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The Life of P

When I Rule The World I: bundled earphones

We all have grand plans for when we’re in charge. Instead, this series of posts embraces the little things that would make the world a little better for everyone. Or just a little less infuriating for me.

When I rule the world…
…bundling earphones with other products will be banned.

Every morning on the bus or train, nothing highlights humanity’s ignorance quite so starkly as those cheap plastic earbuds stuffed thoughtlessly into 50% of my fellow commuters’ ears.

It is not, I understand, entirely their fault. The logic is sound: I spent £200 on a portable media player, so these earphones they included should sound pretty good. A fallacy, of course, since very nearly none of the product’s cost lies in those woefully inadequate buds. Meanwhile I am stricken with nightmares of the glistening plastic peaks of a landfill, piled high with the useless earphones I have immediately ditched over the years.

Now, I am not snobbishly saying cheap earphones should not be an option at all — expensive Shures, Klipsch and the like are overkill for many. However, by unbundling them, consumers will be forced to make a proactive (and more informed) choice. Faced with a rack containing the full spectrum of humanity’s finest miniaturised electro-acoustic transducers, I suspect most would consider a paltry £30 or £40 a reasonable sum for a considerable upgrade.

More importantly, people will start to see portable music as a two-stage purchase: a device that stores the media; and the product that reproduces the sound. Both are equally important to the end result and one ought to budget accordingly.

N.B. Bundled earphones do serve one purpose: a free DIY laptop mute. Simply cut off the 3.5mm jack and insert it into your laptop’s headphone socket, removing it when sound is required. Never again be worried about the noise of booting your machine in a library or lecture hall.


  1. Yeah I did read this once before….

    You have my vote Mr… Err what would you be if you ruled the world? (president, pricipal, dictator?)

  2. I’m toying with a few titles: Emperor, Master of the Universe…

    Alternatively I might just make “Priyan” a title like Caesar.

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"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

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