Less is more

In reading Steve Jobs, a theme keeps emerge: less is more.

He cut out the fat and all its distraction.

(being a veggie, he stayed true to form).

His closet was full of the same long-sleeve stretch shirt that defined his personal brand.

His take on wealth and money was also consistent with his 60’s philosophy.

Steve could be nice when he chose to, but working for him must have been a nightmare.

His current replacement was quoted as saying “someone must take charge and fix the problem in China i.e. suppliers”. Half an hour later, he turned to see the man in charge still sitting there “why are you still here?”. That man drove to SF airport and bought a ticket flying East.

It’s true that our world is better and certainly more beautiful with technologists like Steve who also doubled as art lovers (I-pod).

If life consists of only 0’s and 1’s, we would all be automatons.

Lucky for us, we got both Bohr and Beethoven, Newton and Nicholas Cage.

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Yet people keep acquiring, acquiring, acquiring.

And the longer I live, the more I see this isn’t going to end.

The pursuit of happiness has meant the pursuit of things (think of exercising equipment for home you saw on night TV).

All I can recall from a Hermeneutic class was “a priori “(we read into a text what we had already thought it would say).  We have consitently misinterpreted the meaning of happiness. In fact, advertisers have done this for us (driving a Cadillac is cool. Hence, to be cool, you must own a Cadillac).

Those text-book writers managed to make complex something very simple.

Urban gangs could say “yo man, m..f…is a racist”. That would say it all.

In the age of Wikipedia, if we want to go in-depth about a topic, just click it and scroll down. The spread of information will multiply even more quickly than Gordon Moore had anticipated (IBM has found a way to save space in transistors, call it magnetization, as opposed to polarization as traditionally used). Devices will get smaller with longer battery life (Acer’s thinnest laptop).

But convenience and comfort don’t equate to happiness. Life has gone on for centuries unassisted by today’s accessories. A tribe in India (island) is still functioning without modern amenities. (Tourists tried to bribe them to “pole dance” for YouTube , raising the issue of “human zoo”.)

The happy countries index often lists Costa Rica and other S American countries.

Yes, quality of life index listed Scandanavian countries such as Norway and Finland. They got the oil, but equally distributed unlike Lybia. But happiness doesn’t confine to just Costa Rica as opposed to Costa Mesa (where South Coast Plaza Mall is located). Perhaps Steve saw something while living in India (My Sweet Lord).

Perhaps we too should reexamine what are the core things that make us happy.

Beauty is found in wild lilies and the grandest scene recurs at every sunset.

Sometimes we missed those moments of happiness, only to recognize them after the fact. Would it be simpler to give happiness the initiative to seek us out. I bet you it work out better that way.


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