Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What's the deal with the Kindle?

So Jeff Bezos the founder of amazon.com has created a book machine. It’s called the Kindle. I find it funny that it’s named Kindle since it’s basically turning the Book into kindling. It’s, like the size of two ipods and you can download e-books to it and read them. Great. Finally. The e-book gets its day in the sun. But I just have a few questions Jeff.

One, and most importantly can I get it wet? Or more to the point can I wash it? Think about it, I’m making this up but studies show that 90% of people, men mostly, read while on the toilet. Newspapers, magazines, books all on a Kindle and read while on the shitter. Unintended consequence of the Kindle, massive flu pandemic.

Second, why the hell would I buy this? I’ve got a book, I’ve seen one, they seem pretty convenient and simple. Of course I said walking was easy, cheap and convenient before I saw the Segway. Now I can’t get enough of driving around on my two wheeled phallus, douche bag mobile. Which makes me, i guess, a self cleaning dick head. I guess it’s neat to have an ipod for Books. But let me just impart some personal wisdom I’ve gotten from my ipod.


I listen to random, shuffle. And if I’ve got 200 books with me, I’m reading TWO HUNDRED books! ALL OF THEM! I’m on chapter two. And thank god, because you can buy the books from the device itself, over the sky, thru the ether. Because if I have the opportunity to have 200 books I want at least 189 of them to be impulse buys. A three in the mourning panic buy about me not knowing the Secret! What the H, is the secret!?!?!?! BAM!! I’ve got the book. The secret is…. I suck.

Here’s the thing about this thing. All your books are kept online in Amazon's library. So if you accidentally erase a book you can go and download it again for free. Basically Amazon has become the library. A pay by the book lending library. No more will you be burdened with physical Book ownership. You can fill those “book” shelves with old ipods. And the best part, those books are yours. You can’t lend them to nobody, only Amazon can because of there security DRM software. You could actually go to jail for lending some one a book. The free exchange of ideas? Fuck you.

So Amazon will keep your library, everything! Everything you buy, where you stopped reading how many times you read a book, how much you like that passage about overthrowing the government. And with that knowledge they can sell to you better and make your life whole by knowing what you know. Lota people want to know that. Like the government and corporations. And now they only need to go to one unaccountable source to get it! Peoples Republic of China, I’m looking at you. Get on the Kindle train and keep an eye on those middle class dissidents. Don’t ask how the internet will help the revolution; ask how the revolution can be put down by the internet.

Information is the new gun barrel. Power comes straight out of it and you better be on the wide end with the trigger. Like Google is. Google is digitizing all human knowledge, and some monkey knowledge, Wikipedia is bringing that knowledge encyclopedia to the masses, and now Amazon can sell it back to you. And when all information is digitized, all information is fluid. Change a little code and evolution is intelligent design, Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and Abraham Lincoln was a 10 story high, sun god that freed the Jews. If you think this won’t happen just go and Google News Wikipedia.

BUT as long as people have the facts and truths ,like the earth is round, to build there house on this won’t happen. Right? But, when Google digitizes all facts and truths, who will hold the keys to this kingdom? Google? Amazon? Us? Perhaps I’m over reacting. Google promised to “do no evil” they do good, right? Google am good. Search isn’t privy to human folly. Search wouldn’t lead me to misinformation? Search would die an honorable man. Let me tell you, I look forward, in years to come, when I’ll be reading about this time, sitting in front of my telescreen, waiting for the two minute hate and reading on my Kindle the great History Text “1984”

But I’m over reacting, things change. The Book of course will still be relevant at its core. Weather it’s on a Kindle or paper I can still enjoy my favorite book “The Great Gatsby” with it’s stark tale of carelessness and corruption of a pure immutable dream. I love that book because it’s about dreams, however far they seem they always remain pure. In the distance the Green light we row ceaselessly toward. Jeff Bezos is rowing toward that dream, a dream of information at the touch of the finger. A rich, unsharing, soulless finger. Let me quote from “Gatsby”, I’ll even use a Kindle to call up the quote, because it doesn’t matter what an idea is transmitted on, it still holds the same power, and as long as those ideas survive, as long as you can say two and two are four and people can access the cold hard truth of…. Motherfucker! My Kindle just ran out of batteries!


Anne-Renée said...

You're a passionate man, Mirco Chen. A passionate man indeed.

Or crazy.


Anne-Renée said...

That kindle does seem rather silly. And it looks like it's in the shape of a book anyway. Who wants to carry that around? You can't drop it or bend it. It fits awkwardly in my purse.

The idea of Amazon owning my library, which I had to pay for, is corrupt. Knowledge may be power but it's certainly not free...and is it really monitored like that? They can tell what page you're on? It's reading prison.

I like your idea of bookcases being filled with old ipods...heheh...

I borrow a lot of books from people, but borrowing someone's entire kindle might be a little inconvenient.

Nothing beats the smell of freshly printed ink in a brand new book, but I bet kindles don't have that...


Blair Kitchen said...

I hate computers. Computers are evil. (did I mention that I hate computers?) This whole technological age is heading in a BAD direction, my friend...... a really bad direction. 10 years ago, I would have thought 1984 was a fictional book.

Ben said...

Information is a superweird substance underlying all of reality.

By the year 2015, human technology will be doubling approximately every 1000th of a second. It is at this point that our fluid culture will evaporate.

Our culture is turning to steam.