|Image via CrunchBase|
Screeching my car into a Vassar Street parking slot, I looked around for the McNair Building where I was supposed to have been in around half an hour ago. There was not a pedestrian in sight, a rare scenario on the afternoon streets of Cambridge, in and around the MIT area. There was always someone. Finally there he was, that one person, strolling down the street, who seemed like the type to ask directions from. I hailed him with an "Excuse me!", enough to be greeted with a look of mild irritation of having to look away from the magic of the 3.5 inch I-phone screen in his hands.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Would you know where the McNair building might be?" I ventured forth.
"Don't you have a phone?" said Mr. Mildly Irritated
"I do." I answered, more than a little puzzled, struggling to bring out my phone from my pocket.
Seeing an Android phone pop out in my hand was the tipping point for my reluctant guide. "Oh! It's not an I-Phone!" he rationalized aloud, justifying to himself the obvious lack of intelligence and sophistication that he seemed to have pre-sensed in me. I would have told him that my smart phone loyalties were not iron-clad, that I wasn't allied to the 'enemy'. It was only because I was getting the Samsung Galaxy S for free with my plan that I had one. Didn't seem like he would believe me, so I didn't bother either.
Swift as the wind, he pulled up an app on his piece of technological perfection and punched in 'McNair Building'. What the phone told him, I do not know. All I got was a broad sweep of his arms which I think covered for 50% of the MIT campus in view, as he announced with surety "My phone says this building is somewhere over there."
"Thanks!" I said, with force-of-habit politeness. Then almost eclipsed by his triumphant face, I saw the stencilled name McNair on the wall of the building about 1o feet behind him. I would have pointed that out to him too, but then who was I to endlessly, hopelessly deny the future. Using them things called eyes would be too much work and accessing that messy gadget called a brain would mean total under-utilization of that monthly 3G data limit.