iSmoke and iMirrors

With no new iPod, nothing as big as the iPhone, Steve Jobs wants iHeadlines, so heypresto: a laptop you can conjure from an envelope! And nobody buys it, and the world keeps spinning.

Molly Wood, our glamorously-named counterpart at CNET US, nails the nail on the nail when she compares the MacBook Air to the Apple Cube. If you're stuck in the last century -- or if you have a Kindle -- you may be aware of William Gibson, who writes 'books', generally about 'the future', and is thus hailed among primitive tribes as an 'author'. His 2003 novel Pattern Recognition starts in London, which is awesome, and it's largely spot-on.

Neil Gaiman may be the genius who brought us Sandman (w00t!) and Stardust (whaaat?) -- but when he said about Pattern Recognition that "Gibson casts a master extrapolator's eye on our present, and shows it to us as if for the first time," he wasn't talking about the Apple Cube that features heavily in the novel. The Cube, which may have seemed like the future back then -- in the past -- is a jarring element in what is otherwise a pitch-perfect look at consumer/capitalist society in an uncertain future.

The MacBook Air is the same thing. It's a design devoid of a context. Nobody needs it. But with no new iPod, nothing as big as the iPhone, Steve Jobs wants iHeadlines. He needs an iPod nano, an iMac with a glass screen, an iHeadline without a deadline: iSmoke and iMirrors.

He wants to conjure a laptop from an envelope, so heypresto: a laptop you can conjure from an envelope! Let's call it the MacBook Air. Let's write about it -- a lot -- for the next week, then forget about it. And nobody buys it, and the world keeps spinning.

And I still want one. So what if the Eee PC is a fifth of the price? Dude, he pulled it out of an envelope!

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