Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Great Commission

I saw a site in Scotland.

No, I am not speaking of the Loch Ness, nor of the loping, sheep-whisped countryside, nor of the centuries-old cobblestone Royal Mile of Edinburgh, though I saw all of these things.

This was a site you could see anywhere. And that is precisely the point.

On a commuter train from Glasgow to Edinburgh, I sat next to a man. A man in a suit. A man at work.

It is hardly news to find someone working away from the office. That he worked electronically is similarly passe to report. What struck me was that this man did his work, not on a BlackBerry, not on an iPhone—

—but on both.

At the same time.

Is it accurate to say I was next to this man? Can we even speak of being embodied in such a case?

Granted, he made good use of each. With the iPhone and its superior display he browsed, while with the BlackBerry and its superior keyboard he communicated. But what a sacrifice for such productivity!

Truly, the Space of Flows marches onward to the ends of the Earth. Amen and amen.


Jonathan said...

I...don't understand.

Would you have reacted the same way if he had been reading a book?

RXH said...

I saw a similar sight this past Wednesday, on a train in NY. The man was trying to hold a conversation with his wife who was sitting across the subway aisle from him while he used a Blackberry and iphone (itouch?) for work...

I'm guilty though. I have multitasked while I would try to talk to someone on a cellphone while trying to use excel...I think your broader point is more about space and how we busy we allow ourselves to be. I wish it weren't this way.

FYI I hope I don't become a "sight"