china syndrome

The very air tingles with promise. Far and wide, all good people – those not consumed by Tiger Woods or some other surpassing disaster – are spreading the news:

The iPad is here. Hurrah! Yippee! Ole!

It's pissin' me off.

But why? you ask. It's wonderful! It's the best thing since fitted underwear in the whole wide world!

OK, here's why. I don't think computer companies, or car companies, or toaster companies for that matter, should feel entitled to spew forth new wonderments until they by golly work the bugs, kinks, gliches, pings, knocks, hang-ups, shut-downs, speed-ups, etc., etc., out of the stuff they've already been making.

This morning, just as an abject example, I started up my 2009 HP Phenomenal X4 Pavilion computer with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. Normally, an excellent device. I'm telling you folks, the thing was running whacky. Nutty. Spazz-o.

Word was working, and Firefox. But when I clicked on desktop icons, the computer essentially said, "you can't touch that." The start menu and the program toolbar were non-functional. I rebooted using ctrl-alt-del, because the start menu wouldn't work. No help. I shut down with ctrl-alt-del and everything was OK. But I got to start my day with adrenaline and confusion instead of caffeine and Google News, which makes me a grumpy puppy. 

Guess what! HP is coming out with a new tablet PC to compete with the iPad. You saw it here first, as far as I know.


Seriously, from one generation of technology to the next, they run full speed into spreading puddles of FAIL, and they're in such a rush to get to the next puddle, they don't even notice how muddy they are. And who's urging them on, faster and faster? We are.

This blogger thinks it's time to think more about what's useful to us on a daily basis, slow down, make it well, enjoy it, and dream a bit before we plunge.

But Kyle, why title the post China Syndrome? Well, one reason is obvious. Another is that if I'd called it Resentment Over the Obdurately Accelerating Pace of Tech Innovation, you wouldn't have read it.