We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us. - Marshall McLuhan
This morning I watched an amazing documentary.
Essentially, it is a formerly lost interview with Steve Jobs. Although this wisely primarily unedited hour recorded in 1995 covers some of the expected topics and content we are already familiar with, a few of the questions, in the last 10 minutes of "Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview", initiate a reflective response from Steve that is immensely important in understanding our current technological landscape.
First, he describes the transformation of the computer into a communication tool. Then he explains how a magazine article triggered his vision of the computer as the bicycle of the mind, therefore giving the human exponential growth in its ability to create more effectively. Jobs described how the hiring of computer engineers, that were poets, musicians, geologists, scientists and passionate in their designated paths, whether the technology had been invented or not, influenced how the consumer interacted with the end product, in this case a Macintosh and later iPods, iPhones and so on. In essence, he emphasized his belief that beautiful design improved one's experience and that his joy came from sharing his "taste" in embedding artistic traits and humanly crafted details in each newly developed version of technology.
In the early 1990s, Steve Jobs had already seen the potential of the Web to present the smallest of companies in the same manner as the largest corporation and how the Internet could break open the exchange and development of ideas and innovation. For those of us, like myself, who also saw the writing in the "virtual" sky, but did not share his innate ability for creating this new world, we have observed how computer technology has transformed every element of our current society.
What Steve Jobs could not see then, was the overwhelming "gap" which would develop between the "product" and the "user". In other words, when the computer replaces the programmer as the innovative creator. Then again, maybe he did, by the time he passed away in 2011.
His final words in this 1995 evocative interview describe his understanding that humans always come up with new visions and inspirations as the answer to the driving need to communicate and share. As with Marshall Mcluhan's description of the Global Village with the medium becoming the message, would Steve think today that the computer, as a tool of the mind, was in the process of morphing the mind into the computer?
What will this symbiotic relationship mean for the human race?
For further research, please view the following site:
Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview