Crist on a cracker....are our lives so empty and hollow that the visceral experience of opening a paper and styrofoam package will somehow fullfil us? Are we all a bunch of eskimos looking for someone to sell us some ice-cream?
Who said anything about being "fulfilled?" You're exaggerating. I said opening the iPod box made me
Products have packaging; Apple's packaging just goes above and beyond the call of duty. It's part of an aesthetic that says even the stuff that "doesn't matter" -- the back of a device, the way the cables are wrapped, the box it comes in -- should get painstaking
attention to detail.
Do you know what is meant by "presentation," in a culinary context?
Let's say we are
all eskimos looking to buy ice cream. And it's mostly all the same: a lump of frozen milk and sugar.
What flavor? Cup or cone? Here ya go, kid. Plop. Ok, move along, we got other customers. NEXT!
Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream. It all looks the same, it all tastes the same. Who cares.
Except at the Apple ice cream store.
They don't just dump your ice cream in a cup at the Apple ice cream store. First they put down a plate. Then they dust the plate with confectioner's sugar, to make it look like snowdrifts. Then they stick a couple of minature husky dogs and a sled sculpted
out of fondant on one side of the plate. Then they take your scoop of ice cream, and -- ha! -- it looks exactly like an igloo, like it was made out of little blocks of ice or something -- and they set it down in the middle of the plate. And then they put
a little engraved cardboard sign in front of the dish that says "Enjoy."
Did they need
to do that? No.
Will it make the ice cream taste any better? Probably not.
Is it nice that someone
in this world is so passionate about ice cream that they care about how it's
Yeah, I think so.
Sorry, Charlie, it does always have to be. Unless you get stuck in some kind of stasis chamber time-warp, your 5Gig iPod will eventually be as timeless as buggy-whips and whale-blubber reading lamps.
The article agrees
with you. It's all temporary. Hell, we're
all temporary. In the history of the Universe, YOU are about as ephemeral as iPod packaging. "All men are like grass, and their glory is like the flowers of the fields." i.e.
here one season, gone the next.
That to me says, make the most of it. If you have to open a cardboard box, let it be a good cardboard box. Let it be a cardboard box that makes you smile.
Self affirmations to the effect of "I've been sold a quality product, look how great the package is" reeks of elitism and auto-erotic brainwashing.
It's certainly natural to think, if the details are finessed, then the big picture probably is too. Human beings make superficial assumptions that way. Good culinary presentation doesn't mean the food's gonna taste good though.
I don't think elitism
plays into it at all:
This is the point. Detail and nuance and texture and a sense of how users actually feel, what makes them smile, what makes the experience worthy and positive and sensual instead of necessary and drab and evil.
These are the things that are nearly dead in our mass-consumer culture, things normally reserved for
elitist niche markets and swanky boutiques and upscale yuppie Euro spas and maybe cool insider mags like I-D and Metropolis and dwell. They are most definitely not to be expected of mass-market gadget makers. This is why it matters. This is
why it's important.
They are most definitely not to be expected of mass-market gadget makers. This is why it matters. This is why it's important.
Oh sure, Apple's elitist. This is the common line.
Fewer and fewer manufacturers of consumer landfill crap give a damn for how consumers might actually, dare I say, care about the fit and finish of the products they decide to allow into their lives. And this is exactly the sort of nuanced stuff we so desperately
need more of.