Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'd be a better me if I hated the iPad

David Pogue's twofold review of the iPad assumes the Eloi/Morlock distinction (explained here). Pogue doesn't use those words, but he writes two separate, widely diverging reviews, one for "techies" (=Morlocks) and one for everybody else (=Eloi).

What I find hilarious about this is how much I want the first review to be relevant to me . . . but I'm seduced by the second. I don't actually fit Pogue's description of a techie, and the Eloi review awakened within me deep longing for the device.

The key to understanding this paradox (hypocrisy?) is in Pogue's summary: "It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on."

There you have it, folks. I want to believe that I'm creative, but I'm just a consumer. I will now take a deep breath and remind myself: Buying things can't make you creative.

I mentioned a while back Stevenf's prediction that New World computing belongs to the Eloi. The iPad is just the beginning. In some ways, this makes sense. Computational machines were always somewhat of a strange device for mass consumption. They can do so much more than home users need them to do. Winnowing things down to what people really use seems inevitable.

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