why I don't care about the tablet

"Hey, Techno-Tommy, are you going to buy a tablet?" asks Mr. Brown.

"No. Not anytime soon," I respond.

"It's supposed to revolutionize the paper world. I thought you were a paper-geek."

"It just seems like hype. They might as well say, 'This is hand-crafted from the finest paper of the magical forests and consecrated by the holiest of of all woodland creatures. Every page is guaranteed to save the life of a sprite in danger.' Or 'Use this to turn water into wine and cure leprosy.' I just don't buy it."

Mr. Brown stares at me for a moment. "Really? Medieval mythology and thinly veiled Bible references? I'm talking technology, here, Tommy. It's supposed to revolutionize the paper world."

"Don't get me wrong. A tablet is cool. But it is not revolutionary. The Guttenberg Press was revolutionary. The horseless carriage just might prove to be revolutionary. The American Revolution - now that's revolutionary."

"Far from it," Mr. Brown begins. "As a Canadian, let me offer a critique. You stole democracy from the Greeks, your republican system from the Romans, the Bill of Rights from your states who stole it from the British. When will you understand that you simply aren't that special?"

"Okay, but you would agree that the tablet is mostly hype."

"Maybe. But you can flip through pages and touch it and take notes on books."

"It's a pad of yellow paper made from the over-expensive iCompany. I've been taking notes in books for years. I just don't think it's that special, that's all."

"But it's so much thinner than a notebook.  You'll grant me that, won't you."

"Yes, but I never thought my notebooks were too bulky or heavy or cumbersome.  I've never thrown out my back trying to care a composition book."

"Consider this, though. Often small changes are what make a huge difference. The shift from scrolls to pages revolutionized reading. The double-entry inventory forms helped the Spanish dominate the world. That and their boats. Oh, and their suave accents. See, it's little things. Yes, railroads are great, but a hundred years from now everyone will drive cars and trains will simply be an annoying, if quaint, relic of the past. But everyone will be carrying around tablets to take notes."

"Perhaps. I just don't see what makes a tablet so incredibly different from a stack of paper or a notebook. And for what it's worth, I'll refrain from the hype until I see the results. After awhile, all the slick marketing starts to feel like the junk mail promising to increase one's manhood or the letters saying I've won a UK lottery."

No comments:

Post a Comment