Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let’s focus on the output and not the tool(s) used...

I overheard a couple of friends discussing over which of them had the better bag. Friend #1 had a messenger bag whereas friend #2 had a rucksack.

Friend #1 claimed that the “over the shoulder” design was the best… because it provided easy access, especially while riding a bike. He also expressed his appreciation for all the pockets that his messenger bag has.

Friend #2 dismissed his friend’s claims and issued a counter-claim that, in fact, the two strap… one for each shoulder… design was the best… because it lowered back pain and allowed him to carry a greater volume of stuff. Sure, he admitted, it had fewer pockets… but the increased volume of the main pocket more than compensated for this.

The discussion verged on an argument as both friends issued further claims and counter-claims whilst dismissing the points made by the other.

Neither of them considered the contents of their bags as being relevant to the discussion.

I made this story up to demonstrate the nonsensical nature of arguing over stuff… because I am bored of discussing / arguing over these things.

In fact, I will go so far as to renounce my Apple-fanboy status. I just don’t care anymore.

Don’t get me wrong… I do care about the kit I use and I will continue to use Apple products… insofar as they continue to work for me. It’s just that I no longer care what you use.

Be it Windows, Mac OSX or Linux… a netbook, laptop or desktop… a blackberry, a nokia, a gPhone, an iPhone or even 3’s “Facebook phone”.

I don’t care what you listen to tunes with… be it an iPod, a Zune or even a Sony tape Walkman.

I just don’t care anymore. I can’t face the arguments, the partisan side taking and the condescending put downs… I renounce them and apologise for the part I have played in this to date… because I have been the worst offender more often than not.

What I care about is content! What I care about is what you use your tool(s) for. What I care about is the message that you communicate with the tool(s) you have.

Does the fact that I have a Mac make my blog posts or my tweets any better than a PC user? No way.

Does uploaded content from a Flip camera mean more than video uploaded to YouTube via a Sony Camcorder? Again, no way.

What is the best camera? The one you have with you when you need it. Similarly, the best phone is the one you have on your person when you need to make a call.

It’s not what I have or don’t have that counts… but what I do with it. I can listen to Gorecki’s symphony no.3 on a tape machine and still be moved. The tool isn’t important… it’s all about the content.

Don’t get me wrong… the journey is as important as the destination… but this importance is purely subjective on some base personal level… underpinned by numerous factors, influences and baggage (both personal and cultural). As a result of this subjectivity, I can’t compare my journey with yours… but I can meet you at the destination.

I acknowledge the simple truth that the future is plural. Ours isn’t a monoculture. Diversity comes through our life experiences and our personal choices. I can not and will not say that my life experiences and personal choices are more important than yours… albeit… I will passionately explain why I do what I do… why the things that build me up do so… why I enjoy what I enjoy… why I am moved by the things that move me.

If you don’t get it… well that’s you… I won’t put you down for it. And if I don’t get the thing that you get… please don’t take it personal… it’s just me.

Let’s focus on the output and not the tool(s) used. Let that be the measure of the man or woman… and not what things they have.

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