(Meta: First things first: 500 hits in 7 days.. thanks!)
So, the new Macbook Pro is finally here. And it realizes some of my biggest fears. Although I must admit that I have been reading a lot of Asimov recently; and that could be the Foundation(pun intended) of my fear. My roommate hasn’t read Asimov, and he was absolutely delighted by the new Mac; so that fits well.
Fear #1. Man won’t be able to make out the thin line between convenience and laziness. As long as computers were an aid to our ability to perform certain tasks, it was convenience. To be fair, one really good convenience that Mac does offer, is content-sync across devices. However, with Macbook Pro now, it does all the high-level thinking, too:
No save option. The system will now save/backup stuff for you automatically. The music app knows where to search/store music; likewise for document app. No folders/files/saving/self-satisfactory classification. No evidence of fundamental file systems and user freedom left. I think we have hit the absolute edge between convenience and laziness. Probably even crossed over slightly. Another step, and… I keep thinking of Asimov here, for some reason(although ironically, he imagined the most sane AIs)
Fear #2: Man will sooner or later discover that a UI with just 2 (or lesser) buttons can do all that a UI with, say, 100 buttons can. And Mac is going that way. The multi-touch trackpad gains even more importance, with a huge list of complicated finger swipings to do stupid things. A hypothetical combination:
Swipe only your little finger from the bottom-left to top-right on the trackpad, to show the clock.
Firstly, that clock should have ideally always been in the corner(but the new Mac hides it away when you start applications). Why on earth would anyone want to do away with that CLOCK? Are they nuts? And then, some complicated Sign language to check the time.
Fear #3: Man will be completely freed from the moral obligation to cleanup the mess that he himself created. With the new Mac, you can now forget to shut down things. Be it apps, documents, or even the Mac(even after critical software updates, I hear), you never have to worry about shutting them down. Mac handles it. You just arrive, desecrate, depart. How will man retain any sense of responsibility after such pampering?
Sure, Asimov’s laws assure that no harm shall come. But I am still scared.