Monday, April 13, 2009

Follow-On to the Kindle Product Review

In Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson imagines his Mars explorers/settlers having something called a "lectern." The Kindle 2 reminded me a great deal of the lectern with its online library and ability to annotate particular passages. However, KSR's lectern included the following functions as well:

  • Video and music downloads (iPod).
  • Two-way video, voice, and text communication (video phone/cell phone/text messaging)
  • Journal writing/recording. This would be of most use to me, as I go through a handwritten journal once ever couple months.
  • Active artificial intelligence and search engine capability (Google). (Character John Boone's lectern was named Pauline. I've renamed my Kindle "Bart's Lectern," which seemed appropriate, if premature.)

So I must accept the fact that this $400 toy I bought, while cool and supremely capable for what it does today, will be supplanted and improved in the next ten years. The technophile in me is loving this stuff and realizes that Ray Kurzweil might in fact be right. The technophobe (or, more to the point, anthrophobe) in me wonders what sorts of wickedness the Kindle, lectern, or other such toy might be put to in the future. Interesting times.


Anonymous said...

Kindle is already the HHGTTG. All you need is a "Don't Panic" button written in large, friendly letters on the cover.

SusanKWH said...

I love that "Red Mars" is available right now for free on the Kindle! Although I read it years ago, it was fun to get it again. Nice connection to the Lectern. I thought the Lectern was more like the iPhone, but as a Kindle I owner,I can see how things may change. Still, this toy is easy to adore.

Bart said...

How weird is that? Red Mars IS out there for $0.00. How'd that happen? Thanks for the heads-up! I reread Red Mars every couple of years.