There’s been a lot of talking about the CES experience this week, and even more public chatter about its purpose and if it’s necessary in 2012. Today, a post on Gizmodo caught my attention in the way that most bait-y Gizmodo posts do, except this one was actually an interesting read.
Mat Honan’s post titled Fever Dream of a Guilt-Ridden Gadget Reporter did a pretty good job of putting me on the CES floor, despite not actually being there. His take is a bit dystopian, but it really had me sitting back and questioning where we’re heading with consumer electronics, and if there’s a need for expos of this magnitude in the future.
[quote]There is a hole in my heart dug deep by advertising and envy and a desire to see a thing that is new and different and beautiful. A place within me that is empty, and that I want to fill it up. The hole makes me think electronics can help. And of course, they can … They make the world easier and more enjoyable. They boost productivity and provide entertainment and information and sometimes even status. At least for a while. At least until they are obsolete. At least until they are garbage … Electronics are our talismans that ward off the spiritual vacuum of modernity; gilt in Gorilla Glass and cadmium. An in them we find entertainment in lieu of happiness, and exchanges in lieu of actual connections.[/quote]
Like I said, pretty harsh words for technology and CES on a whole. But he’s not alone in his “what’s-the-point-of-this” thoughts. I often struggle with the same kind of thinking while writing about things here at Macgasm. I joke from time to time that I want to pack up and move into the woods.
That being said, CES has been taking quite the beating in the press the last couple of days. We’re not there, so we’ve been trying to keep our complaints and posts on happenings around CES minimal. Personally, I’ve kind of enjoyed the reporting from CES. These trade shows are exercises in possibility. Thinking that every product on the show floor needs to be ready to ship, and ultimately turn into a raging success misses the point entirely. CES, and other tech shows are also about figuring out where we may be heading in the next five to ten years. Thinking like that is what keeps it fun for me. Thinking about how the mediocre achievements of today could pave the way for great things in the future is what keeps me from insanity some days.
Also, I’m interested to see exactly how these same press members that have been bashing CES for the last few days talk about the Macworld | iWorld expo in the coming weeks. Sadly, I think I already know the answer. We won’t hear a peep.
Read Fever Dream of a Guilt-Ridden Gadget Reporter on Gizmodo.