iPad Pro – Pros and Cons

I would love it – for one thing: Drawing. iPads have never really done that well. But maybe this one, with its Pencil, beats the Wacom tablets.

Its not a computer. It drives me crazy on the iPad to add items to a calendar – to edit anything, it is such a pain to try to get the curser to go to the right place! I can’t see it replacing a Mac where the input options include a trackpad and a mouse. Touch screens that flop around laptop-style are so wrong – as Steve Jobs said “ergonomically terrible”!

But a Mac is no good for drawing.

I had a Toshiba M200 that was ok, it converted quite well – back in 2002! (Images) It went from vertical to horizontal.

Steve Jobs would not have succumbed to the vertical iPad. There has to be a better solution. An OSX device that incorporates touch, something like the new Surface Book (Images) is one possibility. I can’t bear the thought of going back to Windows & Microsoft, Surface Book reviews mention the crashes, the lack of attention to detail in the hardware design. Will convergence that allows conversion in hardware and software functions come to Apple?

In the meantime – and for a long time I imagine – in the Apple world we are stuck with the need for two devices, a Macbook and an iPad Pro. Probably three devices, I’d still want my iPad Mini for curling up with, the iPad Pro seems too big for that.

I hate seeing the iPad Pro used like a laptop, copying the ergonomically terrible Microsoft devices. As a horizontal drawing tool they look great.

Best advice for Apple: Create a touch/non-touch convertable OSX beta for the iPad pro. Maybe they are working on this?

Evolution of emotional literacy

Kevin Kelly (What does Technology Want? p196) quotes George Lucas:

Evernote Snapshot 20121129 225558

Just maybe that is about to change (Perhaps on December 21?? 🙂

I think we are in a rapid change right now. It will be more visible soon. I think the feminist consciousness, the decline of religion, urbanisation, education are all leading to a shift in consciousness that means there will be ever more psychotherapists.

See also:

Evolution of consciousness

Evolution of consciousness

The book by Kevin Kelly “What does technology want continues stimulate my thinking.

He is eloquent on the evolution of tech. To make his case he draws on parallels in biological evolution. He comes up with principle after principle that are deep insights into any change process. He reminds me constantly of Frederick Engles and on the dialectics of nature. There are principles of change that go beyond one sphere.

Today it is this S curve that grabbed me.

Evernote Snapshot 20121119 133549

You would need to read the chapter to fully get it, but take the example of rail road air as the three levels of technology that work together to ensure that transport increased at a constant level, of say miles, speed and lower costs.

What I do is relate this to the evolution of psychotherapy. Or lets call it conscious intimate relationships. A mere 40 years ago there were about 10 therapists/counsellors in Christchurch, now it is more like 400. What is that curve about? The psyche is on the move!

I imagine the three technologies are:

Analytical psych
Humanistic Psych
And now still in the lower reaches of its s curve, relationship psych


My posting about skeuomorphism in the last post, and earlier this year, is not just because I’m an Apple user (I won’t say fan). It iOS because it is related to my long interest in metaphor. (You can see all my posts with this tag by clicking the Metaphor tag at the bottom of this post).

What I liked about the article in the previous post is that it makes a distinction between skeuomorphism that assists usability, when it assisted in the early days. and now when it might even obscure things.

The the tricky thing that a purist would face if they were to avoid skeuomorphism altogether is that it is impossible. Online it is ALL metaphor, all abstraction.


There is very little if anything that is native to the digital world. Digits, for example.

This principle applies even to abstractions in ordinary language:


These words can all go well beyond their literal meaning.

This is of interest as it has deep implications for psychological work.

The psyche, like cyberspace is immaterial and we use metaphors from the material world to talk about the invisible

What touched you?
have a heart.

The psyche is not the body. We use metaphase from the body to describe it.

The current wave of bring research is fascinating but it is not related to the psyche, there is a huge category mistake being foisted upon the psychotherapy world.

The question is of interest too in relation to creativity

We use brushes in digital art programs, and they can use watercolour or oils. Where is the native digital form? (there are some!) Light is used to create ‘depth’ backup creating fake shadows. The glossy icons apple uses are created using fake shine. (Will Jony Ives remove that?)

While we have electronic music it is mostly through skeuomorphic instruments that we create it.

Always, no sometimes, think it’s me, but you know I know when it’s a dream.
I think I know I mean a ‘Yes’ but it’s all wrong, that is I think I disagree.
Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Coevolution, invention, creation of the psyche – the relational paradigm

There is a flow in the evolution process.

Grass had to exist before grazing animals could evolve, they in turn had to precede carnivores.

These examples perhaps are best expressed in the principle of the “next adjacent possible”.

A brief digression: I recently ran across a novel way to think about this question. In evolutionary theory, there’s a concept called the “adjacent possible,” coined by scientist Stuart Kauffman.

From this blog.

The “adjacent possible” refers to the change that’s available to you — i.e. adjacent, next door – versus the change that’s not.

Screen Shot 2012 10 07 at 1 24 29 PM

From Stuart A. Kauffman — Reinventing The Sacred Amazon

The process is holistically connected to the mutual adaptations in each species. Grasses develop ways to survive grazing. Herbivores evolve capacity to run, and carnivores develop sharper teeth and claws.

This idea is sometimes captured with the phrase co-evolution (Wikipedia):

In biology, coevolution is “the change of a biological object triggered by the change of a related object.”[1] Coevolution can occur at many biological levels: it can be as microscopic as correlated mutations between amino acids in a protein, or as macroscopic as covarying traits between different species in an environment. Each party in a coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other, thereby affecting each other’s evolution.

Earlier post exaptation, a related concept.

I’m imagining this whole process as envisage the world of the psyche. The changing nature of how we relate to our being. Everything from collective rituals, art, monks meditating in a cave, group therapy, psychoanalysis, conjoint family week and couple therapy.

The investigations above, summed up as:

  • Adjacent possible
  • Coevolution
  • Exaptation

Imagine how these apply to the coevolution/invention/creation of the psyche.

(Why I say evolution/invention/creation is evident from this post about psyche this post about the nature of the psyche, about how it is not a thing, yet not nothing either, is relevant.)

Freud was before Jung. The idea of an unconscious and a method of working with it that was possible in the world was available to Freud as a medical clinician.

Moreno was in part a reaction to Freud. Group therapy and conjoint therapy was possible.

Moreno and Buber had found or invented an idea about the nature of the person being in the relationship.

Hendrix is pioneering the ice that being is relationship.

The relational paradigm is the now a niche that has opened, a shift in the culture and new ways of attending the the psyche are possible.

Moreno’s idea that this could well transform science is also on the cards as an I-Thou relationship with things is also possible according to Buber.

States of consciousness

I’m interested in tagging.

I love the way that books can be on two shelves at once in cyberspace.

Pursuing this idea to see if I can tag better on the Mac has led me to

Default Folder x

Ironic software who make Deep & Leap — though I can’t tell which one I should use.

Noticing that Path Finder, that I already use has an option for OpenMeta tags (that all the above use as well)


More strangely to this site, which may or may not be related:


Later — Sunday, 28 January, 2018 : https://psyberspace.walterlogeman.com/2012/rational-thinking-and-its-conceptual-content/

But has some interesting stuff about Gurdjief and states of consciousness


And that led to a lovely entry on Gurdjief in SkepDic


I doubt there is a connection with Gurdjief in any way, but tagging does do something to your consciousness…

This is about straight tagging:


Just as well I can tag this post!

Archetypal Tendencies

I’ve been reading Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants. One of the central thesis of the book is that evolution is not only driven by adaptation. There are two other forces at work: structural forces, ie the laws of physics and contingency, luck. What if Beethoven did not have a piano?

I’ll post the picture that impressed me again:

Camera Roll-47

This is a central idea (from the book):

The progression of inventions is in many ways the march toward forms dictated by physics and chemistry in a sequence determined by the rules of complexity. We might call this technology’s imperative.

What is stirring me to write this post is that I listened to a podcast today on Tech Nation, Moira Gunn interviewing Adrian Bejan – details

Click to play & download Adrian Bejan


It is uncanny, and totally in line with the Kevin Kelly theory of what is inevitable that these tow come up with the same ideas. This is the time when we make a shift from classical darwinism, to incorporate something marx might have called dialectical materialism.


More about & by Adrian Bejan here:

His book on Amazon:

Design in Nature.


This theory, Bejan calls it “Constructal Law” governs everything. From his book:

The constructal law is revolutionary because it is a law of physics—and not just of biology, hydrology, geology, geophysics, or engineering. It governs any system, any time, anywhere, encompassing inanimate (rivers and lightning bolts), animate (trees, animals), and engineered (technology) phenomena, as well as the evolving flows of social constructs such as knowledge, language, and culture. All designs arise and evolve according to the same law.

What excites me is that the same law – or rules of complexity, a law about change really, governs the psyche too. I think Jung was onto this with archetypes. These structures hare universal across cultures.

Howard Rheingold – Net Smart

Net Smart


The future of digital culture—yours, mine, and ours—depends on how well we learn to use the media that have infiltrated, amplified, distracted, enriched, and complicated our lives. How you employ a search engine, stream video from your phonecam, or update your Facebook status matters to you and everyone, because the ways people use new media in the first years of an emerging communication regime can influence the way those media end up being used and misused for decades to come. Instead of confining my exploration to whether or not Google is making us stupid, Facebook is commoditizing our privacy, or Twitter is chopping our attention into microslices all good questions, Ive been asking myself and others how to use social media intelligently, humanely, and above all mindfully. This book is about what Ive learned.

via Howard Rheingold | Exploring mind amplifiers since 1964.


Pretty amazing little step in the evolution of cyberspace – the root of cyber is steering and that makes sense here. We steer this stuff with finer and finer tuning.

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/bBN38a

If Apple mad a car would it look like this?

If Apple made a car would it have wheels like this?

NewImage From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeuomorph

Skeuomorphic thinking may work on occasions but on the whole it is bad. Fake spokes.

Like the fake leather in apple apps. Ugh.

The calendar app does it right on the interface, it tells me it is Wednesday 25! Just right.

Jobs invented the “desktop” metaphor (Or so its said), it is a guide in a place where nothing is real.

Exaptation – copy & paste in the evolution of tech and culture

Just got a name for something I have grasped for a long time. I used to call it accidental by products of evolution, and had this idea when I was doing biology aged 15. EG the piano is a by product of the evolution of fingers. We as humans have gone beyond what was biologically fittest, accidental by-products just heaped upon themselves and interacted with each other to enable creativity and consciousness.

From What Technology wants by Kevin Kelly page 50: “These inadvertent anticipatory inventions are called exaptations in biology.”

“Exaptation is a term used in evolutionary biology to describe a trait that has been co-opted for a use other than the one for which natural selection has built it.”

“It is a relatively new term, proposed by Stephen Jay Gould and Elisabeth Vrba in 1982 to make the point that a trait’s current use does not necessarily explain its historical origin. They proposed exaptation as a counterpart to the concept of adaptation.

For example, the earliest feathers belonged to dinosaurs not capable of flight. So, they must have first evolved for something else. Researchers have speculated early feathers may have been used for attracting mates or keeping warm. But later on, feathers became essential for modern birds’ flight.

It is a relatively new term, proposed by Stephen Jay Gould and Elisabeth Vrba in 1982 to make the point that a trait’s current use does not necessarily explain its historical origin. They proposed exaptation as a counterpart to the concept of adaptation.

For example, the earliest feathers belonged to dinosaurs not capable of flight. So, they must have first evolved for something else. Researchers have speculated early feathers may have been used for attracting mates or keeping warm. But later on, feathers became essential for modern birds’ flight.

(Perry, 2013)

In the evolution of technology and culture it is all exaptation. The reason is that the basis of tech and cultural evolution are not genetic, the information is carried by social means. Thus nothing goes extinct, and all innovations can be resurrected. In other words we can cut and paste to make new things, that process is far faster and more efficient than evolution in the biological sphere. Sexual reproduction is a form of cut & paste, but still far more primitive than what we can do with our inventions.

For example: Id love to graft the Graffiti handwriting system from the dead Palm onto a current smartphone.


Parry, Wynne. (2013, September 16). Exaptation: How evolution uses what’s available. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/39688-exaptation.html

Jesus the man, Jobs the man

To make sense of this post you may need to read my last entry.

Also you may need to know who Barnum was:

And read: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/theater/mike-daisey-discusses-the-agony-and-ecstasy-of-steve-jobs.html?src=dayp that my friend Amy just sent me.

Jobs may well be a Barnum, and like Barnum he creates a new medium for communication, but it is not just the man. It is as if humanity is ready for a jump and it finds a vehicle to make it happen. Unfortunately it has to make in the capitalist context, given the failure of the German revolution after World War one. While Jobs is a creative guy, no doubt, and while he is enough of a Barnum to pull it all off in the world as it is, the world was ripe for a new leap in communication, to go beyond printing presses and beyond tele type machines. It took someone to make the next leap actual. Zuckerberg is another such. These steps in the evolution of the psyche are all distorted by the fucked up relations of production. The agony is to live in a sick social system, the actual agony of children in chinese factories and the agony of collusion, alienation and powerlessness for many others of us.

The leap in relations of production that we were on the edge of in capitalist countries at the start of the last century did not happen, history missed its natural turning. If we were in an era of new social relations of production the miserable state of psychological developments would not be the context for these technical innovations leading to huge cultural global shifts sweeping the world. However Rosa Luxembourg was assassinated, the social democrats subverted the revolution, industrial revolutions happens in the name of socialism and distorted the history of possible new relations of production. But that is how it is.

So what of new developments? Everything we create or do is in a backward social system. Creativity is social and public, but ownership lags behind, it is private and coercive and seeks out Dickensian situations such as china to maximize profits and to avoid failure in the market. I don’t think Jobs sold out on his vision, I imagine there was agony in making it happen.

Should he not have made the mouse, the first personal pc? Should we not use the technology? It is tempting as every object contains the labour power of the poor and exploited. I don’t think it it’s the answer to smash the tools, unless there was a mass movement of boycott. Even then the much needed jump is nothing to do with the tools, but in the relations of production, and this not because “we” collude with Chinese fascism, as Mike Daisey implies in the NYT interview. It is more that capitalism went global, that it is alive and well as a system. Not so well actually, perhaps in its vicious death trows. Who will lead that transition we are now on the edge of? We are ripe for another leap.

The revolution, innovation, the next big thing will not be technological but social and political. People who lead this next leap forward won’t be just great writers like Marx or orators like Lenin and Trotsky but people able to lead using the new orality of the Internet, even though its built with an unjust system of production. The screens are not the same thing as the humans who communicate via those screens. Revolution won’t be be because of the the Internet, but it can’t happen if people throw away their telephones and everything made in China, we live in this world.

The reflection I’m making, if it is not obvious, is that there are mighty forces at work, and that no one man Jesus or Jobs is really the cause of them. There is always someone who gives expression most fully and effectively to a collective urge. The power of leaders is not only because of what they do or say, but because of the ripeness of the culture they speak to. The culture chooses leaders.

Lift – Achieve anything.

We don’t know much about this app. One thing I know is that the name and subtitle are fantastic. Getting these things right is such an art. The image of a rocket on the site works well with the slogan. If it is a flop it might be that it will be hard to live up to the promise of the name. Think how well titles like GTD and Getting the Love You Want work. Lift is good.

I find it inspiring. Trying to name a couple of personal & professional development groups at the moment. I’d like to have this team look at my ideas.


A quote from helium follows:

Continue reading “Lift – Achieve anything.”

How Jobs sold conformity to the hipsters

The paradox in this article is not really such a fresh perspective, its is a story we already know. But it is well told, and the full quote of the 1984 ad is very paradoxical. Apple is ideologically driven, they represent a fundamentalist ideology that holds together and drives the Apple machine. It is a strength, but I bet it will be this very strength that will ultimately be its downfall.


The outgoing Apple CEO’s genius was in embracing the precise corporate values to which the Apple brand was ostensibly opposed, writes Andrew Potter


Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple on Aug. 24, just weeks after his company surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the most valuable corporation in the world. Yet for all his success as a business executive, Jobs’ most enduring legacy is not as a corporate but as a cultural visionary.

Continue reading “How Jobs sold conformity to the hipsters”

Gratuitous Decoration in Apple Software

I am into how things look on a computer. It was one of the factors in shifting over to a Mac. The hardware is so elegant. The software is usually fine too. Apple websites are good. But they have gone rilly wird with the Contacts and the Calendar on iPad & now on the Mac. I don’t use either much on the Mac as I have a use Google calendar & contacts on the browser, but the decorations are horrendous to my eye. How can they do this in the midst of such a strong aesthetic. They must have sat around and talked about it, what did they say. Perhaps it was a compromise to get rid of animated ducks or background music, or fur.

Here is someone who agrees.

I say that flat is the new black; that 2D is the new avant-garde; that a surface doesn’t have to be ashamed of being a surface. Technology users of the world, unite: you have nothing to lose but your bas-relief buttons. Let us march forwards together, spurning chrome, into a cleaner, lighter future.

Thats from:


Perhaps the most absurd and brainachingly stupid example of needless chrome I am aware of, the most terrifying villain on the loose in this episode of Chromewatch, comes from — oh, hello again, Apple!


This is the iBooks app. Notice how lovingly the designers have made it look like you are in the middle of reading a physical book by drawing a little pseudo-3D evocation, down each vertical side, of the pages you have read and the pages you have still to read. What do you think this looks like when you are on page 2 of a book, or 2 pages from the end? I’ll tell you what it looks like: exactly the same. It still looks like you are right in the middle. That’s correct: because of the sentimental and unnecessary chrome, the app ends up lying to you about where you are in the text you’re reading.

Word processing on the iPad

I find the actual typing ok, and it can be even better with the bluetooth keyboard. The problems lie elswhere.


Apple’s word processor


It works.
I can use styles that convert to Word.


No Dropbox or other way to use the file in two places. The ones offered are not ones I want to use, like iWork etc. get terrible reviews. iTunes is clumsy. Maybe it will be the #1 way access the file from any device when iCloud arrives. Just a few hours before we hear!

Documents to Go


I can see the files I have stored in there on Dropbox. Sharing works well.


Looses style formatting in Word format. Makes it unworkable for the work I do.



Now using TextExpander on the MacBook Pro. I prefer it to ActiveWords on the PC, though ActiveWords is more versatile, TextExpander is simpler and does the job with elegance. I just wish the export of the list to the iPad was more complete. It works but there is a problem with the capitlisation.

Interestingly TextExpander advises the use of double letters at the start for abbreviations. tthu for Thursday etc. I prefer thuu that way I can start each word as I would normally, and not need to think as fast.