For an all-over-the-place information grazer like me, the digital world is both my greatest nightmare and my favorite playground. All these connections that I come across, just because my confirmation-biased mind puts them in my lap. I’ll skip the nightmare part this time and share an enjoyable get-together of unrelated reads.
My wordpress reader every day offers me a wide diversity of pretty random pieces, and I tend to click on some because of the title/subject, and sometimes that click delivers something that I fancy. Today, one of those clicks (why did I click on that one? don’t ask because I don’t know) included this 1997 video of Steve Jobs selling the Think Different marketing strategy to his employees.
Isn’t he convincing? And doesn’t it work! Great. But I’m not a Steve Jobs fan. That given (where does that come from? Who knows, I’m happy to just accept my gut reaction, no incentives to scrutinize them re someone like Jobs) overrules my awe for his presentation skills and my intellectual conviction that it is no use blaming him for his Machiavellianism being effective, and ensures my mind produces connections that show the unflattering side of Apple’s strategy:
When the Naomi Klein connection had entered my stream of consciousness, a quote from a totally unrelated post I had also read this same morning popped back into this same stream (well maybe/probably it isn’t the same stream).
I’m reminded of one of my favorite lines in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Before he ships off to the Congo, Marlowe’s aunt, who had helped secure his job with the Company, gushes about the nobility of work he is undertaking. Marlowe would be “something like an emissary of light, something like a lower sort of apostle.” In her view, he would be “weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways.”
Then comes the wonderfully deadpanned line that we would do well to remember:
“I ventured to hint that the Company was run for profit.”
For me the literary connection enriches my personal web or complex of fancied ideas enormously, providing a very different engagement with the same content. And one that hits my neurochemical buttons in much more life-enhancing ways. As does music.