March 13, 2002

the cool is out there

This entry at USS Clueless made me cry. Dammit, I want my alien ancestors to drop by and hand me a plasma rifle and a flying car. Humans are too busy designing pocket computers and cordless internet to make the cool things that really matter in geek life.

Oh Dane, quit pissing in the holy water. We do have some cool things going: Backpacks with built-in flat panel speakers, sandals designed with one strap and no velcro, headlamps with three white LEDs that last 30 hours on a set of AAA batteries, snowboard boots with steel aircraft-grade wire for laces, huge three-season tents with only one pole, exploding camp stoves, hydration systems designed from improbable evolutionary tangents, epoxy…

There’s also old cool. The toaster style was perfected in the 1940s. Every product eventually reaches a crest of innovation where further improvement can only make it worse. Companies then can’t find anything better to do but ruin their product with shoddy construction and ugliness.

The cool is out there, but it ain’t in computers anymore.