Probably the most amusing leitmotif I’ve noticed in the twopointopian orchestra lately is the warning to their huge audiences of wide-eyed, slack-minded followers to avoid something called "technolust."
(I could point you to blogs, but I’ve been informed by friends that some of these sensitive souls either tear up or froth at the mouth whenever the AL points out their inanities directly. You’ll just have to guess!)
Technolust seems to be the uncontrollable desire to fondle every shiny new gadget that comes along and enthusiastically promote it as the solution to everyone’s problems, regardless of your library or situation..
It’s amusing for so many reasons. For one, very few of us suffer from "technolust" in the first place. We hardly need a warning to avoid a flaw that we don’t have.
It’s an unnecessary warning for most of us, but seems even stranger given the sources, for "technolust" is surely a defining flaw of the twopointopians themselves. Twopointopians warning librarians against technolust is like dipsomaniacs warning Muslims about the dangers of alcohol.
The twopointopians seem to have been chastened by reality, which was much harsher on their foolish pronouncements than even the Annoyed Librarian. "Every library must have a blog!" "Every library must have a wiki!" "Every library must haveiPads!" "Every library must have a Twitter account!" "This is your job now, get used to it!" "Otherwise libraries are dooooomed!"
There was only one problem with those pronouncements. They were bollocks. Everyone seemed to know this but the twopointopians.
I certainly knew it. I’ve been calling the twopointopians on their technolust for years, only to be called a luddite or worse by people who have no idea what they’re talking about. They’ve confused skepticism with reaction. I suppose when you suffer from technolust but have no critical faculties this is what will happen.
One thing that’s puzzled me all along is the way the twopointopians have been promoting their unsubstantiated schemes as a dubious culture of assessment has arisen around us. Both are silly and pretentious, but one would think they’d cancel each other out.
The assessment librarians want to quantify the unquantifiable while the twopointopians want to adopt every new toy but never evaluate anything. Somewhere along the way I expected them to clash. Maybe the twopointopians are so irrelevant no one pays attention to them but conference audiences and me.
I would love to ask them about their recent statements warning against technolust. Is this the first step of their recovery? Did some caring friends or relatives stage an intervention? Did they finally notice that their colleagues’ eyes glazed over every time they started yammering about their latest hobby?
Or maybe they finally realized that the reason I was able to make them look so silly is that they had no justifiable arguments for what they did? That’s it’s just stuff they like to do, even though they claimed their hobbies were absolutely necessary to the future of libraries?
I’d be curious to know. I could ask, I suppose, but twopointopians aren’t very good at introspection. They’re not inner-directed. They’re like toddlers easily distracted by shiny things. Thus, I probably wouldn’t get an answer.
So in the absence of an answer, I’ll just assume they’ve met their match in annoyed librarians tired of their shenanigans. Or, as with the regressive librarians, they got tired of being mocked for their silliness and decided to calm down. It feels good. I came, I saw, I conquered. Then I had a martini.