Here is an excerpt of an interesting post that I can empathize with from Sarah Zhang titled Kindle: Lo-fi v. High Tech from the Digital Natives blog today.
“With Amazon’s new Kindle set to debut next week, the web is abuzz with rumors about Kindle 2.0. Will it have web browsing? Will there be networking features with other Kindles? Will it at least be a little less clunky?
When the original Kindle debuted in fall 2007, Jesse wrote an insightful post arguing that despite the tempting comparison to iPods, the Kindle is really a digital immigrant’s device. It’s designed to mimic the tactile and visual sensation of reading a book, and it has none of the slick elegance of an iPhone. Far short of paradigm-shifting, it looked back instead of forwards. These characteristics opened up the Kindle to criticism, but it hasn’t kept the device from gaining a loyal following…
It’s true, the Internet can be demanding. New email, unread counts, missed calls, text message – they gush at you in a constant stream. It’s comforting, sometimes, to hold in your hands something finite and discrete, something that doesn’t ask you to respond right away
…extolments of Kindle’s paperness reminded of Jack Cheng’s “In Praise of Lo-Fi,” in which he asks what happens to deep contemplation in a world blanketed in wi-fi and wireless power – a world where connectivity can’t be turned off. He turns to the opposite: lo-fi…
I often find myself in search of lo-fi these days. At first, I tried to battle technology with technology. Leechblock or an user account with “parental” controls disabling Internet, but I found them too easily circumvented when surrounded by multiple web browsers and multiple computers. Even though many of my classes have online readings, I now print out and annotate them by hand, making sure to sit far away from any luminescent electronic screens. When writing a paper, I sometimes shut my laptop and take a walk outside to ruminate by myself. Those with better willpower can take less drastic measures, but I’m too easily distracted.
When the new Kindle does debut, it’ll have to mediate two opposing tensions. One of innovation, it has to compete with all-capable gadgets like the iPhone. On the other hand, it should still be a reading experience, not another portable computer. Will it combine the best or worst of both worlds? If I got a Kindle, I’m afraid I’ll be lured by easy downloads and accumulate a backlog of books much like the way unlistened podcasts have taken over my iPod. Or perhaps, it’ll have better wireless integration and finally get me to read the articles I’ve saved via Instapaper. Convenient or too convenient?…”