Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mechanical Resistance to Esthetics of Intelligence

Progress along the long and difficult road to correctly designing a reading machine such as the Kindle has been beset by a continuous onslaught of negative paradigms. That ballast, that small percentage of critical mass that causes the ship to sink, is the general new-product-developers' ethos that includes this meme: they don't like to read.

As long as my devices are designed by teams which include people who don't like to read, they will not manage to design a device that satisfies me. Because I like to read. And significant percentages of their design teams possess an anti-intellectual ethos. Who'd have thought it?

They seem to be convinced that at every instant of my reading experience, somehow I would be happier watching cartoons, playing a mindless game, or listening to music or watching a TV show. Perhaps Twittering. The usual stuff marginally literate people do with the Internet. And when I occasionally have the advantage of easily identifying these people, they usually react like cockroaches exposed to the light, and begin scurrying. They scurry and hurl insults at me. They will shovel out a mass of implication, implying I am the oddball, I am the square peg, I am the loser.

This is from people who have insinuated themselves professionally into an industry, into designing a product based on reading, which they themselves don't really like. In short, illiterates run the boardroom.

So I still await the $45 portable reading tablet. It was basically invented 15 years ago, but you are not allowed to buy it.

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