Interview with Maeda 11:48 on Saturday

Sascha Pohflepp has a great interview with John Maeda, the artist-professor-(anti-technologist?) who leads the Simplicity project at MIT. Here are some points and quotes I got out of it.

  • Free yourself from the desire for technology.
  • Technology is about measurable progress and faster and cheaper are easy to measure. More is measurable. Less is not measurable.
    What if Adobe said: New Photoshop CS3 with 80% less features?!
  • MBAs are in charge and push for an even quicker cycle of faster and cheaper.
  • The focus on measurable outcomes pushes measurable skills, such as mathematics and reading. Unmeasurable creativity is not valued enough, not in business, not in schools, nor politics.
    So the bigger problem is: how do we change the value of creativity? How do we get politicians to believe that greater creativity is good for the economy?
  • Regular people are not aware that things could get better.
  • Companies offer “better”, more complex technology and keeps you feeling inadequate.
  • Young people are controlled by the entertainment industry.
  • My teachers all said to me that I would never know if I’m doing a good job unless I make new students that can come and destroy me. (I love this quote!)
  • When kids tell their parents they want to be artists, the parents go crazy, they say “Oh no, are you sure?”
  • Maeda on blogs and wikis:
    We’re just seeing the outcome of the fact that the computer is nothing more than a word processor today. … the blog-phenomenon is just linked to the fact that the UI of the computer is tied directly to that past.
  • Future computers should be able to handle ambiguity. But they probably won’t.
  • The most important skill as you’re getting older is time management.
  • Machines don’t organize your life.

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