Suck it, conservative punditocracy

>> Friday, October 09, 2009

Deep breath. Okay, see, I thought about whether or not I should write about the big thing everybody will be talking about today: would I have anything useful to add? Could I offer perspective without seeming critical and could I avoid being critical without seeming blindly supportive? Are the people responsible really helping or have they just mussed things up with an empty gesture? Does it matter? Does it not matter? Is throwing in my two cents really meaningful in any way?

So I thought about it and thought about it on the way into work, when I wasn't thinking about how pissed I was that I managed to brew a carafe full of coffee and then didn't actually fix myself a travel mug much less bring it to work and when I wasn't trying to name the classic Duran Duran song that sounded suspiciously like an obscure '60s tune Andrew Loog Oldham was playing on Underground Garage. And I thought some more, and I decided that, yes, as much as I'm sure that too many pixels will have been expended on the subject before the end of the day, I would say my piece.

Google Wave is the latest offering from the folks at Mountain View, and I'll be honest: I just don't get it. I shouldn't be knocking something I haven't tried, and I want to keep it in perspective and all that like I said, but... what the fuck is the big deal, exactly? It's some sort of collaborative thing that seems to be a combination of a chat room with a forum board with a markup document. Or something.

I just don't understand what the big deal is. I like Google, in general, although I'm suspicious of things like their attempt to build a vast digital library. They're kind of a good company, though I've been critical in the past and probably will be again (see, for instance, the ambivalence here). But every now and then Google starts talking about how awesome their next awesome thing will be, and then the reveal is sort of a head-scratcher. Kinda like when a family member tells you how much you're going to love a gift and makes an excited production of giving it to you and then you open it and it's a completely unrecognizable novelty item or office toy that you will never possibly use and can't even regift, and you're trying to be gracious but the whole time you're wondering if your obvious confusion upon opening the box has registered and whether you're being gracious enough because you're not sure your level of feigned excitement is rising to the obvious level of expectation your relative (or it could be a friend) has invested in this what the fuck is it?

Okay, so it looks like Google Wave is sort of like an IRC chat room where you don't actually have to open attachments to edit them. I guess maybe I kind of sort of see where that could possibly be handy for some person somewhere. On the other hand, I can also see where it could cause all sorts of trouble in tracking edits and I'm not sure an ability to edit in real time is necessarily even desirable, since delays tend to improve the opportunities to think something through. But maybe I'm simply not the person Wave was designed for. Only problem there is that I'm having a hard time thinking of who the person it was designed for actually is.

Oh well.

So, anyway, that's that. I wasn't sure I was going to say anything and now I have. Probably a bad idea, since there's so much ink spilled and pixels lit over this already, but I figured people would be expecting me to say something, so there it is.


Nathan Friday, October 9, 2009 at 5:06:00 PM EDT  

Did you do that on purpose?

Your first two paragraphs had me convinced we'd be talking about Obama's Nobel Prize for Potential.

What the fuck is a GoogleWave?

Leanright,  Friday, October 9, 2009 at 10:38:00 PM EDT  

Even Yassar Arafat is rolling over in his grave right now.

Nathan Friday, October 9, 2009 at 10:47:00 PM EDT  

Now I feel like an idiot for even asking.

Leanright,  Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 12:58:00 PM EDT  

Hey Nathan, how are your Red Sox doing? (he he)

Jim Wright Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 5:46:00 PM EDT  

I like Google, I do.

But, like you, I think they overhype themselves.

The hoopla over GoogleWave reminds me of the bugshit gaga speculation about the Segway. Gonna change the world. Gonna change how cities are built. Hell, people were visualizing some kind of anti-gravity device that ran on water and exhausted gold fairy dust and orgasms.

Then it came out.

Look at that. It's a six thousand dollar scooter that runs on batteries. Bleh. WhoopDeefuckingdoo.

That's how I feel about Googlewave. Bleh.

Nathan Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 5:47:00 PM EDT  


First of all, you went a whole week without pissing me off. Way to break the streak.

Second...The Red Sox are 13-3 in the last 6 years with facing elimination. Suck it! (If they take the World Series this year, they're a lock for next year's Nobel!)

Hey Eric...It is too on topic! (sorta kinda almost the one I thought you were talking about, at least.)

Jim Wright Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 8:34:00 PM EDT  

Well, yeah, sure they're pretty, Nathan, but can they fight?

Leanright,  Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 2:15:00 AM EDT  


First, Is the only reason I HAD that streak because I haven't commented? I could probably "Knight" you and you'd be irritated by me.

Second, as a DIE HARD Angel Fan, I've been hoping for many years to see us take down the Sox, so...I hope you can understand the pain I've endured.

Now, we'd better get back to the topic before we get in trouble.

So..Really, what IS a GoogleWave?

Nathan Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 10:54:00 AM EDT  

So..Really, what IS a GoogleWave?

An EXCELLENT question.

GoogleWave is the next generation of web communication assistance that promised to make everyone's life a little easier. The hype promised massive dividends while the reality has, unfortunately turned out to be less than miraculous.

In short, GoogleWave promised to make the internet safe for both veteran hackers and utter Newbs alike. It was intended to replace the much maligned emoticon as a means of accurately telegraphing mood and attitude. The importance of this feature, if successful, can not be overstated. We all know of protracted flamewars and cases of mistaken trollery that could have been avoided if not for the misuse, misunderstandings and downright abuse of vaguely understood emoticons.

Sadly, the reality of what Google has produced is somewhat less than the promised advance.

Here, witness the less-than-awesomeness that is GoogleWave.

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