Computers Can Annoy, Anecdotal Reporting Finds... Again

New York Observer new gal Meredith Bryan has two solid swings this week: one hit (seriously, the Klute haircut piece! Wild!) and one miss. In the latter article, she writes of an annoying trend that's plaguing Williamsburg and presumably other places where people have a) dinner parties and b) computers. "We were sitting around eating appetizers and drinking wine," Meredith quotes "Eleanna, a 27-year-old artist who lives in Williamsburg" as saying. "Then we somehow started having an argument about yams and sweet potatoes. As in, 'Is a yam a sweet potato?' And Matt was like, 'That's it, I'm going online.' So we all crowded around his computer and learned that yams were not sweet potatoes. This was like, the evening's entertainment." Dear god. This article. Really? Let's all hop into the wayback machine and travel to February 15, 2007, the last time an iteration of this 'technology and real human interaction meet and mingle, so wacky-annoying' article made us want to punch someone in the face.

"It's stunning to be able to access something so obscure so effortlessly," said John Hoffman, vice president of documentary programming at HBO. He was recently at WD-50, a Lower East Side restaurant, arguing with two friends about whether the Immaculate Conception referred to the birth of the Virgin Mary or to Jesus. Before you could say "Parsnip tart with quinoa, hazelnuts and bok choy," Mr. Hoffman used his BlackBerry to connect to Wikipedia and recited that it was Mary who "was preserved by God from the stain of original sin at the time of her own conception." "This research use of the BlackBerry verges on magical and it's not alienating," he said in an e-mail message. "So much more was learned by all. And no one felt bludgeoned into admitting they were wrong."
Potato, potahtoh. Yam, sweet potato. Virgin Mary, Jesus. Observer, Times. LET US CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF. PLEASE.

The Laptop Who Came To Dinner [NYO]