Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Am Not Piper Stockton and I Approve This Message

Suppose proponents of's Kindle didn't exist -- would it be necessary to invent them? I say no, but opinions differ:

And then there was this comment from Piper Stockton: “I like reading and at the beginning I did miss a bit on the feeling of reading books. But now I love to hold the Kindle, the e-ink seems to work very well, it is really like reading books…”

All of the messages came in within minutes of each other, although they all cited different authors, gave different email addresses, and came from different IP addresses. But there was one notable thing beyond their similarity: they all cited the same url.

Who knows why someone would go through such a laborious effort and then flag their fakery for me like that. More important is the evidence this provides that Amazon, as I have suspected all along, either fosters or more likely employs astroturfers — that is, people to conduct a fake grass-roots campaign in support of the company and its products and tactics.
"Piper Stockton" sounds like a complete tool, and are sounding like complete assholes in this.

I have no opinion on the Kindle and similar gadgets apart from a vague unease speckled with mild dislike. Books don't require batteries, bios updates, a wired infrastructure, or any kind of electrical power. They can be bartered, traded, and given away easily. I like books; books work. Kindles and other e-readers strike me as just another technology upgrade treadmill we're all being urgently asked to start running on, for the sake of benefits that seem pretty meager, as seen in such dubious transitions as the vinyl-cassette-CD-?? music format, the color TV-flat screen-HD-3D tee-vee miasma, the VCR-DVD-Blu-Ray nightmare, and so on. I despise treadmills even when they go well -- I enjoy my gigantic HD television as much as the next money-wasting moron, but really, do I need to see January Jones or Christina Hendricks in any more visual clarity? I think something should be left to their spouses and/or current flings.

If I might wax nostalgic for a moment -- I do so only with the proviso that none of this part counts as a genuine argument -- they have a look, feel, and smell that's all their own, and once made, they exist in a form that's far from imperishable but harder to destroy than hitting a delete key somewhere.

Sure, e-readers have their place, and maybe I'll come to appreciate them one day. Even if so, I feel confident in saying they're nothing to lie and scheme over.

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