Christian Long

David Pogue: The Music Wars

In TED Talks on May 23, 2010 at 12:09 am

Reflection by SYLVIA A.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

David Pogue:  The Music Wars

Well. That’s the way to start off a Ted talk.

I quite enjoyed the big number at the beginning. Pogue begins with a little tune about the hassles of Tech support. Everyone can relate to that, so this allowed him to start with a wide range of people in his audience. This song, and the ones to follow, really made this talk more bearable for me because I’m not that big on computers and don’t fully understand tech-lingo concerning computer software and such, which Pogue is obviously well versed in, in public speaking as well as in song-form.

Our frustration with technology stems from these new electronics being too complicated. That’s why Pogue focuses his talk on the cult of simplicity. He believes Apple has mastered this art of simplifying technology while their rival Microsoft has miserably failed. Though it was funny the first time, I believe Pogue may have poked at the joke a little too much. By the middle I felt like this was more a roast of Microsoft and Bill Gates than an inspiring talk about how simplifying new electronics is the way to go if we want progress in our society. The type of progress that would allow a larger spectrum of people not privy to the ins and outs of the computer world to access these new products more readily with even more efficiency.

Though he continuously praises Apple for their achievements in their field, from a consumer stand point I cannot agree. For me and the majority of my friends, Apple computers are harder to use and more confusing. Their premise of ‘simple design’ doesn’t have the same effect on me as it does on Mr. Pogue. Maybe this is because I have become accustomed to Microsoft’s superfluous amount of choices, that can always break things down for me when I don’t understand. Microsoft caters to users who aren’t computer friendly yet and creates more steps to simplify the process. This type of simplifying may not make sense to some, like Pogue, because things actually become complex over time if too many steps are broken down, but as of now I feel like Microsoft’s approach to computer software has saved many a’ headache in people’s everyday lives.

The further into Pogue’s talk I went the more his audience narrowed with his usage of some names that were not familiar to me and some applications I had not heard of yet. His is also one of the only talks, aside from the musical performances, that has included so many props and songs. I actually enjoyed that aspect of it because it allowed for some breathing room in between the logistics of computer software and design. Although this talk did not necessarily inspire me, it most definitely entertained me and taught me a little bit about the differences in computer design and the outlook for it’s future.


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