Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kindle Killer

For the same price as the Kindle, a one-function device, you can buy this fully functional ultra-mini laptop that weighs only two pounds.

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Madonna and Camille Paglia

Then again, I’m not entirely convinced that Madonna wasn’t somehow willed into existence some time in the late ‘70s by Camile Paglia. It’s as if Paglia was sitting around one day and thought “Wow, if only there was one virgin-whore-bitch-goddess-sinner-saint-icon-God who could embody every pretentious idea I’ve ever had. Then I’d be set.” Bam! Suddenly a full-grown Madonna would materialize out of thin air and masturbate with a big black crucifix while dressed as Elvis.

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A Technocratic Fantasy

One day, one hopes, any trade-off between environmental responsibility and economic growth might be rendered moot by new energy sources that enable us to maintain our economically and technologically advanced society without turning the Arctic into Club Med.

The addict always promises to quit - tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. Sullivan expresses the fantasy embraced by the majority of Americans. Why cut back, why sacrifice. Dick Cheney was right. Conservation is for crunchy envirowacko hippy dippy wusses. I can continue to enjoy my extravagant lifestyle because science will save me from my unwillingness to discipline myself.

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Amazon's Kindle ebook Reader

Levi Asher is skeptical of's Kindle. I blogged here about Sony's ebook reader and most of what I said about it can be applied here.

In a nut:

1. $400 is a lot to pay for a device to read books that doesn't do anything else and is locked into one bookseller. What if Amazon bellies up? Books are remarkably well-designed, durable and portable information storage devices that only require some visible light to use. Why introduce an unnecessary layer of mediation to achieve the same end result?

2. Most people who read anything at all buy four books a year. They won't buy a Kindle.

3. About a month ago I backed up essential folders and files on my other computer in preparation for installing a new hard drive. I had a folder with about ten ebooks I had downloaded for free. Most were "real" books by professional writers, not fan fiction or some self-published crap. The only one I saved was a James Ellroy anthology, Breakneck Pace, because I paid a few bucks once in the wee hours to download it from Amazon when I was bored out of my mind and because I don't think it's available in a print edition. It's also one of the few ebooks I finished and might want to reread one day. My experience with ebooks is that there's more anticipatory excitement generated by he idea of being able to instantly download and read hem than in the content itself.

4. The Kindle is an ergonomic nightmare. The shelf-like surface with the control buttons seems to put the screen farther away from you than needed. Why aren't the controls on screen, like the iPhone? The Kindle is all angles and edges and hard, unyielding surfaces. The places where one holds this device should be covered in some soft silicone like the grip that even cheap ballpoint pens offer.

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