Simple Is the Greatest Kind of Empowerment

My mom is not technical. When someone makes reference to normal people not understanding things like the filesystem, they’re talking about my mom. She also loves the iPad I bought her last year and uses it constantly. It’s the first time I’ve seen her excited about technology at all. It’s even empowered her to speak intelligently about things like Apple, Steve Jobs and the significance of what they’ve done with technology, which I never would have expected.

Richard Stallman considers the iPad a jail and the people who would use such a product fools:

Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.

This statement is a bit old, but since I read it a few weeks ago I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Besides being callous, insensitive and demonstrating Stallman’s clear lack of social graces, it’s just flat wrong. My mom doesn’t consider the iPad a jail, she considers it empowering. So do a lot of other people.

Not having to be a computer expert to derive value has always been the spirit of the Macintosh, and the iPad is the culmination of the philosophy of a volks-computer. Simple is the greatest kind of empowerment.