Thursday, October 06, 2011

Prometheus Fallen

I've shed a few tears today...perhaps that's hokey to some but I really can't think of another person, outside of my immediate friends and family, who has influenced my life as much as Jobs (and Woz).

Most of the peeps on the planet who use Apple products don't understand the magnitude of what Jobs, Woz and the Homebrew Computer Club did to liberate the power of computer technology to the masses.  They were stealing it, re-inventing it, liberating it....when TPTB would have stifled it and kept it to themselves.

Jobs and Woz....are what makes America great.  They are what makes humanity great.

Trip the Infinite Loop, Steve...Ashe'.   


Anonymous said...

Nice. Agree.

Yep, thanks, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree. For every one person that technology has benefitted, I come across (driving behind, walking around, etc.) more that have turned more brainless. That's not to mention where and how Apple has their products produced. It's worse than the old Nike sweatshop days.

Jason Brad Berry said...

That's fine...disagree. It's a personal thing for me. I feel my life and the world was enormously enriched by the man's vision and offerings.

Anonymous said...

I just can't ignore (and, believe me, I'm no bleeding heart) the conditions are so terrible at a factory that makes Apple products that almost 20 people tried to kill themselves by jumping out of the windows just last year. The response was not to change conditions but to attach nets to catch suicide jumpers. We (not me, but generally speaking of Americans) use iphones with blood on our hands.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Documented where?

Anonymous said...

Am I allowed to agree with both sides here?

I helped an elderly friend figure out her ipad this week.

It was an interesting experience. She is not at all computer literate. It was weird to have to explain that the double clicking on the screen came about because we are all used to double clicking on a mouse. "Why do you tap it twice?" was a surprising question.

She had no frame of reference for the history of those activities and gestures, so it took her longer to figure out how to interact with her new machine.

A computer programmer friend of mine talks to me sometimes about "cognitive ergonomics", and I think that might be a useful concept here.

As I explored the two programs most interesting to my old lady friend, the calendar and the maps, she was enthralled. Her sheer wonder was moving.

It was stupidly moving.

I cried, and then I tried to pretend I was not crying.

Then I found it funny that she could not really wrap her head around how her e-mail was related to the internet. Hypertext confused the shit out of her.

I can't afford an ipad myself. I use a no-contract cell phone, and I use it sparingly. I've never played Angry Birds, which seems like a moronic waste of time.

I do use Apple technology at work, and like most designers and creative types, I respond to the technology very well.

It is changing us; my immediate fluency with a more intimate and tactile Apple product than I was used to using, and the confusion of my friend, let me appreciate the sophistication of the grammar of gestures Steve Jobs created and refined.

He invented something truly new, something bigger and more important than a simple tool or technology.

I wanted to talk to a choreographer friend of mine about the language of gestures he created and taught us.

Sign language and the many meaningful hand gestures in Asian dance forms and theatrical traditions, and the ritual gestures we perform if we practice a religion sprang to mind for me.

One guy changed how we think and how we see. The soft touches required for the new Apple screens will change how we touch each other, I am sure of it. His work is altering social relationships in astonishing ways. It is awesome. It is so big it is hard to label it good or bad. It just is.

That the resource extraction and labour-capital relationships underpinning the society are just as troubling and exploitative as they were before, perhaps more so, is distressing.

"Brainless" might not be the right word for those of us who love the pretty visual world of Apple, but I highly recommend the old essay "in the beginning was the command line interface" for an interesting read.

We've lost something as well as gained something by embracing innovations that take us farther and farther from source code.

Silicon Valley itself used to be a beautiful fruit growing region, and before that, a wild place treated with respect and reverence by communities that had lived there in a balanced way for many ages.

The wars in Africa over coltan and the other minerals required by our wonderful machines I try to ignore. That's a terrible thing to say.

The lives the kids in particular are living in those hell zones is sickening. If we were better people, we would look at the pictures of those kids and say, "it's not worth it".

I typed that last sentence using the keyboard of my MacBook, and if it were not for the world Steve Jobs built, we would not be communicating this way at all. Even Angry anon is over here with Zombie's bloody handed bunch. RIP Steve Jobs.

Anonymous said...

Watched his Stanford grad class speech today on YouTube . Truly inspiring. There is always controversy. as a gifted art (k-8) teacher I will be playing that for my students who do travel to the beat of a different drum. I never touched windows until I was issued a Dell for school. Way to much work to move stuff around. Not visual friendly.