WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DAMN THING? Vol. 1
I keep hearing about Twitter and the Amazon Kindle, and neither of them seem to have much purpose to me. Twitter evidently allows one to essentially text-message to a general audience a running answer to the question, "What are you doing?" But even the most self-obsessed person couldn't possibly think this is of general interest, unless perhaps you're a celebrity and/or public figure; I see that Obama used it during the campaign and once or twice since, but only for things that were redundant with emails they sent out. Now, I grasp that it's useful to let someone know you're running late--I do that constantly. But I do it through the conventional texting capacity. So really: what's the point of this other than whatever cachet it's supposedly acquired?
As for the Kindle... reading this review of the new device, I can see the potential value: editing documents while on the subway or in a car or waiting around somewhere would be very useful for me. And the reviewer's vision of the text-to-speech feature is potentially awesome (though I kind of like the idea of the Stephen Hawking/"Fitter Happier" voice reading, say, DeLillo as I'm falling asleep on a train). For now, though, I don't see the point; I'll just take the book wherever I'm going. As usual, The Onion seems to have the prudent take.
When I first starting thinking about how little , I worried it was a sign of impending old-man-dom: these kids and their newfangled devices, et cetera. But I'm not like this across the board: my wife is constantly disturbed by just how much I love the iPhone, for instance. It's just that Twitter seems really dumb, and the Kindle pointless, at least for the moment.