My current building keeps embedding high-tech computer screens in the walls.

I take three elevators to work every morning (shades of the late lamented World Trade Center near my old firm in New York City). Garage elevator to lobby, lobby to 40th floor "sky lobby," sky lobby to my office. When I reach the lobby, the first monitor shows me a schematic of the traffic. Fairly uninteresting when I'm coming from the garage, of course, but useful when I 'm going home.

The latest addition to Elevator Madness, however, is screens in the main elevators with mixed ads and news that cycle through like the ads in movie theatres. It's seductive in a way. On the right of the elevator is the date and time in green letters, while on the left I can contemplate the deeper implications of the factoid that Julia Roberts is buying land from Donald Rumsfeld. Why does my elevator think I need to know this? Is this why things are so screwed up in the Middle East? Is Rummy selling land to anyone else? My God, this is even worse than programmable elevator messages.

Appropriately enough, the company providing content, and I use that term very loosely, to these screens is called Captivate Network. When the Revolution comes, they' ll be the second to go (I figure I'll be the first, for mouthing off so much).

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