Sirenic Laptop

“First you will come to the Sirens, who bewitch all men who come near. Anyone who approaches unaware and hears their voice will never again be welcomed home by wife and children, dancing with joy at his return—not after the Sirens bewitch him with song.”—Homer, The Odyssey

We ought to wonder at the hypnotic powers of a laptop, perched atop a student’s desk during class. It seems to exert a kind of gravitational pull upon the gaze of all within range, like that pornographic highway billboard you disapprove of politically but can’t stop staring at. Not even the best seem immune to its sirenic charms. I used to think student usage of laptops in the classroom was by and large benign. But I’ve changed my mind. Why? Because I’ve yet to see any evidence that it adds anything positive to the classroom environment. I have, however, seen plenty of evidence which suggests that it’s detrimental. As such, though much laptop usage may be benign, it seems prudent to prohibit it categorically regardless.

—John Faithful Hamer, The Goldfish (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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