If you want to predict the future, just look at what middle-class American teens are doing. And right now, they’re using their mobile phones for everything. In fact, many of them don’t even have private computers.1 These facts, combined with the factors above, paint a picture of the tablet as a fad, like the Netbook, and as a temporary sidestep on a radical change in the way people use the internet. In the future, we’ll all simply use our mobile phones for everything.
-Dustin Curtis, “Replacing the PC”
I don’t agree with everything Mr. Curtis states in his article. I especially don’t think (or hope) that the future will be mobile phone only. However, I do think that tablets need to find their niche, the thing they are better at than any other piece of technology we own.1 Recently in particular, I have found myself using my phone more and more and my tablet less and less because I am on the go and my phone is always with me. In addition, a laptop was provided to me with my new job and I basically always have that with me now as well.
All that being said, Dustin’s discussion of the uses of technology and the Internet are prescient. I definitely see a future where the Internet is an ethereal thing and a dumb pipe to the services that run atop it. All in all, “Replacing the PC” was a thought-provoking and altogether worrisome read.
There have been quite a few articles recently that espoused this idea. ↩
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.