I have a terrible, terrible case of the flu these days, and Than went out this morning to buy me some Lemsip. He came back having bought me a magazine to cheer me up. He chose Wired magazine out of my favorite titles, because, in his words, "It was better than Word". That, and he wanted to justify his purchase of PC Zone when we have virtually no money whatsoever.
I don't know whether his choice of magazine-for-Mel was because he considers me to be more of a tech/sci geek than I am a music geek (which is probably true in a sense), because he thought a robo-Einstein on the cover was cooler than Johnny Cash on the cover (which is debatable really) or because he thought having one more letter in the title equals more value for money (which is just me being silly), but the point is it was indeed the right choice. Wired is probably one of the few magazines out there which I could read, cover to cover, until the next issue comes out. I find it smart yet casual, just the way I like to view myself, really.
The problem is, it created a monster of a blog post, the one you're reading right now, in no more than a tiny bulletin called "ping - just one question". And it goes kind of like this:
WHY oh WHY oh WHY don't they HIT some people out there on the head till their brains grow back?!
The "one question" was "What technologies would we be better off without?". A centuries-old debate, which I believe existed ever since there were technologies (damn you, fire-starting flint stones...). And there's three answers under the question. The first lady goes on about cellphones on airplanes, which, ok, can be annoying, and the last guy states that he wouldn't be up for the abolition of any kind of technology, but that restriction of specific uses is another matter altogether, which I think is one of the only "correct" answers to such a question.
And then there's a third guy, in the middle, called Eric Brende, who is actually mentioned to have written a book called Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology. He made me smile, then gradually frown, then shout out, holding my magazine as if it were to blame. And I quote, hoping that I'm not breaching any weird copyright laws here:
"No technology was ever invented that doesn't have some legitimate use. Automobiles, which I try to use as little as possible, make great ambulances. Even cocaine, which I also avoid, was first devised by a doctor as a local anesthetic. Of course, there's television, the possible exception, which was probably invented to rot our brains."
OK, my friend, you're officially an opinionated idiot in my book. Or maybe someone who really, really hasn't watched enough TV lately to form an opinion, but still chooses to express one, and in a pretty cool magazine for that matter. Same difference. And yes, I know it was just ironic. But it's even bad irony: choose something that people DON'T usually express an opinion against, man, if you really really really want to show how smart you are by being ironic. TV is just now starting to gain the acknowledgement it deserves, don't diss it that way.
It's weird though. One can pretend to be unbiased and informed, with well thought out opinions and the works. But eventually one will start making exceptions. Even I do, and I'm the one who's been whining about this all along. And it's when you start making exceptions that you start being truly wrong. Either make none, and express your thoughts as "general tendencies", or make up another general exception for your "rule". Or something.
Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I'm done now.