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October 11, 2011

Here's To The Crazy Ones...

The recent passing of Steve Jobs has been making many of us reconsider technology and its place in our lives.

One computer industry expert described the products of Apple, the iPod, iPhone and IPad as being...

...products from twenty years in the future.

But is that right?

I am from the same generation as Steve Jobs, and I share many of his foundational cultural influences. Like Steve Jobs, I was inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog. The motto of the Whole Earth Catalog was "Access to tools". I found the Whole Earth Catalog informative and inspiring. Steve Jobs described it as "Google in paperback form thirty years before Google."

It was. In fact Stewart Brand wrote an article in TIME magazine many years ago where he contends that we can thank the hippies for the internet. You can see the article here - http://members.aye.net/~hippie/hippie/special_.htm.

If you find that hard to believe, take a look at the Hacker Manifesto -

"Access to computers should be unlimited and total."

"All information should be free."

"Mistrust authority - promote decentralization."

"You can create art and beauty on a computer."

"Computers can change your life for the better."

Stewart Brand concludes his article with this thought - "Our generation proved in cyberspace that where self-reliance leads, resilience follows, and where generosity leads, prosperity follows."

What could be a more essential for our times than this?

Or you might consider this statement from Apple;

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - Apple Inc.

To see the Apple ad centered on that statement, look here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFEarBzelBs&feature=related.

So what does all this have to do with learning English?

I think learning a language is much like learning to use technology; we have the choice and challenge of either following the established ways or making the language or technology our own. We have the constant choice between talking or singing, prose or poetry, information or inspiration.

And, don't forget my motto of language learning - Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, USA and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA). And, as much as Morf loves writing this blog, he is always open to other opportunities either blogging or teaching. You can contact him at mmorf@mail.com.

Posted by mmorf at October 11, 2011 10:49 AM

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