The Texas Instruments Massacre

SPECTRUM STAFF Erik Jonasson II | Here we can see an actual picture of my paycheck being spent.
SPECTRUM STAFF | Erik Jonasson II 
Here we can see an actual picture of my paycheck being spent.

As a member of the press, I feel it is my duty to tear down the veil between common folk from the secrets our corporate overlords have kept for so long. It’s time we start asking questions. Why the business world is a slimy, scum-ridden cesspool. Why does the Man still think he can push around the little guy? When will Americans finally say “enough is enough.” Why is the TI-83 plus $100 nearly two decades after release?

Well I get paid by the article, so for now let’s focus on the last one. Texas Instruments is still selling their graphing calculators, the TI-83 plus and TI-84 plus, for about $100. Despite the fact that they look like a prop from an ’80s sci-fi movie, your grandkids will probably buy the same calculator for the same price, as is tradition.

Why does everyone turn a blind eye when they bully 15-year-old students, but if it happens in school it’s “not a safe learning environment” and “illegal because you’re about to turn 20.” Well I can only imagine TI can abuse that puke who called them a “ginger creep” in Starbucks because the manufacturing process for their calculators is beyond human comprehension.

Yes, much like gold or passable drunken karaoke performances, there is a finite amount. They cannot improve without finding more and they need to make their money before they run out and we’re reduced to abacuses. More importantly, they want to keep it a secret and I want to know why.

My first theory is there is a mine in the recesses of Silicon Valley full of TI calculators. The most gifted scientist of Earth is Mother Nature herself, crafting the greatest piece of technology I ever used to digitally flip coins rather than listen in Calculus. Unfortunately for Mother Nature, her magnum opus is kept under the thumb of the Texas Instruments cartel. It defends its turf from all that would intrude upon it by hiding its existence altogether.

My other theory is since they are Texas Instruments, they’ve teamed up with NASA in Houston and are pulling calculators from space. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were alien technology, given the countless applications my TI-83 seems to have buried in its programming. Jesus, I could probably find the key to alchemy if I searched hard enough. We’ll see who’s a ginger creep when I’m driving a solid gold 2005 Honda Accord.

Texas Instruments, I see right through you. I know you can’t just get away with essentially having a monopoly on graphing calculators unless there’s some deeper reasoning. I know you have to have something mischievous up your sleeve. I know a solid gold 2005 Honda Accord probably wouldn’t run, but let me dream damn it. Everyone else can think you’re just being jerks and should learn to innovate your products or at least price them appropriately like every other company, but not me. I’m too far down the rabbit hole on this one and I’ll be back as soon as I’m done ranting about the next insignificant annoyance that strikes my fancy and keeps me employed.


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