There is a lot of talk about DNA since Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple this week. Mostly in terms of what Jobs has infused into Apple's DNA: impeccable taste, innovation, persistence, attention-to-detail, hard work, different thinking.This shows the Jobs Reality distortion field (RDF):
All of this talk is great. It's reassurance to all of us Apple fanboys and girls that the company we idolize will continue to produce the products we love to love. Need to love. Can't not love, really, even if we try.
And why is that? Why are so many of us addicted to Apple products (and yes, I mean literally addicted)? ...
Why do so many of us get so emotional about Steve Jobs, to the point of crying upon hearing he had cancer and tearing up last week while reading his poignant resignation letter? The answer to all of these questions, I think, lies in mathematics and our own DNA.
I've been researching design aesthetics recently, and in a nutshell here's what I've found: Beauty is more objective than you might think. It's based on numbers and proportions. As humans, we're biologically programmed to seek out and respond to these numbers and proportions because they indicate superiority, in everything from the human form, to great works of art, to musical patterns, to plants, to architecture and to product design. The screen of a Macbook, for example, is a Golden Rectangle, which is based on this magical number: 1.6178, also known as the Golden Ratio, the Golden Mean or the Divine Proportion.
And the pulsing light that softly undulates to indicate that your Macbook is asleep? Well, that mesmerizing light mimics the rhythm of a human heartbeat, a deeply resonating mathematical pattern which can also be found in tidal flows, DNA sequences and blissful cognitive states.
The RDF is said by Andy Hertzfeld to be Steve Jobs' ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of superficial charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement, and persistence.Even Rush Limbaugh is infected. He gave a monologue on Steve Jobs yesterday (also here) saying:
Well, here I am a marketing specialist, supposedly immune to the tricks of the trade. I'm almost afraid to admit this. I spend ten to 15% of my working day trying to find out when the next iPhone is coming and what the next operating system is going to be, rather than just wait for it. I think the stuff that Apple does -- now, I've not used an Android phone. I've read about them. I know what Android has and I know the things that they do that ostensibly are ahead of Apple, but as a Mac guy, you know, I've tried BlackBerrys, and the process of syncing calendars and address books is not worth it. Once the iPhone hit, that's all I needed to sync everything and have it done.Yes, Rush is an Apple fanboy. By his own admission, he wastes much of his time tracking Apple product rumors. He acknowledges that the competition may be superior, but he is not interested in trying it. He is sold on Apple because his Apple products are compatible with his other Apple products. His raves are not about what the Apple products currently do, but about what some rumored update is supposedly going to do.
The things that they have coming in the next two months for somebody like me are going to improve my productivity tenfold, and at the same time they are going to increase the fun factor I have doing it immeasurably, with the new operating system. This OS X Lion on the computer is just... I'm dazzled by it. Now, I'm just a consumer. I'm not a fanboy.
It does not seem to matter if Jobs makes wildly exaggerated claims, such as those exposed in this CNN Fortune story, Steve Jobs' reality distortion takes its toll on truth. His customers do not care. They act as if they are suffering from some sort of mass hypnosis.