Five things I’m thinking about.
Devoid of any of my own creativity or imagination I’m following on from Chris Phin and others.
Time is a strange concept, we live by it all of our lives, but really, it doesn’t exist. Time is a manmade construct, sure the sun comes up and goes down, but only we split that into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years. However, that’s not how I’ve been thinking about time, I’ve been thinking about it in the technological sense.
Lots of people seem to be stuck in the near past and present when it comes to technology. They dismiss or defend pieces of technology based upon what happened shortly before and what’s happening now. Take, for instance, the current mini storm in a teacup that is Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. How long has the Internet been around? By comparison to powered flight we’re still attaching wings made of wax to young boys. To claim that something is dead or that it is irreplaceable just seems wrong to me. Everything that exists will, at some point cease to exist.
I began to form longer term views when I wrote my first review for MacUser. Ian Betteridge (you can see his five things here) read the first line and snorted with laughter. That first line was something like: Digital cameras have come a long way. True, but as Ian pointed out to my wet behind the ears young self ‘bleeding obvious’. I really do see that exact moment as the beginning of something in my own brain like Ian hit a switch, it’s been extended and honed by my work and the advice of others but that was the starting point.
Worse than pointing out the inevitable change over time, however is the idea that nothing does change. People seem to be certain that things will work the way they always did. Apple will lose to Microsoft, Google will lose to Microsoft, there will be only one dominant player in any industry and that will most likely be Microsoft. Imagine how amazing the tech world will be if that’s not the case and five or six companies have enough market share to be relevant, innovative and solvent.
I want to live by the sea again. When i was at university we lived in Scarborough and as we were students not there during tourist season. Living on the coast is wonderful and I want do do so again. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
Nobody waits any more, everyone is certain what will happen. The Times puts up a pay wall and IT WILL FAIL, Apple doesn’t add Flash to its products, IT WILL FAIL. The news isn’t so much reporting of what happened anymore as much as it is speculating on what will happen in the future. Take the emergence of personality news readers like Robert Peston and Adam Boulton, they are interviewed as experts all the time. The news ticker never rolls ‘this is wild speculation based on rumours and inside sources with an axe to grind’. No, Robert Peston is held up as some kind of demi-god expert, which he isn’t. I’ve been interviewed a few times for the radio and TV about Apple stuff mainly, but it’s never been used. I like to tell myself that it’s because they ran out of time, but in reality I know it’s because my answers mainly fall into one of two categories: Maybe and Its much more complicated than that. Hardly equivocal and that’s what the news needs, subject A must have an advocate and a detractor and the news reader facilitates the argument. What actually happened is left out because everyone knows that nobody knows yet how that will pan out. ‘will the iPad fail because Apple left Flash out?’ I was asked, my response was ‘let’s wait and see’. The comeback to that answer: ‘Cant you tell me now?’
Why is no so popular? I think it’s because yes means more work and responsibility. I wish that yes was the easy answer, but no has so much more appeal as it requires you do nothing. Next time you’re saying no to something ask yourself why you’re saying no.
And here’s where my attempt at witty titles for my five things falls down, almost. I’m going to use man in the sense that it’s people. Not exactly modern and PC but still. I’ve been thinking this a lot recently and it’s something that really does resonate when I read or see an Apple event. When I’m out I notice iPhones, sad yes, but true, and you know who I see using them most? People. Ordinary people, not geeks or sweaty tech types. People who don’t scour the Internet for stories about antenna. People who know nothing of walled gardens and care much less. The iPhone has tipped past that 12% early adopters mark, but importantly it’s bearing down on the late adopters too and the next stop is laggards. And it just goes to show that you can know that people won’t pay that much for a phone that doesn’t run Flash and say no it’ll never sell, but actually if you wait and see you’ll find that’s not necessarily the case.
And here are five things I’ve been trying not to think about: