Random peeve of the day: if someone is only able to explain an idea by using a metaphor or simile, then my takeaway is that they don’t truly understand the idea they’re trying to convey.

It’s sorta like the scene in that ’90s gem, Reality Bites, where Winona Ryder is trying to get a job as a journalist, and the woman interviewing her asks a single question: “Define irony.” As soon as Ryder starts her response with, “Well, irony is like when…” the woman bids her good day. (Later, Ethan Hawke is able to effortlessly rattle off the dictionary definition of irony, a sign that his character is wasting considerable talents.)

Caveat: I get that this is my own peeve and that people best express themselves in different ways. I have just encountered this a few times in my career, and it annoys me almost as much — but not quite — as upspeak.


“In Minority Report, despite Maglev cars and floating user interfaces, people still catch colds. Similarly, I believe that a hundred years from now, something like 25% of restaurant tables will still wobble. Forget about the Singularity or Moore’s Law reaching its zenith, this fact about tables will somehow remain.”


A less-reasoned, more inflammatory take on this topic (http://goo.gl/SyscH) appeared here on G+ a few years ago, and I remember being one of many people who took the author to task, admonishing him to just let people read what they wanna read.

But now, I don’t know. I think now I agree.

Sure, this is possibly a hypocritical stance for someone who plays RPGs, reads comic books, and watches TV shows with vampires and aliens and such — all traditionally “juvenile” media.

Still, I feel like Americans are constantly infantilized, society basically fostering extended childhoods that last well into our thirties. The tin-foil-hatter in me thinks this is purposeful, as it keeps us in a very susceptible stage of our lives as consumers — you are never more irrational about spending than you are as a child. So, yeah, of course, let’s get lots of adults into reading YA books (and thus increase the audience to which we can market). And, yes, I’d even extend this argument beyond YA books and into other media and consumables as well.

Leaving the corporate conspiracy idea aside, I also feel like there is something to be said for reading at your appropriate grade level. I mean, sure, you read a Harry Potter novel once in a while, that’s cool. But as an adult, you live in a wider world; you (ideally) have more perspective and more experience to draw upon. Shouldn’t the books you read have the same breadth? The movies you see? The music you listen to?

At some point, don’t we have to grow up?

(FYI, I created this Collection specifically for this post. I’m sure it’ll be off-putting to some, but the idea has been rattling around my head for a while now and I wanted to just get it out.)