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Sententiae viri ex temporibus duobus

Technology and "Theogeny"

I was particularly interested in one of the last pictures I saw from Engaget’s liveblog of the Apple iPad2 announcement. It was a picture of two crossed street signs (black letters on white field, just like the city of San Francisco) between “Liberal Arts” and “Technology.” Topolsky blogged the following, quoting or paraphrasing Steve:

[caption id=“attachment_2183” align=“aligncenter” width=“300” caption=“At the crossroads of progress?”]Engaget's photo of the iPad2 release[/caption]

“It’s tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it’s the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are pos[sic]-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive.” – Steve Jobs

I’ve always agreed with this sentiment. Technology without humanity is how you get liquid metal, time-traveling assassins in service to SkyNet and humanity without technology is how you get over-introspective, emotivist populations rife for manipulation. Interestingly this philosophical quip from St. Steven of Cupertino also has a stunning rhetorical payload:

  1. Defines now as the post-PC era: There was a PC era, we lost to WinTel in the 80’s and 90’s, but the 21st century’s opening decades are plainly ours.
  2. Note the players in the post-PC era: Samsung, Google…no Microsoft, no Nokia. The message is clear, “Those guys in Redmond? They’re just not relevant anymore.”
  3. In Apple’s DNA: I think this is a particularly important telegraph. Jobs seems to be saying: “This competitive advantage is not in corpore of Jobs, it is within the institution. Wall Street, stop hedging your stock positions on my health.” Although I wish Mr. Jobs the best in facing his health battles

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