Archive for October 2011
I voted Conservative because although I was aware a right leaning government would do a few things some of us would disapprove of (such as sacrificing the environment to profit their source of donations), I assumed (based on pre-election promises and prior philosophies), that the new government would repel the various dystopian, privacy invading and/or for profit laws introduced by the prior regime and threatened by the greatest evil of all, the rising Eurasia.
Unfortunately, we were either betrayed or stupid. Or both.
(I hoped that I would finally gain more time for other community causes, with little need to continue to commenting about the subject of this post or within the separate Towards Dystopia section of Vision Aforethought, believing we were no longer threatened by such issues. How wrong I was.)
Just in the last few days there have been several examples of new laws and behaviour by council jobsworths that will do what the SS and KGB did so well not much more than 50 years ago, namely, create a society where we fear doing everyday things that previously were taken for granted and caused little or no harm to anyone. In fact, they were part of what made life entertaining, enlightening, intriguing and surprising!
From about 4 or 5 years onwards, like all (not most) of my friends, I blew up hundreds of balloons, blew party whistles, shot an air gun in our back garden (from 10), climbed trees, swam in rivers and lakes, made things out of wood and nails – and engaged in many other activities out in the physical world. Whilst I think once in a while (over a period of many years), we did get hurt (slight scratch here, bruise there), not one of those I know ever suffered a major injury. (Ah, Dominic fell out of a tree, and Sebastian fell of his bike, but bones do repair, and they are alive and well today. Bless!)
Today of course, more and more youth are fed diets of junk food that did not exist 20 years ago, sit in front of televisions watching programming that is intellectually 1/10th of what we were (thankfully) bought up on whilst deposits slowly build up in their arteries, others are disallowed or discouraged from engaging in strength and character building activities at school and elsewhere. All this leading to a whole generation (some now becoming clueless subservient parents too, God help their children!) of humans who will die prematurely of diabetes, cancer and/or heart failure several years earlier than my generation will. In fact, the number of people who will perish that way will be an order of magnitude greater than those who die every year from blowing up a balloon.
Those who have studied their history know that in reality, all this has nothing to do with safety, and all about what most dystopian regimes do, and that is projecting their personal insecurities by prying into our homes (What? You don’t think a swarm of jobsworths will pounce on your home because little Robbie blew a party whistle? We’re almost there.) and extinguishing any sense of fun or danger that does not emanate from a ‘2D’ medium, in this case, that opiate, Saturday morning television.
Fight back club: God help us all, really.
What is really worrying? A dangerously large proportion of people through no fault of their own have absolutely no clue as to what is going on.
Oh, and if you believe that that former bastion of liberty and trust will come to our rescue, think again!
The bright green LED digits on my cube shaped clock radio indicated I had awoken this morning at 06:25. Seconds later, just as I was deciding whether to get up or roll over, my iPad emitted it’s gentle incoming email sound. A tone that differs from the regular cold blips and beeps that other devices and machines make — less of a disturbance, more of a friendly, “Hey there, just letting you know.”
The email was from a good friend I met in 1992 whilst he was working in Computer Attic on University Avenue in Palo Alto. An Apple authorised reseller, the Attic was staffed by people who loved what they sold in an enthusiastic manner that to this day, no other company or brand has been able to emulate. The email was a short comment that eluded to the fact Steve Jobs had passed away – my first notification of the sad news.
The reason why people are drawn to Apple is because in their hearts they know there is someone at work behind the scenes striving to perfect the company’s current innovations whilst at the same time working on the next ‘insanely great’ thing.
Apple is in effect, sentient.
That passion, awareness and drive offers some an inner confidence, that no detail will be ignored and our current and future sensitivities and (often) subconcious desires will be taken care of, even if sometimes (frustratingly) according to Apple’s timetable, not ours.
The thoughtful effort put into crafting the gentle ‘ding’ that greeted my awakening this morning is what makes Apple different, thanks to Steve Jobs.
Update (Nov 2011): Despite a lifelong interest in Steve and Apple, and close association with the company and some key employees (on a personal and business level), it is only since reading the large number of quotes from his official biography (and some recently uncovered video recordings) that I have learned so much about Steve Job’s philosophies and thoughts on so many subjects. Each of which is rational, logical and deeply compassionate, the latter of which is often hidden when such a CEO is disciplining and micro managing his team to ensure said philosophies are adhered too within the company and product! I have always felt the same way and think it a great pity these thoughts of his were not made more public prior to his passing. Such a pity too so few companies are lead by people who ‘get it’ and see beyond their station.
Update (Dec 30 2011): In what one could call a momentary lapse of reason, when I originally posted this, I somehow left out the most important fact – the email I received on the iPad was regarding Steve’s passing and the first I learned of the news. I have updated the post above to reflect this. Strange how the mind works, or doesn’t.