I’m fond of saying that the most important invention in media was not the printing press but the remote control, for it gave us control of our media. OK, so it’s a tad hyperbolic. But still, when the remote control passed 50 percent penetration on American couches in the mid-80s — at the same time that use of the cable box and VCR also grew — we took over our control of the consumption of media and media changed forever. It got better. And that is a straight line to the internet, which let us take over control of the creation of media.
I say all this as a tribute to Robert Alder, the coinventor of the TV remote control, who just passed away.