Yep.  Those people that make the modern-day version of Sony’s Walkman are now second only to Exxon in market capitalization.

Which is amazing.  But only sort of.  Obama’s getting compared to Carter.  It’s not because Obama is like Carter.  Two presidents or people could not be further apart in disposition, ideology, mannerisms, governance, or of course, racial heritage and upbringing.  Obama is being compared to Carter because the era in which each govern/ed is similar.   Socially, economically and politically.   Apple is to Sony what Obama is to Carter. 

Apple is a social phenomenon, like Facebook.  To be sure, they make good stuff.  But none of it is necessary.  Just like pet rocks and Fergie’s and Walkman’s weren’t necessary in the seventies.  Apple’s popularity is a function of the banal, vapid and shallow age in which we live.  Apple helps fill the existential void.   We’re impossibly rich, but going nowhere.  At least we can do it in style, by tuning out the world with iPods, or ignoring our immediate surroundings while we chat on our iPhones, or appearing to read a book on our iPad.

Is there an app for relearning to live in the real world?

In the meantime, Exxon, a company that produces something that is actually useful and necessary, is only fifty billion or so dollars more valuable than Apple.  That pretty much says it all for these times.