25 March 2009

Signs of Hope

Signs of hope ... that we Silicon Valley peoples aren't totally enslaved to our devices. A couple days ago, in a local Peet's, I counted a total of no laptops. You read that right. I also counted no smartphones, no handheld computers, no Internet surfing technologies whatsoever. The place has wifi, but the clientele seemed totally unconcerned that they were falling behind on their email. And the place was full of coffee drinkers: can you drink coffee and not be productive?

There was the old couple in the corner mostly being quiet and looking out the window (searching for ...?). There was the family of four (mom, dad, teen girl, tween boy) sitting around a small table and talking, not on phones, but all in-person and stuff. There was the guy in the corner reading a book, printed on a pre- e-paper technology called, confusingly, paper. There was the man chatting with the store manager, who sat next to him on a bench against the wall.

And just in case you don't know how strange this is, in case you live in a town where it's normal to go out in public to be with people, consider the case of the Red Rock Coffee shop, a mile or so down the street. I was in the Red Rock today. I love the Red Rock. Good coffee. Good art. Good vibe. Good grief: I counted twenty-eight laptops.

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