Friday, September 28, 2007

The Day Your TV Stops Working

18 months from now, broadcasters will stop sending analog signals in the US. This means that millions of people like me who refuse to invest in hi-def or cable or satellite dish receivers will turn on their TV's and get just snow on all their channels. Me, I just think that I watch TV too much, so I just use some "rabbit ears". If my TV were to stop working, that would probably be for the best.

Interesting angle from the Washington Post today.

Government is worried that Congress will face the "perfect storm" from the public when this happens. They're talking of spending millions in consumer education, and new regulations requiring retailers and others to join in "educating" the public about this. They are also worried that Hollywood may take a big hit when millions like me might simply stop watching TV - or else drastically change our viewing habits.

Unstated in the article is an important question about the job of government. I expect it to protect me - police, firefighters, etc. I expect it to look our for the overall economy. Education, yes. --- But is it part of government's responsibility to ENTERTAIN me, too?

If the entertainment industry fails to educate the public and suffers thereby, is that government's fault? And if I, myself, fail to follow the news, is that government's fault? In short, is it government's job to save the fool from the consequences of his actions?