I don't think tablets are where we should be focused. But I do think they could end up being an efficient way of delivering textbooks. They're just not really that, yet. There's all sorts of poisons and mined minerals and carnage that goes on to make a tablet. Way more than to print a book. Or a bunch of books.
We know that people are less open in conversations if the other conversant puts a cell phone on the table. Even if it's turned off. The sign is enough to close the mind and make a prospective client or lover less likely to do what you ask. As people realize this, they'll start putting away phones or turning them off.
In the digital universe, our personal history and its sense of narrative is succeeded by our social networking profile - a snapshot of the current moment. The information itself - our social graph of friends and likes - is a product being sold to market researchers in order to better predict and guide our futures.
Part of an icon's power comes from its indivisibility. The swoosh cannot be further deconstructed into its component parts. Just as golden arches mean McDonald's, and the little red tab means Levi's, the swoosh is Nike. The product is its icon, inseparably and without exception. To buy a pair of Nike shoes is to buy the Nike swoosh.
Marketers use big data profiling to predict who is about to get pregnant, who is likely to buy a new car, and who is about to change sexual orientations. That's how they know what ads to send to whom. The NSA, meanwhile, wants to know who is likely to commit an act of terrorism - and for this, they need us.
What's it like to envision the ten-thousand-year environmental impact of tossing a plastic bottle into the trash bin, all in the single second it takes to actually toss it? Or the ten-thousand-year history of the fossil fuel being burned to drive to work or iron a shirt? It may be environmentally progressive, but it's not altogether pleasant.
Social media is itself as temporary as any social gathering, nightclub or party. It's the people that matter, not the venue. So when the trend leaders of one social niche or another decide the place everyone is socializing has lost its luster or, more important, its exclusivity, they move on to the next one, taking their followers with them.