I've been on a podcast listening spree lately--to kill time, to learn something new, and shit, there are so many things to learn.
I found an episode from 99% invisible particularly interesting. It discussed the start of the internet, and DE’s complicated invention of the mouse and keyboard system. He created it based on numbers. Every letter was connected to a number. He didn't want the user to have to pause--remove their right hand from the mouse--type--and go back to the mouse. Then Jobs strolled in a bit later and was like Yo, let’s simplify this shit.
The podcast discusses all of the YouTube videos of babies using ipods and pads, and how this somehow determines their level of intelligence. The videos show parents bragging about how smart their child is, when really, the devices are incredibly simple to use—wouldn't it be more impressive, educational, and stimulating to see a child being a beast at the harp or trombone?
I understand Jobs wanting to make computers simple. It’s really very smart from a business perspective. People want simplicity. It’s easy, it’s quick, however, DE brings up a great point—when we simplify-- important ideas are ignored—people stop thinking. The complicated becomes hidden, and you stop advancing.
This can be translated in so many ways—think about something simple like…making gnocchi. You can go to the store and purchase it out of convenience, or you can get messy and make it yourself. You can fail at it, you can challenge yourself, you can set goals to do it better the next time, you can develop a new skill set.
I remember being in Italy watching my host grandmother make pasta. She made it so quickly, and perfectly, and when I tried--it turned out complete shit--but it was fun, new, and exciting.
Do we have to live our lives so simply?
Just a thought.
The episode can be found here: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/of-mice-and-men/