The iPad announcement was made eight days ago.
I'm sick of it already.
I'm sick of trendy geeks posting pornographic pictures of it all over the Internet.
I'm sick of slavering, shave-heads panting with expectation, unable to contain themselves until the March launch day.
I'm sick of vacuous pleasure-seekers vying to be first to show off on the 8.35 to Charing Cross the morning after.
Hey, look at this thing everybody, I can hold it like this, or I can hold it like this, cool eh?
And I'm sick of all of the above trying to convince us all that its a necessary technology that filled a gaping hole in the computer market.
You know, the one between a smartphone, I think theyre called, and a laptop.
The one that the Netbook or something, or perhaps it was the Tablet PC once tried to fill.
The one next to Newton, or Pippin or whatever.
That gap there, look.
Yes that one.
God forbid we don't give people enough choice.
For choice is freedom, isn't it?
And society cannot function let alone develop without freedom can it?
So for every option we are given today, there are a dozen, a hundred, a thousand alternatives out there to help us tumble towards a cultural and commercial future in which independence and autonomy are held up as absolute rights.
But what if choice doesn't provide us with the freedom we think it does and hamstrings us instead?
What if it leads to a kind of paralysis that rather than facilitating progress merely lowers a drag anchor?
In The Paradox of Choice, psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that this is indeed the case.
His theory is that with more things to choose from, we find it more difficult to decide.
So we put that decision off until some other time.
A time that often doesn't ever turn up.
How many times have you heard someone say and I don't count the aforementioned minority of uber-geeks in this, they'll choose anything and everything the minute it makes an appearance, they're hardwired that way I'm not going to get it right now, I'll wait for the upgrade?
Or the up-something.
And a year or two later they're still waiting.
Actually, part of the problem is, they're afraid of making the wrong choice in case they're not happy with it.
They've done it before and regretted it.
So they hang back and wait.
And wait and wait.
It's much better than deciding and having the expectations that it's the best decision dashed.
Which, now that expectations in our super-slick, have-it-all, gadget-for-this-gadget-for-that, compulsively competitive society are so sky-high, is something we have all now come to expect.
So thanks all those freedom flag-bearers and corporate option-providers.
Thanks for filling all those little gaps for us.
The ones we hadn't noticed were there.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be unable to make a decision.
And to regret the ones we do make.
Thanks for telling us that choice is all.
Professor Schwartz agrees that some choice is better than none but believes that too much choice is bad for us.
It paralyses us.
And who, in a western economy, wants paralysed consumers?
So if marketers want people to choose more, maybe one way is to give them less to choose from.
One less pointless techie toy would be a start.