Monday, February 7, 2011

Dreaming of Tablets

I have previously acknowledged that I counted every single tablet at CES last month. I don't have any particular allegiance to this category. I just wanted to be able to say that I touched every one of these fleeting pieces of technology because most won't be around for an encore in 2012.  We saw the same thing with e-readers in 2010.  Manufacturers have every right, as psychologist C.G. Jung noted, to "dream the dream onward" but that is probably not enough of a strategic plan.

I just finished a very productive series of meetings with publishers and, not surprisingly, tablets are very prominent in the collective psyche of media executives, obviously helped by Murdoch's gutsy launch of The Daily. How can I possibly top that? Well, I could dream about the primordial tablet. And I did.

The dreamscape was familiar. I was pulled into a publisher meeting, outdoors, in bright sunlight at a picnic bench.  Those at the table were "working" with stones that looked like tablets, some the shape of the iPad; other round or oval-shaped.  All were "virgin" in the sense that they held no writing or designs except occasional hieroglyphics. The charge from no one in particular was to "play" with the tablets, testing treatment, inks, and rough content.  The meeting was open and collegial marked by experimentation and play.

I've studied Jungian psychology for fifteen years and won't bore you with remarks about the unconscious and working and playing with primal matter.  Actually, I just did. But don't get me started on hieroglyphics.

I stand with a neurologist friend who says most dreams represent "neural dumping," though I wished he had used something with less of an excremental feel.  On the other hand, my mother told me that if you dream something on a Friday night, it will be "Saturday true."

OK Mum; you win. At least the dream took me away from CES and the militant, singular march towards tablet progress. Come to think of it, I heard a similar sentiment in many of my meeting from execs who are willing to risk and play and discover in the broad sunlight.

And that's no picnic, symbolically speaking.


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