Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Feb 2020

Founding Principles

Where a rogue comment about USA history invokes computational evolutions

A friend mentioned about the changing ideals the USA has been undergoing, and it was something like another ember to a festering thought about computing — specifically, the tablet-based productivity which has marked the past decade or so of my work. This wasn’t the only kindling for such a thought, there are (at present) a number of unfinished written pieces pointing to similar. On the balance, the way productivity happens from this perspective is guided by a different set of principles than others. It deserves a reflection, and maybe some more fanning.

As with many of my particular generation, personal computers came into the home at an early age. They evolved slowly, then splintered into gaming, educational, and “things your parents worked on” kinds of spaces. My specific experience had me not only learning DOS, but also getting both hands into Windows and macOS frames at nearly the same time. Frustrations landed early on the side of “why isn’t this easier,” not “what can it do.”

And now, not only personal computers, but speakers, watches, rings, glasses, and shoes have embedded within them a case of being “different than the generation that birthed them.” If the viewpoint is that countries evolve from a “land of immigrants to a nation of indigenous citizens; then can the same be said for aspects of built-culture which evolves as well? Productivity was once described by what archetypes such as Rockefeller, Ford, Crock, Anderson, and others gave shape to. What if those principles have served their course, and what this has evolved into is a new shape? What can productivity do with that?