Month / January 2013

HAL 9000If the Internet had a voice, I am fairly certain it would sound like the HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

“Hello Nir,” it said to me in its low, monotone voice. “Glad to see you again.”

“Internet, I just need a few quick things for an article I’m writing,” I’d reply. “Then it’s back to work. No distractions this time.”

“Of course Nir, but while you are here, won’t you look at what Paul Graham just wrote?”

“No Internet,” I’d resist. “I’m just here to find some specific information, I can’t be distracted.”

“Of course Nir,” the Internet would say. “But this article about LOLCats addiction is related to your work. Give it a click, won’t you?”

“Interesting.” I’d say hesitantly. “Just a quick read and then it’s back to work.”

3 hours later I would realize the time I’d wasted clicking and curse the Internet for sucking me into its mind vortex yet again.

The CES swarm.

This week, thousands of people swarmed the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Looking from above, the scene resembled an insect infestation of scampering masses in a hive of the latest must-haves.

When considering our complex relationship with technology, perhaps it is useful to reflect upon the plight of one particular bug, the male julodimorpha beetle, who like us at times, can’t get enough of a bad thing. His misplaced desire is so powerful that it threatens the survival of his species.

While in flight, the male scans the dry ground of the Australian outback, looking for love. He seeks out the largest, reddest female he can find because these two traits, size and color, impart instinctual cues about the genetic fitness of his mate. Suddenly, the sight of his dream girl stops him mid-air. He composes himself and approaches the sultry beauty.