Wednesday, March 29, 2006


When I was at university, I had a lecturer for Computer Architecture and 3D Computer Graphics who was a bit of a character. For one thing, he looked very much like an aged King Arthur caricature with long curly blond ringlets and a short pointy beard. But he also had an extremely deep hatred of technology, which seemed very strange considering he was a well-known authority around the world on the above subjects. He would come into lectures and launch into a discourse bemoaning the red light that would flash on his departmental phone when somebody called, before then moving onto the methods used by Pixar to make Toy Story. Apparently he got so annoyed by this light that he had to cover it with a few layers of masking tape.

At the time I was utterly confused by this apparent dichotomy, but more and more I'm coming round to the view that maybe he had a point. I do think that we are in danger of having an addiction to technology, so we will invest in supposedly useful items simply because it's small and electronic rather than it actually helping us. Prime offender here is the PDA. Can someone tell me what advantage it has over a pen and paper?! It just takes longer to record things, but you feel like you're being more productive. The people it helps most is employers, by blurring the boundary between it's employees' work lives and home lives.

Real progress is represented by the Hipster PDA.


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