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A bicycle for your mind to ride to the forest Bach concert | Cypress Semiconductor

A bicycle for your mind to ride to the forest Bach concert

Everyone likes "new" and Apple is currently the master of the new that more and more people want, all over the world. And some only see just that, the compulsion to always buy the new product that Apple rolls out each year. I find myself yearning for these new products but tempering my purchases with my Scandinavian immigrant, depression-era-parents-bred values. But I do have an iPhone4, and a Macbook (but it's almost 4 years old now).

in the following 2 minute clip, Stephen Colbert eschews the depressing stories of the day (after reminding us of it all) to gush over his new iPad2, which to him is better than his original iPad, because it's thin, and has a camera (which he demonstrates with his mug). But even so, he is now wishing for iPad3.

A poke at us consumers, but Apple and Steve Jobs are not just about getting us to buy something that is new, but bringing the new/best "tech" to the non-tech masses in a way that it really can become part of their life. The following clip of Steve Jobs from decades back shows him talking about making the computer a bicycle for the mind. The logic is fascinating (not the the source code, the thinking).

And some still point to many of these bicycles adopters as just gullible consumers with more money than sense. When to make a point, the next clip is the epitome of gullible. (And yes, everyone in the clip seems to have an iPhone).

But the "bicycle for the mind" metaphor is much stronger than a simple April Fools gag (although the computers we now carry in our pockets can execute some awesome pranks). Bicycles are not hard to understand and use, but they take a little training. The mind must learn the balance and how to use the two spinning flywheels. And it isn't hard, but once mastered you can go way beyond pedaling and coasting. The next clip is one guy's demonstration, and if his bicycle was a computer he'd probably be cranking out iPhone apps.

Apple is praised not just for design but for function as well. What happens when design trumps function? Often great beauty, as demonstrated in the next clip.

But just as often questionable functionality. The phone shown below (go here for more pictures and info: mocoloco.com/archives/022683.php)

Like so often displayed by Bang and Olufsen in the past, the design can trump the performance and usefulness, but the simplicity of iPhone/iPod/iPad seems to have propelled B&O to create Beosound8, a beautiful presence and expansive sound even from the compressed digital feeds we all consume today.

And at $999 from Amazon it's not cheap, but most reviewers who took time to write agree that to them it was worth it, although one reviewer complained about the paper speaker cones, not what he expected for the price. (See for yourself if you want: www.amazon.com/Bang-Olufsen-BeoSound-8-Black/dp/B004BGTK14/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

So, what is my point? The thing we do is more than simply what we make, write, or say. It is how it affects the world and those around us. Be sure to ask yourself often "Why am I doing this?" and if you can't answer that question well, better start doing it different. Let your mind ride a bicycle.


Jon Pearson

Methods and Madness, April 9, 2011, the 99th day of the year

44 years ago, the maiden flight of the Boeing 737

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