At the risk of sounding like a techno-scrooge, I take a dim view of media excitement about the very latest in digital gadgets. No doubt the new versions of laptops or handhelds offer many virtues. But umpteen gigabytes can never make up for a media culture and a political environment largely out of touch with human empathy.
The new mega-gig innovations are marketed as awesome pluses without downsides. But one big problem is that we’re encouraged to believe in purchasing our way into solutions. Huge expectations for satisfaction from the multimedia Internet -- and rampant enthusiasm for faster and more compact technologies with the latest dazzling features -- routinely get us into thinking like consumers with the speed of a broadband download.
Rarely mentioned is the economic stratification that the digital wonderland both reflects and exacerbates. While computer prices have come down in recent years, the overall costs of partaking in the online world are another matter.
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