Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, December 02, 2003
# 9:26:00 AM:

Getting beneath the skin

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Get in deep to the aura of the iPod, via the New York Times Magazine. My favourite bit:

I didn't expect much when I resorted to asking, in so many words, whether [Steve Jobs] thinks consciously about innovation.

''No,'' he said, peevishly. ''We consciously think about making great products. We don't think, 'Let's be innovative!''' He waved his hands for effect. '''Let's take a class! Here are the five rules of innovation, let's put them up all over the company!'''

Well, I said defensively, there are people who do just that.

''Of course they do.'' I felt his annoyance shift elsewhere. ''And it's like...somebody who's not cool trying to be cool. It's painful to watch."

Also, I'm beginning to think that professional writers like me who have to use Microsoft Word every day are less like experts than practitioners of aikido. We don't master Word so much as we know how to dodge its attacks, and turn the program's own negative energy back against itself to bend it to our will. Which is not the way a program should be.


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