merlin mann is a funny dude. so recently a company calling themselves “information architects” released an app called “writer” for the ipad. it seems that this company generated a bit of buzz for their product rollout, exemplified in this gizmodo post. merlin skewers them here. not sure which i found funnier between the earnest press release and the sarcastic response.
one of the things i’ve noticed in my travels is that when a u.s. citizen is in a foreign country and is asked where he/she is from, the reply is usually the united states. the exception is californians and new yorkers. people who hail from the big apple reflexively lay claim to new york, and people from anywhere in california (especially angelenos) will mention california. i’d be the first to admit that this might imply a peculiar and specific type of self-centered worldview.
speaking of worldviews, i may have mentioned previously that i’m a fan of william gibson and neal stephenson. one thing these authors have in common is the ability to write big stories involving issues that are global in scale. somehow these stories often involve my neighorhood. one example would be “snow crash” by stephenson, which takes place in mostly in the south bay region of los angeles county.
at the moment i’m reading “zero history” which is gibson’s latest. one thing i can’t get out of my head is that he has co-opted the proper noun “anaheim” and re-purposed it to describe a specific type of urbanization. he describes the “anaheiming” of a neighborhood. as a southern california local, this immediately caught my eye.
i guess i keep thinking about this because i wonder how much of our regional self-centered worldview is based in reality. will most people intuitively understand what “anaheiming” means without an explanation? the only reason i can think of that they might is because of the global scale of the disney brand…but nowadays don’t most people think of florida when they think of disney? i guess i wonder about the cultural significance of our region. i acknowledge that our local entertainment industry has tremendous influence, but i’m not sure we’ve promulgated much into the zeitgeist which is specific to anaheim. are we really so exposed that even our little local towns can be used as verbs?