an ecosystem. The earth, sun, moon, stars, and various laws of physics combine to form an ecosystem which supports life on our planet. If you’re an Apple customer who buys from Amazon, uses a Windows PC at work, search for information on Google, own an Android smartphone and wash your clothes in a Samsung washer, you belong to multiple ecosystems, each of which has benefits and drawbacks, but work in such a way that we are not beholden to any one of them more than another.
Ecosystems collide, or perhaps put in a different light, interact and co-exist in such a way that we can be in all of one, or move completely to another and forsake the previous, or literally hop between and use multiple such ecosystems with seeming impunity.
I do just that. Chances are good you do it, too. We may prefer to use our Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Watch, and AirPods, but we’re comfortable ordering from Amazon, buying books for our Kindle reader, owning and using a Samsung refrigerator or washer or dryer, and maybe used a Samsung Galaxy whatever in the past. We’re as likely to use Facebook as anyone else, and we’re influenced by the growing trend toward a world filled more with misinformation than information, thanks to the influence, ubiquity, and perverseness of the interwebs.
In some cases, these technological and social ecosystems collide with each other and our sense of what is right and wrong. When that occurs we have a choice. Stop, analyze, and take action. Or, ignore the consequences and move on because that’s what everyone else is doing.
As a species we tend to look for heroes and leaders; someone who knows what they are doing, who takes charge, who guides portions of humanity toward a better life. That notion is reflected in who we vote for, what products we buy, how we interact with one another.
I prefer to use Apple’s products because the company tends to have more thoughtful design and usability, and builds products which interact and integrate well with each other. The extra initial expense often becomes a moot issue with reduced total cost of ownership, higher resale value, and longer product life cycles when compared to competing products.
What is required is an understanding about how the Apple ecosystem works compared to that of Google or Samsung or even Microsoft and Amazon.
It takes little effort to look at the governments in Washington and state capitols and recognize there is a problem with elected officials, but it requires more insight to realize that problem often is created by those who did the electing, and even more understanding of how ecosystems work to recognize that far too many voters are influenced by ecosystems they don’t even know exist and who do not understand how they are being influenced.
As an example of battles that rage but are not viewed by the masses, Apple and Amazon ran afoul of their own desires to control a market where their customers are shared. Nothing happened for awhile and then Apple TV 4K came to Amazon and Amazon’s Prime Video app came to Apple TV. Clearly, Google tracks Apple’s customers to a degree that if we knew how much personal information the search engine giant has obtained about us through the years, we would be aghast that Apple is complicit in the arrangement.
Yet, we villagers have not risen to revolt. Why? Or, why not? We’re comfortable with our chosen ecosystems and removing one carries with it more pain and discomfort than living without it. Look at Apple’s multi-billion dollar deal with Google to put the search engine as Safari’s default selection. It’s win, win, win (but lose) for everyone; Apple, Google, Safari users. How do we lose? Google tracks us more and gathers more personal data about our habits and online usage, Apple winks and nods and cashes Google’s checks, we get better search results than anywhere else (despite the tracking and plethora of ads).
Ecosystems collide, yes, but they also integrate and we let them; sometimes to our benefit, other times to our detriment.