The Medium - Pump Up the Volume
In the New York Times:
I’m alone on a cold October morning at Kennedy Airport. The flight will be pleasantly solitary. I anticipate my enforced freedom from conversation and the Internet with excitement bordering on euphoria. There’s a Major Tom factor to air travel now: silent go the devices as up we rise, while the taut invisible Web wires snap one by one until finally we’re floating in a placid immaculate zone where no one can Twitter or gchat or e-mail. If the airlines knew how precious that icy aloofness was to some passengers, they’d find a way to make us pay for it. The JetBlue ColdSpot.
Even so, I’m taking a Kindle with me on this flight, for the first time. Amazon first offered its Kindle, a device for reading e-books, a year ago, and I don’t know why I waited so long to buy one. I can’t seem to put it down. It’s ideal for book reading — lucid, light — but lately it has become something more: a kind of refuge. Unlike the other devices that clatter in my shoulder bag, the Kindle isn’t a big greedy magnet for the world’s signals. It doesn’t pulse with clocks, blaze with video or squall with incoming bulletins and demands. It’s almost dead, actually. Lifeless. Just a lump in my hands or my bag, exiled from the crisscrossing of infinite cybernetworks. It’s almost like a book.