Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Happy Birthday Phil! - Updated!
For his 81st birthday, Google apparently named their new iPhone competitor after some of Dick's most memorable androids - and his kids aren't happy....
Read the Wired Gadget Lab article here.
Update: I've been thinking about this. The article I've linked above is overly snarky (the article's comments are beyond the pale and suggest nothing less than the death of civility, if not civilization itself), and I certainly don't want this blog to become that kind of cesspool. There's a few ways of looking at this: first, it's weird that Google licensed the name 'Droid' from Lucas' Porkduction Company. Why on earth do you have to license a name? I can understand if they wanted to call it the Google Pepsi Phone, but if you're going to 'license' some variation on the word 'android,' shouldn't some very old Greek guy get the money? Additionally, I would agree with Isa that there is a significant reference to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? with the name Nexus-One. It's kind of a clever gimmick: we know a Nexus-6 is indistinguishable from a human being and in many ways may surpass us. By using the title Nexus-One, Google is suggesting they are on track to make a piece of technology with capabilities superior to us in only five models! But references like this (and this) weave an author into the fabric of a society, not that Philip K Dick's work needs any help being relevant to our times. In my opinion, these references are compliments not commodities, but I'm a idealist, an impoverished one with no words to license at all.
At the end of the Wired article their charticle bot writes:
"For those seeking some Dickian fun, go back to our original post about the Google Nexus and spot the PKD reference we dropped in."
Which, I guess, refers to this line which isn't exactly PKD's line:
"Or the Nexus could be a light that burns twice as bright as all the existing confusion of Android handsets combined..."