Apple, Today, Keeps the Doldrums Away

Something went haywire on my iPhone speaker over the weekend, so I made an appointment at the Apple store today.  I smugly imagined I’d have the place to myself at 1:30 on a Monday afternoon, but evidently half of greater Baltimore had had the same idea.  No matter: I tucked myself into a corner of a long, spacious table, perched on a stool, and in between snippets of conversation with the affable employee who eventually replaced the phone free of charge, got some grading done.

Amid the chatter of aluminum-addled adults and children, then, it was fitting to read the following.  These are taken from responses to the SAT essay question, “Does knowledge make people happier?”

Think of how many people need a computer and the Internet for their jobs. Without these things most people wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. Aside from work think of all the technology people use for pleasure purposes. For example, the Apple products. Most people have an Apple product, whether it be an iPod or an Apple computer. Not to say these are essential for happiness, but they definately are a contributing factor in peoples happiness today.

And this: 

Knowledge affects people worldwide. When a new product such as an new iPod is created everyone around the world craves it. To create an electronic such as an iPod or iPhone, the top knowledgeable people in the field to create these items for worldwide happiness.

I haven’t written yet about Steve Jobs’ passing away because most of what should be said, has been said.  He had a formidable eye for design and an uncannily accurate sense of the public’s whims.  He also fostered an atmosphere of fierce competition and lacked personal compassion and warmth (or so I’ve heard from a family member who has worked at Apple for several decades and met with him many times.)  Like most of us, he had talents and flaws, and it was (is) often difficult to separate one from the other.

Whatever you think of the man, of course, it’s undeniable he has changed the world.  We’ve crossed the border from addiction to love.  We’re raising a generation of children who won’t recognize print matter.  And our young people no longer think “this helps me do my job more efficiently,” but “I couldn’t do my job without this.”

It’s not necessarily bad.  It’s not necessarily good, either.  It’s just different.  It requires some adjustment. And quite a bit of self-control.