The iPhone, as you probably well know by now, is the death of the Bar Argument. Not so much the device itself as what it represents — not the ubiquity of information, but the ubiquity of our access to information. Sparse, desolate and frightening are the corners of the world without some sort of accessibility to an endless cache of data. With only half a bar cell service in the depths of Bed-Stuy I can still text message Google to find the address of this dive bar with no goddamned sign we’ve been trying to locate for two hours, or Google text to spellcheck the word “discommodious.” Soon, nearly everyone will have some sort of iPhone or similar device, making us all a constant march of burros carrying around the heavy weight of the internet on our backs at all times, putting the closest thing we’ve ever come to the sum of all human knowledge just a few finger taps away.
Google has previously eliminated or severely reduced the amount of wonder
and mystery left in the world, as it is no longer possible to let a debate with Jeremy Hsieh over how many As are in the preferred spelling of “Khaaaaaan!” simmer over for more than the length of a car ride home (6 is the answer. We would also have accepted 47).