“One can’t help being struck by the volume and vehemence of apparently technologically sophisticated people inveighing against the iPad,” Fraser Speirs blogs. “What you’re seeing in the industry’s reaction to the iPad is nothing less than future shock.”
Speirs continues, “For years we’ve all held to the belief that computing had to be made simpler for the ‘average person’. I find it difficult to come to any conclusion other than that we have totally failed in this effort… Secretly, I suspect, we technologists quite liked the idea that Normals would be dependent on us for our technological shamanism,” Speirs writes. “Those incantations that only we can perform to heal their computers, those oracular proclamations that we make over the future and the blessings we bestow on purchasing choices.”
“I’m often saddened by the infantilising effect of high technology on adults,” Speirs writes. “From being in control of their world, they’re thrust back to a childish, mediaeval world in which gremlins appear to torment them and disappear at will and against which magic, spells, and the local witch doctor are their only refuges… With the iPhone OS as incarnated in the iPad, Apple proposes to do something about this, and I mean really do something about it instead of just talking about doing something about it, and the world is going mental.”
“Not the entire world, though. The people whose backs have been broken under the weight of technological complexity and failure immediately understand what’s happening here… The visigoths are at the gate of the city. They’re demanding access to software. they’re demanding to be in control of their own experience of information… They are the people we have claimed to serve for 30 years whilst screwing them over in innumerable ways,” Speirs writes. “There are also many, many more of them than us.”
“Think of the millions of hours of human effort spent on preventing and recovering from the problems caused by completely open computer systems. Think of the lengths that people have gone to in order to acquire skills that are orthogonal to their core interests and their job, just so they can get their job done,” Speirs writes. “If the iPad and its successor devices free these people to focus on what they do best, it will dramatically change people’s perceptions of computing from something to fear to something to engage enthusiastically with. I find it hard to believe that the loss of background processing isn’t a price worth paying to have a computer that isn’t frightening anymore.”
Speirs writes, “In the meantime, Adobe and Microsoft will continue to stamp their feet and whine.”
Please click through and read the excellent full article — it’s worth it; Speirs really gets it — here.
MacDailyNews Take: The Dark Ages of Personal Computing ushered in by the scheming, thieving, tasteless Bill Gates and Microsoft are finally, thankfully coming to an end.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Dow C." for the heads up.]