iOS app Android app More

<i>Fortune</i>'s Stanley Bing

Fortune's Stanley Bing

Posted: June 12, 2009 09:02 AM

You're Gonna Love the Digital Transition


Today we all become digital. Thanks to Congress, which passed a law mandating this transition a few years ago, all analog life in these United States will cease and everything will be transformed from waves and particles into bits and bytes. Anybody who doesn't have a converter to make him or herself into a digital entity will simply disappear off the face of the earth.

We've had plenty of warning time on this. In fact, the transition was supposed to take place over the winter, but it was clear that millions of Luddites, the clueless elderly and the occasional disassociated feeb had failed to heed the clarion call of progress and were in danger of fritzing out when the moment arrived. Mr. Obama quite rightly put off the moment until today, when fewer people are necessary to keep things running, this being the summer.

The move to digital was considered necessary by the massive Internet and telecommunications powerhouses like Gooogle (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Verizon (VZ) and even Yahoo (YHOO), which wants to take all the bandwidth associated with formerly analog commerce and exploit it in some way they have yet to explain. Their lobbies were bigger than anybody else's, and better furnished, too. So the eventual outcome of the debate was never in doubt.

For most Americans, the transition will go smoothly. Those who have heeded Klaatu will have either already purchased a personal digital converter to be implanted in the soft tissue behind their ears or made some arrangement with their local cable company to rent one. Those who have not? It's been nice knowing you.