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Stupid, sentimental bullshit...or Aging Bitter Gay Jewish Artist Hates Republicans, Writers who Give Him Bad Reviews and Gwyneth Paltrow...

10/06/2011

Look, let's be fair. Steve Jobs helped start Apple. He got the concept of a personal computer before most anyone else. The SI-FI idea that everyone would want to own a personal computing device that would allow us to do all that cool stuff that couldn't be done when he started selling it to us. We bought it. We bought super expensive typewriters and game consoles with bad graphics and terrible gameplay. Then we went to school and learned BASIC and PASCAL and FORTRAN to write our own terrible programs. Then we went to work and learned how to use a million different business programs running on a different operating system on a computer that could be taken apart and put back together again, one that we could build in our dining room from parts bought at Radio Shack. It would run the programs we used at work. Then we all went out and bought PCs. Steve Jobs wanted us to buy super-expensive home computers that looked great and did pretty things, but no one but artists and architects knew how to use them and none of our friends knew how to fix them and parts and software were mail-order only in most towns. They didn't have the power to run the best games, if you could find the games, and you couldn't share things with your friends or co-workers if you had one, because they had PCs. He was selling a super high end German component stereos with direct-drive turntable and a tube amp, when the rest of us were buying Japanese boom boxes with dual cassette and high-speed dubbing. Oh sure, everyone thought Mac's were better, everyone wanted one, but why? Were they really better? Enough better that they could charge the premium they charged? Nope. Things got worse when they tried to go down-market. At the time, there was no reason to buy a cheap Mac.

Then came the innertubes... content.

Jobs didn't invent the internet, HTML, mp3s or ebooks. What he did do was convince people that all these things were better when viewed, listened to, or read on more expensive, frustratingly over-designed, limited devices.

He was a salesman, a great one. He had a gift for design and the ability to exploit the weakness of the average joe for 'aspirational brands'. Let's face it, anyone who has ever used a Zune and an iPod knows that the Zune is a better device, but who would be caught dead in public using a Zune?

Bill Gates was showing touchscreen tablets years ago, no one could understand why that was a good idea. Steve Jobs removed CD drives from Macs, limited ports and made them virtually unupgradeable, but people bought shitloads of them. Jobs told everyone to 'Think Different' or, in other words, 'This thing does exactly the same thing that the other one does, but it's way cooler. You're cool, aren't you? Buy this one.'

What Steve Jobs did that made him great was to show the world that what we are is a bunch of shallow, selfish, immature poseurs who like cartoons.

A lot like this guy...I refuse to lie to children. What bullshit. We've all seen your act. Get over it. Is everybody in the world still mad at Mommy and Daddy? For fuck's sake, I'm taking a European vacation just so I can piss on the graves of Freud, Lacan and Klein.

Is there anything in this interview that you didn't see coming? I've been more surprised at the end of Murder She Wrote.
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