The iPad ad shows the true colors of much of the tech industry. These companies stopped making tools a long time ago. They now make Everything Machines that are designed to free us from the shackles of the analog world. Up next: freedom from the shackles of the physical world. This is Gnosticism revisited, not by ancient religious leaders, but by tech moguls who are driven by far more than profit.

I wonder how much of the push towards thinner and lighter is rooted in a desire to free the user from anything physical? Sure, these devices are (sometimes) easier to transport and (sometimes) easier to hold when they are thinner and lighter. But the ad suggests that thinness is about more than usability. The thinner the device, the less reliant we are on the physical realm.

I am writing this on an iPad. I am well aware of the cognitive dissodance involved here. But my recent flirting with the idea of only purchasing used tech devices did just gain an extra measure of resolve.

This ad reminds us that we have too weak a vision for the value of repair and restoration. As one whose views on automobiles and life have been shaped by decades of listening to Car Talk, and admires the folks behind The Repair Shop, the sharp contrast between this ad and the spirit of shows like these is palpable.

The ad works, in a world where advertising is successful in so much as it is viral.