Saturday, July 19, 2014

Steve Jobs and the iNijiriguchi

Finishing my first (I believe) of many reads of Isaacson's official biography of Steve Jobs. Like Leonard Cohen, another notorious personality who finds a large enough universe in Zen in which to dwell and create, the founder of Apple was a long-time student of Buddhism in the Bay Area. Clearly his minimalist aesthetic was deeply impacted by that of Japan's. I am particularly struck by the notion of the interconnectedness of his hard and software, as well as his corporate structures (human and physical plant) resources. LIke exquisite Japanese joinery, his designs had no obvious connecting pins (i.e. screws), the lines are sleek and the lighting ambient. And like the chajin's replenishing the kama with fresh water from the mizusashi to enable more tea to be made, Apple products have no "off" buttons. There are more analogies to explore.

The greatest "ah-ha" I have had is how like the nijiriguchi, these devices -- growing down from desktop displays to the essential screens on iPads are also portals to a greater universe. We have only to enter through our imagination. Once inside, the fixtures (hardware and software features) are just what is needed for the moment. Nothing more ... for the moment.

(sorry for the fuzzy image ... it's a quicky ... you get the point.)