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    Beauty vs. Dysfunction

    What is tiny, sexy, and attracts a lot of attention? MacBook Air, of course. Yesterday, I got my second one. I replaced the first one, which I bought exactly a week ago, because it died. I am not sure why, it just didn't work. Actually, the first time the first one died was literally within an hour after I took it out of the box. And the third time it died was yesterday, a week later. 

    The minute I entered the Apple store, three Apple employees greeted me. I told them my laptop died before I had a chance to make a Genius appointment. No problem, said the manager, we'll get a Genius right over to you, you don't need to go to the bar. 

    Shortly after, I walked out with a brand new Air. No diagnostics, no repairs, no mailing off, nothing: they just took a brand new machine from the back of the store, unsealed the box in front of my eyes, and handed me a brand new laptop. I peeled off the plastic clingwrap.  At home, I migrated all the data, and iPhoto would not open. I have not yet found the time to go back to the store.

    In the years since I first became a loyal Apple customer, I have had a dozen identical experiences with a dozen Apple products: iPods, iPhones, laptops. Every time it happens, I am pissed off, as it wastes my time: setting up the original product, getting frustrated when it stops working, taking time off in the middle of my workday to go to the Apple store, hanging around while they do their paperwork, and setting up the next one. And yet I, along with millions of other loyal customers, keep returning for more. 

    I guess this is the Apple way: create a product that is functional, beautiful, and unreliable. Sell it to me, with a high premium, and an awareness of its unreliability. Have me experience the inevitable problems, followed by the excellent customer service at the store. Charm me by the brand new product. Repeat. 

    Knowing all this, why do I keep buying more and more Apple products? I guess the Apple business model works on me – the ease of use and the attractiveness of the design outweigh the high price tag, and the instability is counterbalanced by the knowledge that whatever is broken will be replaced (so long as the product is under warranty). 


    A Hero's Journey.

    Today, I was reading an article called “Why You Should Quit The Internet.”

    Ironically, today is the day I was ready to start my blog.

    That post was an interesting read about quests and paths and self-discovery. I liked this line: “When I began, I wrote bullshit, self-interested posts that were based on people thinking that my life and myself were interesting.” I’d like to be in this writer’s shoes (writing his 1,000th blog post), to be able to say that about this exact post, some years later. “I’ve said I’d like to be unrecognizable in five years,” he wrote. Me too.

    Anyhow, my favorite part of his post was the overview of Joseph Campbell’s steps in the Hero’s Journey:

    1. The Ordinary World

    2. Call to Adventure

    3. Refusal of Call/Reluctant Hero

    4. Meeting Wise Mentor

    5. The First Threshold

    6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies

    7. Supreme Ordeal

    8. Revisiting the Mentor

    9. Return with New Knowledge

    10. Seizing the Sword (or Prize)

    11. Resurrection

    12. Return with Elixir More detailed overview here.

    Where am I on this scale? Somewhere around 7 with my law firm. Somewhere close to 10 (or so I hope) with my book. Around 8 with the big picture. Where are you? What is going on in your life? What did you like about the article? What would you do, if you quit the Internet?

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