Response: Makers VS Takers

In Macworld Magazine this month, Alexandra Samuel wrote about the makers and the takers of technology. She wrote about how now that technology is being so simplified, people are beginning to become more apathetic and complacent. I agree with some of what she was saying, but some items I disagree with.

In her article she stated “Thanks to improvements in the range, functionality, and usability of Apple’s products abd services, even a multidevice freak like me can be lulled into making do with a locked-down iphone, the simplicity of icloud, or the ease of a macbook air”.

I think that Ms. Samuel is confused in connecting simplicity and complacency here. While I agree that iphones are very locked down, their closed atmosphere makes creativity more accessible. When searching for a free photo editing application that went beyond iphoto and actually worked, I went through 10+ different programs and two weeks before finally settling on a program.

 For the same task on the ios app store, it takes 10 minutes. Thanks to the monitoring of Apple, I can find the program instantly, read reviews, download it easily, set it up instantly, and not worry about it infecting my phone. Time is valuable, and time saved finding a program is time that can be put toward more creative usage of my phone.

She also points to the macbook air as an example of technological passivity. The Macbook Air, while sorely expensive is a phenomenal machine. I agree that not everyone needs the latest and greatest technology, but the macbook air isn’t a professional machine. It’s a machine certainly suited for home use, and made for consumers rather than business customers.

OK, So I may have just lost my train of thought on that last one, but what I’m trying to say is that simplicity is a good thing. Searching around the web for solutions and being inventive was fun while it lasted and beneficial in teaching independent problem solving, but simplicity means consumers can spend time thinking about things more important than their computer such as their work or family. Technology’s ultimate goal is to assist in the greatest possible way while interfering with our lives the least, so by that standard simplicity is beneficial and the complacency argument really falls. So that’s where I disagree. Technological Passivity is where we SHOULD be headed because it allows us to use technology in the most efficient way and focus on the things that are really important. What do you think of this so called “Passivity”?

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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