Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Yes we have no bananas today

While driving to the airport this morning, I caught a traffic warning about an overturned fruit truck just north of where I was, so even with 15 minutes on city streets, I managed to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, rather than being stuck behind a crew trying to deal with 3000 pounds of bananas all over 101.

Try telling a client that you can’t make a meeting because the entire highway slipped on a banana. Fortunately, I’m not in that position…. I am, however, in a hotel with NO WIFI, so I’m down in the business center, plugged into their Ethernet. It’s interesting watching my reaction: I know that Wifi isn’t ubiquitous yet, and there are tons of places in Silicon Valley where I never check for it because I know it’s not there; and yet, I get to the hotel, realize there’s no wireless, instantly feel like I’ve parachuted into the middle of nowhere, and get all Creative Class City Bitchy.

I need to switch to decaf.

I went to dinner tonight at a P. F. Changs that’s the anchor of this mall that’s a wonderfully weird little faux main street. It’s got P. F. Chang’s at one end, a Barnes and Noble at the other, and this block with old-fashioned looking streetlamps and benches. It’s so sincere, and in some way I can’t precisely describe, amazingly hideous. It makes Walt Disney’s Main Street USA look real. I loved it.


  1. I know the feeling! It’s amazing. You learn where there’s WiFi in your own, personal region–say, at school, or at work–and don’t even think to check where it’s not, but when you get somewhere else and realize it’s not there, it’s torture.

  2. I know it’s quite irrational a reaction, but still I have it. You mean, I’m NOT CONNECTED? In exactly the way I want?

    The thing is, I can’t remember feeling this way when I couldn’t get a connection through my modem, or even in the Ethernet-only days. There’s something about Wifi that sparks a quantum leap in user expectations.

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