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Old 03-30-2012, 05:17 AM   #1
Prestidigitweeze
Fledgling Demagogue
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Posts: 2,108
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: White Plains
Device: Aura HD; Nexus 7 2013; PRS-950, 350; Kindle K; Galaxy S4; MBP 15".
Spanking New Tech and MOMSS

Much as I hate to identify with it, I suppose I share certain traits with my generation (which people call Gen X (but which I prefer to call The Marginalia Generation ("We're ever so superior to boomers because we're much more humble! The observant will notice how we mutter purposefully, use ridiculously long titles for fun and add jokes in the form of footnotes and subtitles to existing and ideally little-known works, all of which we consider stupid and self-important or charmingly self-unaware!")) -- the term's even more annoying than these parentheses (Note to Self: Needs more insularity)).

Among those traits is a certain cynicism about new tech.

Normally, I'd consider that a liability and not a virtue: Should one, for example, be unimpressed with the universe or the various creatures in it? Should one be so vain about human beings as to express constant disappointment with their development, which could be minor or incidental in the Scheme o' Things?

But here's where the cynicism is actually relevant to Mobile Read:

When we're trying to decide whether or not to buy this or that device (tablet, smartphone, pocket restroom simulator), we look to the experiences of other knowledgeable users as well as the actual specs. If the users we consult have tried a few other like devices, then they will perhaps make comparisons that are reasonably sober. But if they're first-time buyers of a given kind of tech, or are trying an unfamiliar and overly hyped piece model, and, in addition, are simply amazed that such a thing exists, then they can easily fall into MOMSS (Miracles of Modern Science Syndrome), which causes them to stop evaluating the device itself and instead praise its very existence.

This is impractical not only in terms of gadgets but everything else. If, for example, I'm pondering the nature of dinosaurs and focus on one, it would be easy for me to praise the symmetry and grace of its physiognomy, to marvel at its incredible size and so on. But if the idea is to understand the creature's actual role in the natural order, then I might need to contextualize it by understanding its environment, enemies, competitors and prey. I might wish to see it as something integrated, not exalt it as something separate.

Someday, when I'm even older and covered with green sores, I might give in to that same temptation and shriek that my new Smamslang Titanium Tricuspid Imprinter is the best thing ever to be invented by God or human -- and all because my bicuspid aortic valve has been happily replaced with the utterly newest MOMS. And at that point, my grand-foster-kids will mutter to themselves that every Imprinterz-R-Us carries a better and cheaper version than the one I own.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 03-30-2012 at 06:11 AM.
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