The Soul of an Old Machine
May 3, 2001 6:28 AM Subscribe
If Ron had been the one to introduce the VCR, in other words,
he would not simply have sold it in an infomercial. He would also
have changed the VCR itself, so that it made sense in an infomercial.
The clock, for example, wouldn't be digital. (The haplessly blinking
unset clock has, of course, become a symbol of frustration.) The
tape wouldn't be inserted behind a hidden door--it would be out
in plain view, just like the chicken in the rotisserie, so that
if it was recording you could see the spools turn. The controls
wouldn't be discreet buttons; they would be large, and they would
make a reassuring click as they were pushed up and down, and each
step of the taping process would be identified with a big, obvious
numeral so that you could set it and forget it.
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