Random juxtaposition of ideas is often, for me, the Web’s most useful gift. Consider this: last night I watched this satirical video about Apple’s iPad mini:
and then 20 minutes later read this really insightful article from MIT Technology Review about “Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems”.
You should enjoy both for yourself. The idea that sparked for me was the false expectation that each generation of Apple stuff be revolutionary, innovative or game-changing. We should place a moratorium on these words when talking about technology.
A faster processor is not revolutionary unless it allows us to do something we couldn’t even think about before.
Better screen resolution isn’t innovative unless it makes things visible that were not visible before. It just makes things look prettier. Prettier is good. Prettier is worth paying for. Prettier isn’t necessarily innovative.
If I were a person who carried things in a purse, I might be tempted to consider a smaller iPad as being game-changing. But only if it meant I could use my iPad in novel situations where I could not previously use it.
I love my iStuff. Desperately and truly. I just happen to believe that Apple is guilty of the kind of advertising hyperbole that diminishes our collective ability to imagine the ways great technology might help actually solve huge, intractable problems.
I’m am so glad to have smartphones, Twitter and streaming video service enriching my daily life. Where are we with world hunger, climate change and space exploration?
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