The Future of Computing

Ben Brooks had a really good November and he has continued to post extremely prescient ideas, as shown most in my mind by The Future of Computing is in These Three Computers, in which he discusses his current computing situation. Here’s a good part (emphasis mine):

On the very left we have the type of computers we are used to: MacBook Pros, iMacs. On the right we have the devices that we should be using given how we actually use computers today — the computers we have yet to create. (Of course this isn’t for the power user, none of this ever is.)

I remember reading this the first time and having an Aha!” moment at that last statement. Ben so succinctly explains why the conversation had by technologists and tech journalists falls on deaf ears. Apple is not catering specifically to the power user and neither is the future of computing. Apple may still make Pro versions of the Mac, the Macbook, and the iPad, but, especially in the case of the latter, Pro is now relegated to a simple marketing term. The Macbook Pro and its software is not inherently more complicated or capable than the Macbook, just as the iPad Pro is not inherently more complex than the iPad Mini. However, the future of computing as Ben discusses is not in the moniker, it’s in the form factor.

We are in a transitional period where the less complex and more flexible the form factor (read iOS devices), the more simplistic the software. However, with the knowledge of where the software started (remember that the iPhone did not have copy and paste until its third software iteration), we will see a future where the more simplistic software continues to take novel approaches to old paradigms, thus creating a system built for the future that is able to handle all manner of standard tasks from the past.

Take for instance yesterday’s flurry of updates to Apple’s music software ecosystem. Updates to Garageband and the introduction of their new Music Memos app show a possible iOS-based future for recording artists, not to mention the ability to provide powerful tools for beginners and creative children. With the number of articles that came across my feeds on the subject, it is surprising that Apple even needs its own marketing for these things.

But I digress. The future of computing is about simplicity; think no need to worry about cables or file types, geographical location or on-device storage. From Ben:

I can get everything I need to do, done on any of these three devices. I can do almost all of it without ever connecting a wire to the devices during the day. I can do most of it without worrying about power for large chunks of the day (or all day if I am using one of the Apple devices).

That sounds like technological utopia and one that may not be far off.

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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.