Sunday, 15 July 2007

Cory Doctorow: Best Lover Ever? Reading through my feeds on a lazy Sunday morning, I came across Cory Doctorow's declaration of love to Caron Barton's Paper Pocket Engineer: I'm in love with Caron Barton's book The Pocket Paper Engineer, a step-by-step guide to designing and executing pop-up effects with paper. Doctorow loves "grown-up uses for popups"? I thought he'd sworn undying devotion to Alice in Wonderland dishes; or was it The Wombles of Wimbleton Common? I have it all wrong: Doctorow's one and only is Stinkpad, or maybe Transmetropolitan. No, I remember now, his heart belongs to Podium CoolPads or waterproof cases for Exilim cameras, one or the other, unless you count The Beastles' Let It Beast, Quicksilver, or Shrook 2.0. Pressed to choose, I'm sure vintage Disney ephemera would be his true, mad, total squeeze. Not that he ever will be, mind you. Doctorow's a lover, not "The Decider." Without doubt, there's a larger point to be made about exuberant online rhetoric, Boing Boing's popularity, Doctorow's influence, &c. It being Sunday and me having a long slog through minimally edited prose ahead, I'll need you to tackle that for me. Speak brilliance, people: I don't want to swipe second-rate material. UPDATE: Someone requested the short version of that argument, so here it is: Doctorow's wandering eye is endemic to blogs as a genre. He can't help but have fleeting infatuations with momentarily indispensable items, because otherwise he wouldn't have anything to write about. I'm not saying his enthusiasm isn't genuine; only that it's structured, in part, by a blog-based mentality. Is this a good thing? Depends. I'd find it exhausting and expensive—as I did during those unhalcyon BBS days—but I see Doctorow as a member of the tech-class whose interests and finances outstrip mine, so I've no doubt he lives a fascinating and fulfilling life.

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