« NPR RantStrange Noises »


I am sitting here trying to solve the mystery of the erratic dialup -- four or five minutes of blissful 56 Kbps browsing, and then *poof*! There is no more incoming traffic. I blame the iBook, because the cube in the other room stays online for long langorous hours.

iBook? Cube? No, this is not some ultra-hip chromed Architectural Digest fantasyland I inhabit. It is an ultra-hip rural paradise, with an employer who has a fondness for macs and a surplus of cubes, and lets busy programmers take them home. But all the cubes in the world won't get you broadband in Brandon.

On the subject of cubes - have you noticed how the Apple design mafia has taken over? I was thinking about this when we went to see About a Boy -- a truly excellent movie -- where the main character has a cube tucked away in his swank apartment. It seems like every onscreen computer these days is a mac, if the character is hip enough. Sex and the City, natch. There is a website out there somewhere with a wonderful theory about how you can tell who will be a secret villain on the X-Files based on whether they use a PC or Macintosh, but I have lost it and can't seem to get it back.

I loook at these onscreen computers, and flat titaniums and Vaios in the soft-focus backgrounds of so many print ads, and can't help but wonder if a few years from now they won't look as silly as the picture I saw in the front of a 1988 issue of National Geographic, which had a stylish young yuppie stepping out of a doorway, talking nonchalantly into a cell phone the size of a toaster.

The process whereby technology becomes part of the culture - the way cars or railroads did - is a clever mystery. We have a whole set of cultural images and myths wrapped around those two inventions: Casey Jones, railroad hoboes, the ballad of the long-distance trucker, drag racing, motel culture - when will computers ever get their own folk heroes?

And for the computer folk ballads, what will they find to rhyme with 'Maciej'?

« NPR RantStrange Noises »

Greatest Hits

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.

Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world

Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?

No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.

Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina

Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting

Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks

Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews

A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant

Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future

100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law

Every Damn Thing

2020 Mar Apr Jun Aug Sep Oct
2019 May Jun Jul Aug Dec
2018 Oct Nov Dec
2017 Feb Sep
2016 May Oct
2015 May Jul Nov
2014 Jul Aug
2013 Feb Dec
2012 Feb Sep Nov Dec
2011 Aug
2010 Mar May Jun Jul
2009 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
2008 Jan Apr May Aug Nov
2007 Jan Mar Apr May Jul Dec
2006 Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Oct Nov Dec
2003 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2002 May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Your Host

Maciej Cegłowski


Please ask permission before reprinting full-text posts or I will crush you.