Photo Book | 20 Years of Design by Apple

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Dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, a hardcover photo book, titled “Designed by Apple in California” was revealed today. Shot by photographer Andrew Zuckerman in a deliberately spare style… the book contains 450 images that brilliantly illustrate Apple’s design process as well as chronicle the inside, outside & evolution of its finished products.

jonny-ive“The idea of genuinely trying to make something great for humanity was Steve’s motivation from the beginning, and it remains both our ideal and our goal as Apple looks to the future,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “This archive is intended to be a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years. We hope it brings some understanding to how and why they exist, while serving as a resource for students of all design disciplines.”

“Designed by Apple in California” is available in two sizes and printed on specially milled, custom-dyed paper with gilded matte silver edges, using eight color separations and low-ghost ink. This linen-bound, hardcover volume was developed over an eight-year period. It is published by Apple.

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Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, & to leaving the world better than they found it. Quite the noble goal.

// Read The Complete Press Release //

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Is Dropping-Out In? The Changing Value of Higher Education

Peter Thiel, an investor and entrepreneur, is author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future & recently shared his opinion on the erosion of higher education… and the promise of success it once represented. 

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Of course, you can’t become successful just by dropping out of college. But you can’t become successful just by going to college, either, or by following any formula. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg aren’t famous because of the similar ways in which they left school. We know their names because of what each of them did differently from everybody else.

Learning from dropouts doesn’t require closing colleges but rather questioning them carefully. Higher education holds itself out as a kind of universal church, outside of which there is no salvation. Critics are cast as heretics or schismatics endangering the flock. But our greatest danger comes from the herd instinct that drives us to competition and crowds out difference.

A Reformation is coming, and its message will be the same as it was 500 years ago: Don’t outsource your future to a big institution. You need to figure it out for yourself.

Read The Complete Washington Post Op Ed  |  

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Jonny Ive: The Man Behind Apple

Short of having a top secret classification this type of insightful information from the helm of the world leading design department at Apple is treasure.

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In a rare interview, Jony Ive spoke to The Sunday Times over the weekend, discussing everything from design philosophy to traveling with Steve Jobs. Here are a few choice cuts about:

The State of design:

“We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care — just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made.”

Companies Copying Apple Designs:

“It’s theft … what’s copied isn’t just a design, it’s thousands and thousands of hours of struggle. It’s only when you’ve achieved what you set out to do that you can say, ‘This was worth pursuing.’ It takes years of investment, years of pain.”

The Future Of Apple:

“We are at the beginning of a remarkable time, when a remarkable number of products will be developed. When you think about technology and what it has enabled us to do so far, and what it will enable us to do in future, we’re not even close to any kind of limit. It’s still so, so new.”

Traveling With Steve Jobs:

“We’d get to the hotel where we were going, we’d check in and I’d go up to my room. I’d leave my bags by the door. I wouldn’t unpack. I’d go and sit on the bed and wait for the inevitable call from Steve: ‘Hey Jony, this hotel sucks. Let’s go.'”

|  Read The 9to5mac.com Story 

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Patterns

“Generating interesting connections between disparate subjects is what makes art so fascinating to create and to view… We are forced to contemplate a new, higher pattern that binds lower ones together.”

It seems to be the season for fascinating meditations on consciousness, exploring such questions as what happens while we sleephow complex cognition evolved, and why the world exists. Joining them and prior explorations of what it means to be human is The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning (public library) by Cambridge neuroscientist Daniel Bor in which, among other things, he sheds light on how our species’ penchant for pattern-recognition is essential to consciousness and our entire experience of life. ravenousbrain

“The process of combining more primitive pieces of information to create something more meaningful is a crucial aspect both of learning and of consciousness and is one of the defining features of human experience. Once we have reached adulthood, we have decades of intensive learning behind us, where the discovery of thousands of useful combinations of features, as well as combinations of combinations and so on, has collectively generated an amazingly rich, hierarchical model of the world. Inside us is also written a multitude of mini strategies about how to direct our attention in order to maximize further learning. We can allow our attention to roam anywhere around us and glean interesting new clues about any facet of our local environment, to compare and potentially add to our extensive internal model.”

Much of this capacity relies on our working memory — the temporary storage that holds these primitive pieces of information in order to make them available for further processing — and yet what’s most striking about our ability to build such an “amazingly rich” model of the world is that the limit of our working memory is hardly different from that of a monkey, even though the monkey’s brain is roughly one-fifteenth the size of ours: Experiment after experiment has shown that, on average, the human brain can hold 4 different items in its working memory, compared to 3 or 4 for the monkey.

But, echoing Richard Feynman’s eloquent lament on the subject, Bor points to a dark side of this hunger for patterns:

“One problematic corollary of this passion for patterns is that we are the most advanced species in how elaborately and extensively we can get things wrong. We often jump to conclusions — for instance, with astrology or religion. We are so keen to search for patterns, and so satisfied when we’ve found them, that we do not typically perform sufficient checks on our apparent insights.”

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Still, our capacity for pattern-recognition, Bor argues, is the very source of human creativity. In fact, chunking and pattern-recognition offer evidence forthe combinatorial nature of creativity, affirm Steve Jobs’s famous words that“creativity is just connecting things”, Mark Twain’s contention that “all ideas are second-hand”, and Nina Paley’s clever demonstration of how everything builds on what came before.

The arts, too, generate their richness and some of their aesthetic appeal from patterns. Music is the most obvious sphere where structures are appealing — little phrases that are repeated, raised a key, or reversed can sound utterly beguiling. This musical beauty directly relates to the mathematical relation between notes and the overall logical regularities formed. Some composers, such as Bach, made this connection relatively explicit, at least in certain pieces, which are just as much mathematical and logical puzzles as beautiful musical works.

“But certainly patterns are just as important in the visual arts as in music. Generating interesting connections between disparate subjects is what makes art so fascinating to create and to view, precisely because we are forced to contemplate a new, higher pattern that binds lower ones together.”

What is true of creative skill, Bor argues, is also true of our highest intellectual contribution:

“Some of our greatest insights can be gleaned from moving up another level and noticing that certain patterns relate to others, which on first blush may appear entirely unconnected — spotting patterns of patterns, say (which is what analogies essentially are).”

Best of all, this system expands exponentially as it feeds on itself, like a muscle that grows stronger with each use:

“Consciousness and chunking allow us to turn the dull sludge of independent episodes in our lives into a shimmering, dense web, interlinked by all the myriad patterns we spot. It becomes a positive feedback loop, making the detection of new connections even easier, and creates a domain ripe for understanding how things actually work, of reaching that supremely powerful realm of discerning the mechanism of things. At the same time, our memory system becomes far more efficient, effective — and intelligent — than it could ever be without such refined methods to extract useful structure from raw data.”

Though some parts of The Ravenous Brain fringe on reductionism, Bor offers a stimulating lens on that always fascinating, often uncomfortable, inevitably alluring intersection of science and philosophy where our understanding of who we are resides.

|  Original Post Appeared on Brainpickings.org

The Ravenous Mind Sees:

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Zen Living | Fast Co. Cray-Cray For Taoist Way

THE ART OF LETTING GO: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP PROCRASTINATING

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IF DISTRACTIONS & FALSE NEEDS ARE CONTROLLING YOUR LIFE… ZEN HABITS’ COLUMNIST FROM FAST COMPANY MAGAZINE SHARES WHY YOU NEED TO LET GO.

I’d paraphrase the article & share insight. There’s nothing I can say about Zen. However, I can talk about pain and our reactions to it. The duality of existence and reasoning from the idea that we spend an immense amount of energy to avoid pain… there’s nothing we can do to avoid pain… people procrastinate to avoid  discomfort of whatever it is that’s unpleasant… or painfully being avoided.  Image

Yet again, I find it crazy to consider Zen as a guide post in a business publication or technology/entrepreneurship website/blog. Not but ten years back I discovered a man who is not a guru… but a common man. Alan Watts

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It was through his lectures recorded on all manner of topics… sex, drugs, death and religion among others, that really shook me. He put Eastern thought into terms I could understand. Frankly, that’s what he’s known for. 

Regardless, what I’ll take this moment to say… no matter how trendy Zen or Taoism may become. For whatever reason, seeking to selflessly enrich yourself is a catch twenty-two.

The ego is the enemy. 

I’m not going to waste any time pointing out inconsistencies or flaws in the article. Honestly, I didn’t notice any. If I had why not celebrate them? Furthermore… I guess what I find significant here today is again… having adopted a belief system that has parts from many faiths…

The Way of Zen is most profound & Liberating. While this isn’t a review, but rather an affirmation of the article linked below… it was short. As I skimmed the half page… when I noticed the quote below I immediately conceded. I could no longer procrastinate writing this blog post… and poking fun at how insane it is the way of being I found and adopted has become a part of the technology news stream where I have quenched the thirst for tech news, insight and now thoughtful advice.

Bravo Fast Company.  

“You can only lose what you cling to.” –Buddha

|  Read The Full Fast Company Online Story 

 
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Startups’ Mental Health Trap

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It is a surprising realization… that most ambitious startup ideas are frightening.

Any one of them could make you a billionaire. That might sound like an attractive prospect, and yet when I describe these ideas you may notice you find yourself shrinking away from them.

Don’t worry, it’s not a sign of weakness. Arguably it’s a sign of sanity. The biggest startup ideas are terrifying. And not just because they’d be a lot of work. The biggest ideas seem to threaten your identity: you wonder if you’d have enough ambition to carry them through.

There’s a scene in  where the nerdy hero encounters a very attractive, sophisticated woman. She says to him: Here’s the thing: If you ever got me, you wouldn’t have a clue what to do with me.

That’s what these ideas say to us.

This phenomenon is one of the most important things you can understand about startups. You’d expect big startup ideas to be attractive, but actually they tend to repel you. And that has a bunch of consequences. It means these ideas are invisible to most people who try to think of startup ideas, because their subconscious filters them out. Even the most ambitious people are probably best off approaching them obliquely.

Frighteningly ambitious startup ideas are frightening for a reason. Some (particularly those who aren’t chasing those ideas themselves, but instead just investing in others who are) might feel that it’s a good thing for a founder to be frighteningly ambitious, but for the vast majority of founders, that simply condemns them to failure. That’s why they’re afraid: because they have some common sense.

Of course, it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you want comfort or wealth, those hyper-ambitious ideas will practically guarantee that you never get there unless you basically win the lottery.

On the other hand, if you are an insane, driven, megalomaniac control freak like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, a modern-day Genghis Khan or Alexander who wants to rule the world by the methods of today rather than bloody battlefields, you don’t care about achieving comfort, and you probably won’t care for this… 

…Go for it, don’t let me stop you (I couldn’t anyway). For the rest of us, though, a focus on less frightening ideas might allow us to make enough money to purchase those world-changing devices that the next Steve Jobs will build, instead of being broke all the time.

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