Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

Admittedly, I've always been an Apple guy. The interface was always more intuitive for me, and I just wanted my computer to be a tool, not a hobby. I wanted it to be seamless with the function I wanted it to do, and I wanted what interaction I did have to be esthetically pleasing. Like cooking in a pretty kitchen.
Now you don't need a pretty kitchen to cook a great meal, but I prefer it. Some of the best cooks I know have chaotic kitchens with pots and pans everywhere. And their food is great. But I end up frazzled in that kind of kitchen.

But Mr. Jobs, well, he saw further. He saw past just making a pretty kitchen, and wanted you to have an entirely new perspective on cooking. It's still cooking, but you can do it in a new way.

iMac, to iPod, to iPad. All of these devices are changing how we view and handle information and so many of the outcomes of these. The portability, the effortlessness of the interface. These let us focus on the task, not on how we do it.

And that, in my mind, is what good design is all about.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Had some friends over last night. Couple of Marxists (though we have argued about exactly what they are, so I may be a little off there - but you get the idea). We talked about the my new house reno, about the food they cooked for us - yes, they visit us and then cook. Awesome or what? I did supply the wine though, and there was a fair bit of it.

And we talked about politics. Not about the tactical back and forth that you see on the TV. Not even the policy that you see on some of the more in depth coverage shows that have a small (if dedicated) viewership. But about what we think the system should do. What the system means. All very meta stuff and I was thinking a lot about the culture that would yield a society where these kinds of conversations would be more prevalent.

Conversations  about what it means to live in the world we are in. Not always that meta shit, but also about policy, about what matters to us. Not just politics either, but arts and sports (doing and watching) and crafts and hobbies - stuff that has more substance - because fun is serious stuff.

And you know, serious topics can be presented in an interesting way. Look at any good documentary. So what is it in our culture that keeps us from doing this more. Are we all just too tired, or is it simply that we are getting shouted down by the latest ephemera from the world of reality TV.

And who makes that choice. Because its not just us. We can choose not to partake, but if the culture as a whole is screaming about the seasonal stars of Big Brother and the like, well it's difficult to talk over the nonsensical din.