Steve Jobs and the GTN
Flying|October 2021
Why the ubiquitous works
BEN YOUNGER

My MacBook Pro’s keyboard broke a week before going to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and I was forced to leave home without it. Not to worry. I pulled out my iPad and never skipped a beat. Every screenplay right there and ready for me to continue work on; every AirVenture event in the calendar. Text, email, photos, and social media all work seamlessly on iOS. Everything migrates perfectly, plays well together, and is accessible at all times from all devices. Even a flight I booked online but had not entered into my calendar was sitting there waiting for approval. I still don’t know how it does that. I also don’t care— so long as it works.

Apple occupies a space in my life in a way that I never expected a corporation to be able to. Its products are embedded in how I live. An iPhone is the first thing I touch every morning before I reach for my girlfriend or dog. Apple affects so much of my world experience that it feels akin to the way I imagine Procter & Gamble or Johnson & Johnson were enmeshed with the American family of the 1950s. I think of this kind of corporate influence as unhealthy. Yet, I am the rat in the Skinner experiment, endlessly pressing that lever—or as is the case with my iPhone, the button.

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