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o.k. I admit it – I’m a technology optimist. I think good thoughts when I see things like this:

It weighs four ounces, is about 5 by 3 inches in size, contains a QWERTY keyboard and LCD display, and holds half a megabyte of memory. It can connect to a PC to exchange files and download Email, and it contains a 900 MHz wireless transceiver that allows IMing (Instant Messaging) with others within about 300 feet. If you scatter a bunch of these devices around an area they expand the IM reach by automatically acting as relay points for devices farther away.

It supports wireless interactive gaming. It contains a To-Do list, phone book, Spanish/English dictionary, Music Composer, calculator, alarm clock, and more, and it will scan the profiles of other devices in the area, notifying you with a vibrating alert when someone that interests you approaches. In the future, it will also play MP3 music files.

Sounds like this might be the next high-end Palm Pilot or Windows CE organizer, but it’s not. It’s a new toy.

and yet something tells me it’s a good thing there are people with alternate views.

Well – I finally finished The Cluetrain Manifesto. My turnaround wasn’t that bad, although cryptonomicon is not faring as well. Hi. Ho. At least I’m getting better in my old age – Godel, Escher, Bach was in the queue for something like 10 years.

Anyway, I wanted to like The Cluetrain Manifesto. I really did. Overall, I’d recommend it, with some reservations – the most glaring being its western-centric view of the world. I’m sure the author’s realize it, but half the world hasn’t even used a phone yet. I’m also not a big fan of the tone of the book with its big spurts of ‘cheeseball radical’. That said, I don’t disagree with its core theses and its sense of optimism:

Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting that what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, and where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday. Imagine a world in which the business of business was to imagine worlds people might actually want to live in someday.” [p.183]

It’s hard to argue with a grand vision like that, although my cynical side would certainly like to give it a run for the money.