Sunday, June 15, 2008

San Francisco

Here's Travelsaurus Rex chomping down on Alcatraz.

I went to Apple's WWDC this past week. I was very creeped out by some of the presenters and Apple engineers, some were generally excited about what they were doing but too many of them had fake enthusiasm. The sort of lobotomized, monotone voice, cliche phrase enthusiasm that turns my stomach. I heard 'We were blown away', 'It will blow you away', 'be prepared to be blown away', from too many mouths for it to be coincidence.

Computer programmers for the most part are lousy company. You would survey the crowd and see four hundred people tapping away at their laptops not paying attention at all to what was going on around them.

Most of the people there were dying to create the next killer app to simply cash in. I'm all for making bucks but when I see obese forty five year old guys with ironic t-shirts and snarky attitudes I have a hard time trusting that they're going to create something that actually improves life on this planet. What's more likely is that they'll write apps and games so they can wrap themselves in the cocoon of their fantasy of choice, so they don't have to be reminded about how lousy they are at real life.

I think the biggest thing that frightened me was when I heard the applause for a presentation on 'Twitterific' which is an iPhone application that allows you to post to Twitter and track your Twitter buddies in your area. The presenter said something like 'And with this application you will never have to eat lunch alone again!', and a roar came up from the crowd, huge applause, whistling. Why is being alone for your lunch hour a problem that needs a technological solution? That's so stupid. I think people need to be alone more so they can actually develop a distinct personality of their own. So they can learn to think and feel for themselves. This creation of a super wired-in, tech dependent society is genuinely frightening because it's not creating more empowered and educated individuals as promised by the Internet evangelists a decade ago. The internet is really starting to look like TV, or the society pages of a newspaper, with the illusion of interactivity pasted on the surface.

Okay I'm incoherent and ranting so I'll stop here.

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