Angry Robot

Baldness, Convertibles and High-performance Computing

Male pattern baldness and convertible automobiles are correlated. I don’t know that baldness causes convertibles; it could be that convertibles cause baldness. Nor do I mean, “ha-ha, that balding dude is having a midlife crisis and therefore he bought a corvette. Look, he thinks he’s teens.” If anything, driving a roofless vehicle is an expression of the acceptance and celebration of one’s own cranial rooflessness. Why, after all, do we celebrate the cool rush of wind and sleek aerodynamics in cars, but not on male heads?

So what kind of computer does the balding man buy? Computers, like cars, are sold on speed and power. (I suppose there are some of each which are sold on safety and reliability, but that’s not our concern here.) Sports cars – and I know of no convertible minivans – are performance vehicles first and foremost. They are often ludicrously impractical (bad gas mileage, no space, thief magnet1). While they tell you they are this way for sports purposes, they are this way to attract attention – like the peacock, or the weightlifter. Their rooflessness, though, signifies a very real appreciation for the art of driving, a willingness to embrace rather than block out the whip of wind, the roar of the engine, to agree with Vanishing Point that “speed means freedom of the soul”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 20-inch laptop. In all its back-breaking, battery-eating glory.

1 Spoken from the point of view of someone who seriously considered purchasing a 1983 Pontiac Trans Am V8.