PAGING GEOFFREY NUNBERG….From my morning newspaper, I think we have a new winner in the latte-drinking-sushi-eating-volvo-driving-pretentious-twit-etc.-etc. stereotype contest. It comes from an LA Times piece about how annoying iPhone users can be:
Wil Shipley, a Seattle software developer, uses his iPhone at the Whole Foods fish counter to check websites for updates on which seafood is the most environmentally correct to purchase. He quizzes the staff on where and how a fish was caught. Because he carries the Internet with him, “I can be super-picky,” he said.
Check it out. In the first sentence alone we have the following hip references: (a) Seattle, (b) software developer, (c) iPhone, (d) Whole Foods, and (e) environmental correctness. Shazam!
The article, more generally, is about the fact that conversations frequently stop dead (“another awkward iPhone moment”) when the ultra-connected insist on constantly whipping out their mobile internet doodads to settle arguments of one kind or another. I can sympathize. Personally, though, I’d mind it less if the combintion of technology and research skills among the connected set could be improved a notch. Killing the conversation for a few seconds is one thing, but waiting for a slow connection, then fiddling around because a Flash graphic doesn’t load properly, then realizing you need to go to a different site, then realizing that it doesn’t quite have the exact information you need, then seeing something really cool and insisting that everyone come over and take a look — well, that gets old fast. But it’ll all be better once we get brainstem implants and 3-digit-IQ artificial intelligence. Won’t that be great?
UPDATE: In comments, Walker points out that Wil Shipley is himself a social phenomenon, so the sentence in question actually managed to cram in six hip reference points, not a mere five.