Adding an iPod-ready stereo is the best modification I’ve made to my car.  I don’t get a lot of TV or radio-time, so much of my media exposure comes from listening to (mostly) NPR podcasts while driving:  This American Life, Radiolab, To the Best of Our Knowledge, Story of the Day, TED Talks. None of this requires mental heavy lifting – no chess problems to solve, no square roots to calculate.

All the same, driving is job one, and occasionally I’m distracted by traffic and miss what was said.  Which is easily enough remedied with a quick peck on the rewind button.  It’s very convenient.  So convenient, in fact, that I find myself bringing this modality to my real world, face to face interactions.  When someone says something I didn’t quite get, or that I’d just like to hear again, I find myself reaching forward for their rewind button.  I have to stop myself, like Dr. Strangelove at the end of the movie.

I think it was Ben Affleck who said that if he were rich, all he’d change is throwing away the unopened pistachios.  (I realize that doesn’t make any sense –  I’m sure Ben Affleck can afford all the pistachios he wants – but that’s how I remember it.)  If I were rich, really really Bill Gates raised to the Rupert Murdoch rich, I think I’d require rewind buttons on everyone I met.


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