The Way We Live Now

Articles or lists like this one always leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Not that I have anything against Guitar Hero, or want to cast aspersions on Nintendo products, but, operating systems aside…where are the tools, on this list, for the way that we really live, in the day to day? They seem largely buried, in this laundry list, between widgets and gadgets.

Now, I suppose this is due in part to the fact that when things just work, we rarely think to laud them with praise, or to trumpet their silently innovative way of making our lives smoother. Cars have long been old-hat, I barely give thought to my laptop, and I certainly don’t marvel over an air-conditioner. When these things break, however, I’m not going to turn to Guitar Hero to fix them, or, to my iPod for solace. I’m going to look for the best tools that I can find to fix the problem, and then to prevent it from happening again–things like ElephantDrive, that toil quietly and efficiently in the background of my life, so that everything in it just…works. I’m inclined to think that the measure of a product, in terms of whether or not it’s the ‘best’, isn’t necessarily about how entertaining it is, or how much procrastination it enables you to do. It’s also about how it can make the routine effortless and easy, and how it takes care of the future by functioning well in the present. I’d like to see PC World make that list.

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