Having a baby makes you think about the future.
I don’t mean the sappy sentimental kind of future like in The Wonder Years. I mean the cool, Star Trek future with holodecks and warp drives and sexy green-skinned aliens. I wonder what kind of nifty, high-tech devices she will think of as normal when she’s my age. My wife and I often joke about how strange she will think it was that we used disposable plastic bags for groceries. Imagine the lunacy of using several new, costly, environmentally damaging holders every time that you bought food, bags that only served the purpose of getting your food from the store to your house.
Somehow the term “shortsighted” doesn’t seem like it will be strong enough for her.
Erin spurred on this line of reasoning when she bought me a Kobo eReader as a present for being hired on as a supply teacher. I had been bugging her to get one since I first heard about them, mostly because this particular one comes preloaded with 100 classic books. I figured that it would be a handy travel companion, particularly since Erin usually plows through a book a day when we go away, so I was overjoyed that she splurged and picked one up for me.
I remember reading about E Ink technology in Scientific American many years ago. At the time it was being pushed as a cheap, low-energy option for signage and displays. The thoughts of using it as a personal reading system was an ambitious idea at the time, especially when one considered the limited online marketplaces, so I did not expect to see a dedicated device like that for some time.
But lo and behold, I got old, and technology raced past me like a hyperactive greyhound, and suddenly I could afford a library in an easy-to-read dedicated tablet. It sips battery power and is readable in any lighting condition that is readable for real books. It does not cause eye strain. It looks cool. In an era of do-it-all laptops and tablets and phones, this thing actually appeals to me on a bibliophilic level.
Of course, when Baby is my age she will laugh at this writing. She will certainly make fun of my early forays into portable music systems (which you can read about here).
She will then flit off in her hovercar, listening to her retro-alternative holocubes and wearing her cybergoggles sideways on her forehead (which is how you wear them if you want to look cool).