Neil deGrasse Tyson Warning on America and Science Denial

Redglass Pictures teamed up with Neil deGrasse Tyson to produce a 4-minute film that communicates something that I have been feeling for awhile. Tyson calls this “maybe the most important words he has ever spoken”. The film covers the recent rise of science denial in this country.

“That’s not the country I remember growing up in. Not that we didn’t have challenges… But I don’t remember anytime where people were standing in denial of what science was.”

Indeed, Neil. I too watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I was one of the first to actually use the Internet, then the World Wide Web. I used cell phones when they were so novel that people would stare at me using one discreetly in Wal-Mart.

“This is science, it’s not something to toy with! It’s not something to say “I choose not to believe E=mc², you don’t have that option!” …it is true whether or not you believe in it, and the sooner you understand that, the faster we can get on with… how to solve the problems that face us.”

Once had a friend – he is still a great, smart friend – that when I brought up a conversation from some 10 years or so earlier, I asked him if he still believed that global warming was a hoax. His reply was, “No, but it shouldn’t be a religion either.” I’ve thought about that remark a lot, and it reminds me of this Carl Sagan idea:

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.

My friend is right in a way. I believe that religion builds policies, procedures, and systems around spirituality, but not in a scientific method sort of way.

Religion doesn’t establish or even create morals, it establishes trusts. Throughout history and various cultures, these trusts between others in the tribe have moved civilizations forward, and sometimes backward. Two steps forward, one back.

It’s time to accept science spiritually. We have bigger things to do.

The Reports of Mac’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

Seen reports from others – many of whom I greatly respect – about the demise of MacOS and Mac hardware.

Admittedly, a Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface Pro are on my top 3 laptop list alongside a MacBook Pro. Windows has improved that much, and some of the hardware is very nice, especially these two pieces from Dell and Microsoft.

But, here we are 4 years on without an upgrade for the “tall boy” Mac Pro, and the new MacBook Pros with their Touch Bar (meh) aren’t exactly thrilling. It does appear that Apple might have spent far more time and care on iOS devices.

Who could blame them? iPhone is what has made Apple the largest company in the world.

However, how would Apple look if all they made were consumer devices? Would they still have that Apple cult following? I think so, but the Apple “experience” would not be as deep and rich. The power users and pros that use Apple products are what adds to the mystique.

Well, here we are with a mea culpa from nonother than Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. From this excellent TechCrunch article by Matthew Panzarino:

Apple is acknowledging that the Mac Pro they introduced in 2013 has run aground on the cleverness of its own design, and they’re re-thinking the entire machine. In addition, they’ll be releasing a new external display — something it had previously opted out of.

Always surprised that Apple somehow thought that users would want something so non-Apple so prominent on their desktop. Hell, I hate to see anything other than a Dell monitor with a Dell PC.

The narrative is that Apple has not put the resources needed into making the Mac work for pros, has neglected updates and could even be working toward a future where there are no Macs, just iOS devices. That’s the picture you’d get from the think pieces, anyway.

Can’t argue with that…

Schiller goes on to say that the Mac user base is almost 100 million users; it’s nearing a $25 billion run rate; Apple now ships computers at a ratio of 80 percent notebooks to 20 percent desktop computers.

And so that leads to this…

We want to be as transparent as we can, for our pro users, and help them as they make their buying decisions. They invest so much in the Mac, we want to support them, and we care deeply about them. So that’s why we’re here.”

But this is more about hardware than it is software. And so, the Quadrant is invoked.

Please read the entire article, but this comes up:

And then Schiller calmly drops the hammer. “We are in the process of what we call ‘completely rethinking’ the Mac Pro,” he says.

Not this year, but next.

Expect something great.