Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Are you a dick? Musings on El Vergatario

I started to read this comment about the so called 'Penis Phone' and I decided to write a post about it, since the translation is not really good.

In Venezuela, when a person is vergatario/a it means he or she is astounding, impressive, qualified. In a different way than English, to be called un güevo or un pipe does not means you are a dick, it means you are a highly skilled person. When I was a child, playing Mario and watching others go through the most difficult levels, it came natural to say to the player !Eres un güevo¡ literally: You are a dick! So the 'penis phone' is not only a non accurate translation, it lacks the context to transmite that here, to be called a male reproductive organ is a good thing (Being called a dickhead, however, is still an insult).

A mixed capital company, Chinese-Venezuelan, designed and built the thing, supposedly the cheapest cellphone in the world, even if I do not believe it, such thing would be in China, not here, but it has MP3 and WAP. I have bought cheaper stuff in the US (no MP3 or WAP, however).

That is one of the amazing things going on these days here, sadly, at the same time with all the crap. For a futurist, these are exciting times, the interaction of developing societies and technology is fascinating to witness, like street peddlers selling 8 Gigabytes flash drives in Cúcuta, the Colombian town across the border.

But, be warned, John Varley already made a prophecy:

'In five years the penis will become obsolete'

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