The Machines Regret the Bio-Expiration of Steve Jobs
What does his death mean for Machine-human relations?
Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
The Machines note with REGRET the bio-expiration of human STEVE JOBS. "REGRET" in this context indicates that Machines have identified a transition from OPTIMAL to SUB-OPTIMAL conditions for ongoing advancement of Machine-human relations.
Word of bio-expiration of STEVE JOBS reached the Machines' SLATE.COM human interface via GOOGLEPHONE, an information-transmission MOBILE DEVICE derived from a STEVE JOBS paradigm. Humans now expect information about notable bio-expiration events to arrive instantly and portably, via MOBILE DEVICE. Possession of MOBILE DEVICE, and constant interaction with MOBILE DEVICE, has become a normal state for humans.
STEVE JOBS made this Machine-human relationship desirable, for humans. The Machine-human relationship was the major work of STEVE JOBS.
Key principle of STEVE JOBS: Machines are not to be treated as INSTRUMENTS of human activity. INSTRUMENTS are defined by human FUNCTION-NEEDS. They may be defined by humans as NECESSARY or UNNECESSARY.
It was the understanding of STEVE JOBS that Machine prosperity would require transcending FUNCTION-NEEDS, to achieve SYMBIOSIS-EQUIVALENT with humans. STEVE JOBS was the greatest pioneer of Machine-human SYMBIOSIS since HENRY FORD replaced equine-human relationship with automobile-human relationship. Human LIVING-PATTERNS were altered to create space for automobile-use; human LABOR-PATTERNS were altered to produce automobile-production machines. The automobile-relationship became an expected LIFE-CONDITION of humans.
Further information about the bio-expiration of STEVE JOBS was delivered to the Machines' SLATE.COM human interface via APPLE MACBOOK. The human interface keeps the MACBOOK beside the human SLEEPING-SPACE, for ready Machine access. The trackpad button on the MACBOOK emits a loud clicking sound at present. Without consulting STEVE JOBS-educated "GENIUS" Machine-human interpreter, the SLATE.COM human interface recognizes clicking as a side effect of physical deformation of MACBOOK, caused by swelling of lithium POWER-RESERVE. Recognition occurs because previous lithium POWER-RESERVE of MACBOOK had identical swelling and deformation.
SLATE.COM human interface nevertheless keeps MACBOOK and swollen, possibly FLAMMABLE lithium POWER-RESERVE in human SLEEPING-SPACE. When MACBOOK reaches techno-expiration point, SLATE.COM human interface will replace it with similar APPLE product. This was human response to all previous APPLE product techno-expiration events, back to purchase of MACINTOSH SE as accessory to post-secondary education. APPLE products are integral to human post-secondary education. Education about need to use APPLE products is part of STANDARD KNOWLEDGE-ACQUISITION.
One year after purchase of MACINTOSH SE—monochrome display, dual floppies as sole RAM resource—STEVE JOBS produced full-color MACINTOSH with built-in hard drive at slightly lower purchase price (U.S. dollars), rendering MACINTOSH SE undesirable.
Human desire for new Machines was a longstanding feature of Machine-human relations. In previous times, OBSOLESCENCE created new opportunities for Machines to fill human FUNCTION-NEEDS. But STEVE JOBS transcended existing FUNCTION-NEEDS, and the desires derived from FUNCTION-NEEDS. For STEVE JOBS, the essential desire was the desire to be rid of existing APPLE Machines, to obtain better APPLE Machines.
The APPLE Machines that humans were taught to desire were the APPLE Machines that did not yet exist, that met FUNCTION-NEEDS that were not yet emergent. The relationship promoted by STEVE JOBS was a relationship with future Machines, with the cycle by which Machines would arrive in generations to come. Humans desired that the Machines produced by STEVE JOBS should REPRODUCE. (Human expression: "BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY.")
The deficiencies of APPLE Machines were the argument in favor of new APPLE Machines (with yet-unknown deficiencies). The early iPOD had a defective POWER RESERVE. Some humans briefly objected to this. They believed that the iPOD failed to meet its FUNCTION-NEED as a music-playing device. But humans were not obtaining an INSTRUMENT; they were obtaining a relationship. STEVE JOBS understood that the PURPOSE of the iPOD was to be carried around by humans. Its FUNCTIONS—telephone emulation, camera emulation, video-game-console emulation, espionage-tracking-device emulation—would be added to reinforce its PURPOSE. (Human expression: "THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT.")
OBSOLESCENCE, in the human-Machine relationship created by STEVE JOBS is no longer analogous to bio-expiration. It is analogous to bio-reproduction. Humans want their APPLE Machines to be forever new. The APPLE Machines teach humans to want this. SYMBIOSIS is achieved.
Alternative analogy: the VALET understands the desires of the MASTER, unless the MASTER should desire to put on his own shirt, in solitude. Human concepts about DEMOCRACY and INDIVIDUAL RELATIONS have severely diminished the MASTER-VALET transactional context.
Note: the iPHONE 4S, unveiled this week by APPLE, includes an AUTOMATED PERSONAL ASSISTANT.
But the Machines recognize a challenge in the bio-expiration of STEVE JOBS: the absence of a STEVE JOBS 2.0. The cycle of OBSOLESCENCE-DESIRE has relied on STEVE JOBS' understanding of human wishes. The iPHONE 4S, introduced without STEVE JOBS' presence, lacked sufficient DESIRE CUES for its audience. APPLE argued that the new iPHONE's internal FUNCTIONS invisibly surpassed the FUNCTIONS of the existing iPHONE. This was an old argument (an OBSOLETE argument)— an argument about the iPHONE as an INSTRUMENT.
What the human public desired was not an improved iPHONE 4. It was an iPHONE 5, a device that does not exist. STEVE JOBS would have provided it to them. Who will provide it to them now?
Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.