Thursday, August 12, 2010

Buying an iPad

Is there really a benefit for writers to use the latest technology? One wonders as the most advanced gadgets only serve to distract folks. Latest products allow us to enjoy stuff in smaller and more mobile ways. Normally one depends on the television and computers for their entertainment. But now small devices allow one to watch movies in their smart phones or smart music players. So instead of using these new tools to achieve sober goals, one has more possibilities to enjoy himself. It moves one away from the true goal of being a writer, for example, or whatever it is one wants to do. Starting a small business for instance, where one is distracted by this whiz bang stuff instead of work.

Now comes iPad from Apple and one wonders how this fits in the scheme of never ending gadgets coming to the public. It looks more like a device between a laptop computer and a smart phone. Another device is the Sony dash which allows access to the Internet. Other devices are e-readers like Nook or Kindle which allow basic web access. The Internet is becoming an indispensable landscape where one can access information, music, movies, knowledge and all sorts of entertainment. These new devices suck you in the vortex of procrastination where time flies and one get entertained with all these content from the Internet. But these are no longer computers or television but whole new devices influencing a new lifestyle.

Hot dang! Some folks would say when technology starts to look like magic with the way it works seamlessly. The good stuff is meant to empower people so one could be all one could be but often results in being obese, coach potatoes, surfing the television or the Internet, procrastinating and ending up without meaning in life. Perhaps buying all these stuff gives people meaning; makes them proud to have all the latest stuff. I gave up this temptation basically because I have no money. New investments or large purchases have to satisfy a basic rule: the gizmo must be usable by the whole family. This would remove all sorts of impulse buying from one’s side if one thinks about the rest of the family.

But it still does not answer the writer’s dilemma. The iPad for example can be used by everyone. It also allows easier surfing for folks, an e-reader to new books like a writer’s guide, online dictionaries and thesaurus and maybe a refreshing way to look at things. I guess that’s the proper charm of this device: to introduce a new way of thinking; similar to the feeling one gets going to museums and looking at great art. Some people do see Apple products have great design and past gadgets were exhibited in museums. Maybe this would help in removing ones writer’s block or exacerbate the temptation to procrastinate. At least writing and reading blogs and online journals is easier especially web sites like Poetry & Prose.

One thinks that writing blogs is a step up from journal writing. It’s the continuance of the self-teaching effort of the solitary writer. One hopes he would have achieved the 10,000 hours that one needs to be an expert. At least putting thoughts to words is an exercise toward the goal. But now new technology is here to muck it up. But blogs anyway came about thru technology so there’s hope yet. William Gibson maybe right in his mix of cyber punk, science fiction and Mickey Spillane or Dashiel Hammett style of writing in his books. I just finished listening to his book ‘Virtual Light’ and it’s a dazzling combination. Like Murakami in the future but without Kafka and surrealism. It’s an absurd world that one lives in when one reads Murakami and William Gibson but maybe a way out in understanding the new lifestyle.

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