Being grateful doesn't always come naturally to the acquisitive, the consumptive, and the desperately self-actualizing.
Yet here are members of the tech industry about to sit around their Thanksgiving feasts, in a yurt far removed, to contemplate their own self-worth.
Perhaps they'll find the time, though, to consider some things for which they should be grateful. Here is my delicate contribution.
I'm grateful that Apple has discovered the spirit of giving. No, not just giving people smaller, cheaper phones and revolutionary new laptops that look exactly like the old laptops. It's giving many developers a (better) chance to make a (better) living. It's giving its lawyers permission to make settlements. And surely none of this has anything to do with antitrust moves against it.
I'm grateful that Twitter has put little notes of concern on tweets that may not be telling the truth. Well, some tweets. Well, a few tweets. Well, a few tweets from famous people. Well, a few tweets from some famous people.
I'm grateful that we've found a way to have business meetings in bed. Well, from bed. At the very least, from our bedrooms. This has been the lifelong dream of many a tech executive who wakes up on a Wednesday, believes it to be a Monday and can't remember what they did on Sunday. Or on Tuesday.
I'm grateful that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk managed to make a lot more money during the pandemic. Otherwise, the people whose prime interest lies in keeping track of who's the world's most obscenely rich person today, this minute, right now, would be very upset.
I'm grateful that Microsoft continues, just occasionally, to force unwanted products upon its customers, even when they protest. It's uplifting to become a nicer entity, which Microsoft has. But you have to keep at least some of your essence within you or no one will recognize you.
I'm grateful that quite a few people have come out and expressed their newfound skepticism about science. There's nothing worse than lulling yourself into believing you're the world's cleverest nation. Some might think Silicon Valley has contributed to that impression.
I'm grateful that calling for a beheading -- especially if it's the beheading of someone trying to save lives -- is still OK on Facebook. No, not because it's hard to call for a beheading and give enough people the heads-up about your wishes. Instead, I'm merely grateful that Facebook, despite all its attempts to pose differently, resolutely remains Facebook.
But most of all, I'm grateful for all the people who don't have the luxury -- or, at least, safety -- of working from home. They're risking their health and even their lives so that everyone else can survive in comfort.
I'm talking about those in Amazon warehouses toiling daily for relatively meager wages in difficult conditions, just so we can have our draught excluders and shaving cream delivered to our door. Those delivering burgers, fries, and pizzas for highly questionable companies such as DoorDash. Those working in supermarkets, kitchens, transportation, hospitals and so many other essential businesses. Those without whom the tech industry would be able to do much, much less.
Oddly, these are the very people so many in tech want to replace with robots. How's that for gratitude? Let's hope the tech industry finds new ways to give them more fulfilling jobs.
May your Thanksgiving be safe and peaceful. With, hopefully, a little love thrown in.