I came across an article this morning on PCWorld that made me snicker and I just wanted to share my amusement. The titles of the article was The New Kindle Fire: What We Know, and it covered the rumors about the Kindle Fire.
I probably have a different viewpoint from everyone else, so if you’re wondering what we know about the next Kindle Fire let me sum it up in a single sentence:
We Don’t Know a Damn Thing.
I’m sure you’ve read all the many rumors about the Kindle Fire, including ones on the screen size, ports, price, release date, and hardware specs, and you might be wondering why I insist we know nothing. That’s simple.
All those details you know about the rumors are details about the rumors; they have absolutely nothing to do with whatever Kindle Fire might or might not.
The existence of rumors cannot be used to show that the new Kindle Fire exists, is being worked on, or has even been discussed by Amazon. The only details you can get from the rumors is that there are rumors about the Kindle Fire.
I suppose this comes across as picking nits and more than a bit hypocritical given that I write about the rumors myself. The thing is, I don’t regard the rumors as having anything to do the device mentioned; they’re a completely separate news topic.
And no that’s not splitting hairs; I see rumors as little more than gossip (and if the rumor comes from Digitimes I see it as an excuse to join in the fun and simply make shit up). IMO, all these blogs covering all these iPad Mini, iPhone launch date, new Kindle Fire, and so on rumors are engaging in tabloid blogging. And yes, I’m including myself in that group. In writing about the Kindle Fire rumors we are sinking to the same level as the gossip rags found in the checkout lanes in supermarkets.
And as for why I do it, well, I figure if SlashGear, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and all the other leading lights in blogging think reporting on rumors is reputable then I might as well roll around in the mud with the rest of them.
I was snickering about the PCWorld article because its author confused the existence of rumors with a device that, when you get right down to it, we don’t know exists. Sure, I believe it exists, but I do not know that this is so.
The difference is that you can only know a fact, and right now we have absolutely no substantiated facts about the new KF. All we have are rumors, and while I happen to believe in the rumors I am also careful to separate beliefs from facts.
P.S. And yes, the irony of a blogger with (at best) indifferent copyediting skills obsessing over the lexicography of knowledge/belief is not lost on me. I’m strange like that.