Monday, March 14, 2005


Bruce Sterling moves to Pasadena . . .

and writes . . .
[When I got to Pasadena] I suddenly realized that I can thrive with something like 8% of my former possessions. Not that I've lost them . . . they've all been digitized. They got eaten by my laptop.

There's an Apple Store a block away, where Mr. Jobs is selling iPods like Amy sells waffle-cones when it hits 105 degrees. So, where're all my records and CDs? They're inside the laptop. DVD player? Laptop. Newspapers? I read Google News in the morning. Where're my magazines? I read Metropolis Online, I write stories for Where's my TV? I got no TV: Compared to Web surfing on broadband wireless, watching a TV show is like watching ice melt. I tried real hard to sit down and watch a television dramatic episode recently – it felt like watching Vaudeville, with a trained dog act and a guy juggling plates. TV is dying right in front of us. It's become a medium for the brainwashed, the poor, and the semiliterate. Where's my fax machine? Laptop. Mailbox? Laptop. Filing cabinet? Laptop. Working desk? Laptop. Bank? Laptop. Place of business? Laptop. Most people I deal with have no idea I'm here in California. They'd never think to ask me. Why should they? They send e-mail, they get what they want, game over.

I see much of the same thing. I rarely use my AM/FM tuner or the CD player on the stereo - it is all linked to our iBooks with wifi. Newspapers, magazines and the wonder of arXiv.

That said my laser printer is very active. I really love to walk and lay down on a lawn with a journal article, or to sketch with the feel of my 2-1/2 Ticonderoga, to read in the bathtub and to turn pages of equations into a small airforce of paper airplaces.

The laptop has largely replaced the desktop for me, but I still need that wonderful technology called paper. (its just that much of it starts as bits on my laptop these days)
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