Apple

Libertarians Liked the iPencil Before It Was Cool

Some 57 years before the Apple Pencil, Leonard Read wrote "I, Pencil."

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It finally happened: Apple today unveiled its new iPad Pro—and a stylus, dubbed the Apple Pencil, to go with it. Per tech website ITV, "The Pencil is touch sensitive so the harder the pressure on the scree, the darker the writing becomes….The pencil is powered, so will require recharging."

The new Apple Pencil
ITV

This of course represents a dramatic reversal from the Steve Jobs' vision. The late tech icon famously believed that if a device required a stylus, its designers messed up.

Nearly six decades before the iPencil, though, came "I, Pencil," an essay authored by the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Leonard Read, which has been used ever since to teach the problem-solving wonders of free markets.

Below the jump is the story in its entirety, which can also be found on the FEE website

I, Pencil
By Leonard Read

I am a lead pencil—the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.[1]

Writing is both my vocation and my avocation; that's all I do.

You may wonder why I should write a genealogy. Well, to begin with, my story is interesting. And, next, I am a mystery —more so than a tree or a sunset or even a flash of lightning. But, sadly, I am taken for granted by those who use me, as if I were a mere incident and without background. This supercilious attitude relegates me to the level of the commonplace. This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, "We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders."[2]

I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that's too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple.

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn't it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year.

Pick me up and look me over. What do you see? Not much meets the eye—there's some wood, lacquer, the printed labeling, graphite lead, a bit of metal, and an eraser.

Innumerable Antecedents

Just as you cannot trace your family tree back very far, so is it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents. But I would like to suggest enough of them to impress upon you the richness and complexity of my background.

My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding. Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors; the growing of hemp and bringing it through all the stages to heavy and strong rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls, the cookery and the raising of all the foods. Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!

The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, California. Can you imagine the individuals who make flat cars and rails and railroad engines and who construct and install the communication systems incidental thereto? These legions are among my antecedents.

Consider the millwork in San Leandro. The cedar logs are cut into small, pencil-length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness. These are kiln dried and then tinted for the same reason women put rouge on their faces. People prefer that I look pretty, not a pallid white. The slats are waxed and kiln dried again. How many skills went into the making of the tint and the kilns, into supplying the heat, the light and power, the belts, motors, and all the other things a mill requires? Sweepers in the mill among my ancestors? Yes, and included are the men who poured the concrete for the dam of a Pacific Gas & Electric Company hydroplant which supplies the mill's power!

Don't overlook the ancestors present and distant who have a hand in transporting sixty carloads of slats across the nation.

Once in the pencil factory—$4,000,000 in machinery and building, all capital accumulated by thrifty and saving parents of mine—each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop—a lead sandwich, so to speak. Seven brothers and I are mechanically carved from this "wood-clinched" sandwich.

My "lead" itself—it contains no lead at all—is complex. The graphite is mined in Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. Consider these miners and those who make their many tools and the makers of the paper sacks in which the graphite is shipped and those who make the string that ties the sacks and those who put them aboard ships and those who make the ships. Even the lighthouse keepers along the way assisted in my birth—and the harbor pilots.

The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi in which ammonium hydroxide is used in the refining process. Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow—animal fats chemically reacted with sulfuric acid. After passing through numerous machines, the mixture finally appears as endless extrusions—as from a sausage grinder—cut to size, dried, and baked for several hours at 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase their strength and smoothness the leads are then treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats.

My cedar receives six coats of lacquer. Do you know all the ingredients of lacquer? Who would think that the growers of castor beans and the refiners of castor oil are a part of it? They are. Why, even the processes by which the lacquer is made a beautiful yellow involve the skills of more persons than one can enumerate!

Observe the labeling. That's a film formed by applying heat to carbon black mixed with resins. How do you make resins and what, pray, is carbon black?

My bit of metal—the ferrule—is brass. Think of all the persons who mine zinc and copper and those who have the skills to make shiny sheet brass from these products of nature. Those black rings on my ferrule are black nickel. What is black nickel and how is it applied? The complete story of why the center of my ferrule has no black nickel on it would take pages to explain.

Then there's my crowning glory, inelegantly referred to in the trade as "the plug," the part man uses to erase the errors he makes with me. An ingredient called "factice" is what does the erasing. It is a rubber-like product made by reacting rapeseed oil from the Dutch East Indies [Indonesia] with sulfur chloride. Rubber, contrary to the common notion, is only for binding purposes. Then, too, there are numerous vulcanizing and accelerating agents. The pumice comes from Italy; and the pigment which gives "the plug" its color is cadmium sulfide.

No One Knows

Does anyone wish to challenge my earlier assertion that no single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me?

Actually, millions of human beings have had a hand in my creation, no one of whom even knows more than a very few of the others. Now, you may say that I go too far in relating the picker of a coffee berry in far-off Brazil and food growers elsewhere to my creation; that this is an extreme position. I shall stand by my claim. There isn't a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how. From the standpoint of know-how the only difference between the miner of graphite in Ceylon and the logger in Oregon is in the type of know-how. Neither the miner nor the logger can be dispensed with, any more than can the chemist at the factory or the worker in the oil field—paraffin being a by-product of petroleum.

Here is an astounding fact: Neither the worker in the oil field nor the chemist nor the digger of graphite or clay nor any who mans or makes the ships or trains or trucks nor the one who runs the machine that does the knurling on my bit of metal nor the president of the company performs his singular task because he wants me. Each one wants me less, perhaps, than does a child in the first grade. Indeed, there are some among this vast multitude who never saw a pencil nor would they know how to use one. Their motivation is other than me. Perhaps it is something like this: Each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants. I may or may not be among these items.

No Master Mind

There is a fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work. This is the mystery to which I earlier referred.

It has been said that "only God can make a tree." Why do we agree with this? Isn't it because we realize that we ourselves could not make one? Indeed, can we even describe a tree? We cannot, except in superficial terms. We can say, for instance, that a certain molecular configuration manifests itself as a tree. But what mind is there among men that could even record, let alone direct, the constant changes in molecules that transpire in the life span of a tree? Such a feat is utterly unthinkable!

I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human masterminding! Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.

The above is what I meant when writing, "If you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing." For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demand— that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive master-minding—then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people. Freedom is impossible without this faith.

Once government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn't know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognizes that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation's mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of faith in free people—in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity—the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental "masterminding."

Testimony Galore

If I, Pencil, were the only item that could offer testimony on what men and women can accomplish when free to try, then those with little faith would have a fair case. However, there is testimony galore; it's all about us and on every hand. Mail delivery is exceedingly simple when compared, for instance, to the making of an automobile or a calculating machine or a grain combine or a milling machine or to tens of thousands of other things. Delivery? Why, in this area where men have been left free to try, they deliver the human voice around the world in less than one second; they deliver an event visually and in motion to any person's home when it is happening; they deliver 150 passengers from Seattle to Baltimore in less than four hours; they deliver gas from Texas to one's range or furnace in New York at unbelievably low rates and without subsidy; they deliver each four pounds of oil from the Persian Gulf to our Eastern Seaboard—halfway around the world—for less money than the government charges for delivering a one-ounce letter across the street!

The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.

[1] My official name is "Mongol 482." My many ingredients are assembled, fabricated, and finished by Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

[2] G. K. Chesterton.

NEXT: Democrats in Congress Want to Keep Some Science Secret

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  1. “MY Pencil!” cried the ghost of Leonard Read.

    1. I heard Leo Read stopped touring.

  2. INB4 the Apple cult comments.

    /note: I own a 5S. But don’t really care either.

    1. *whips it out*
      6 plus.
      I wear cargo shorts.

      1. show off. Bigger isn’t always better.

        *mumbles* something motion of the something ocean

        1. I think there is a study that refutes that.

          http://healthland.time.com/201…..enis-size/

          1. So only 3 inches…good to know.

      2. I wear cargo shorts.

        “No one’s gotten a hand job in cargo shorts since ‘Nam!”

    2. I’m still on 4S because why are all the new phones made big enough to use with your face?!

      1. Because some of us are getting old

        1. No shit. After ten minutes of squinting at my hand-me-down wife’s old 5(?) it takes my eyes an hour to readjust to the world. Eventually I will get her 6s handed down to me if I can still see by then.

      2. I’ve been struggling along with a 3GS, wringing every penny of value out of it, but will upgrade to a 6S.

      3. How am I supposed to watch a Grumpy Cat video on a tiny 4 inch screen?

    3. AAPPLE BLARGLE

  3. The Pencil is touch sensitive so the harder the pressure on the scree[d], the darker the writing becomes….

    I can do that with my keyboard already, simply by pressing harder on the keys, like so. No big whoop. However, the implication that iPencil users would only be using it to type out screeds is a little insulting.

    1. I just broke my keyboard.

      1. What are you even doing here? I don’t see an infographic.

        1. How about you try creating an infographic with a smashed keyboard!

    2. I can do that with my keyboard already, simply by pressing harder on the keys, like so.

      I CAN EVEN CONTROL THE VOLUME ON MINE!

      1. Ha! Mine goes up to ELEVEN!

        1. Why don’t you just make ten as loud as eleven?

  4. Now, in the absence of faith in free people?in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity?the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental “masterminding.”

    Bernie Sanders and every other socialist/populist relies entirely on this misunderstanding. Which is why I regard socialists and Marxists as nothing more than misanthropes, possessive of a deep distrust and disdain for their fellow man such to the point that they rather no one be free from state control.

    1. Socialists = Economic Creationists

      1. And they believe that the creator is government!

      2. On the first day, the Lord said “Let there be roads!”

      3. That’s awesome. Who came up with that? Caplan?:
        http://econlog.econlib.org/arc…..reati.html

        1. I remember thinking it up awhile ago, but was sure I wasn’t the 1st.

  5. Apple is just asking for someone else to come in and steal their “overpriced, beautiful, locked down” crown and take it from them. I’m pretty sure they’ve been taking their customer base for granted for a while now.

    1. Apple could take a dog turd and polish it, put it in their store and make it the only thing they sell. Their stores would always be just as full and half the people you know would be proudly gazing at their iTurd.

      1. $700 iTurd. The gold colored one is $800.

        1. I’d buy five on release day just so four other people couldn’t get one.

      2. They don’t force anyone to buy their stuff, so people like it for a reason. It’s not my thing, but they really seem to like it.

      3. Apple seems to be losing its edge overseas. Samsung is getting butchered.

      4. Plot twist: iPencil is just a regular pencil, but with planned obsolescence.

      5. Apple stuff is gay.

    2. You know who else takes their customers for granted?

      1. Your mom?

        1. It bothers you, doesn’t it?

          1. It does, damn her!

            1. She pronounces your name wrong.

              1. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP

    3. Crazy talk. Anything not Apple is not Apple. Even the same product only less expensive but with a different brand name is still not Apple. The fact that Apple charges more for their products just proves that they’re better. What is it about Apple that you don’t get?

      1. I pretty much get everything about them, which is why I don’t buy their overpriced garbage. And their OS sucks ballz.

        1. Winblowz suxxors moar.

          1. Who said anything about Windows (which, yes, sucks)?

        2. Having to explain to the “developers” and designers at work who have Macs what the command line is and how to do stuff like clone a git repo or use bower never, ever gets old.

          I’ve only known one real developer who used a Mac as his primary dev machine, and he was borderline autistic and on work release, so his decision-making skills weren’t what you’d call finely honed.

          1. Funny, I use the command line in a terminal all the time on my mac. Granted I’m a lowly ops director, not a developer.

    4. “Apple is just asking for someone else to come in and steal their “overpriced, beautiful, locked down” crown and take it from them.”

      I figure it won’t be long. Jobs is gone and now the company is run by suits. I am sure they will have convoluted explanations why the company withered away. It wasn’t their fault, after all, they did everything by the book.

      1. And then they’ll run for President!

      2. I’ll take that bet. Jobs and Apple developed a system that worked, and that system is taught to everyone there. They have incredible momentum and incredible resources. E.g., for mobile, they are now designing and building CPUs, and the rest of the hardware, and the OS. That’s a huge advantage over every other phone and tablet maker in the world, none of whom have control over all the parts.

        As for the price, sure, there are cheaper options, but if you compare capabilities, and build quality, and resale value, and reduced hassle factor, Apple products are usually competitive, if not the best deal.

        1. Forbes had a great series of articles about how cell phones are changing. Namely, cheap local manufacturers are partnering up with software makers like Cyanogen and then churn out cheap good smartphones. It’s going to kill Apple. They are just too expensive and whereas that extra expense used to buy essential extras (a good camera as opposed to a shitty one) now those extras are, well, extraneous (a super awesome camera vs just a really good one). Samsung is getting ripped up first because of their self-inflicted wounds but Apple will eventually succumb. I can totally seem them going the way of RIM.

          1. They would need to burn through a billion in cash first. There is little chance Apple wont be in the driver’s seat for the next five years. If you see them burning through cash reserves THEN you will know management has lost its ability to compete. But as of right now, looking ahead 5 years Apple still dominates the high end markets for electronics.

            Simple fact is a phone (a fucking PHONE) that costs $800 (monthly salary for some of the purchasers) is the best selling mobile phone of all time…and each time they release one it sets a new record.

            1. Apple isn’t anywhere near the driver’s seat globally.

          2. They would need to burn through a billion in cash first. There is little chance Apple wont be in the driver’s seat for the next five years. If you see them burning through cash reserves THEN you will know management has lost its ability to compete. But as of right now, looking ahead 5 years Apple still dominates the high end markets for electronics.

            Simple fact is a phone (a fucking PHONE) that costs $800 (monthly salary for some of the purchasers) is the best selling mobile phone of all time…and each time they release one it sets a new record.

            1. Correct, Clich? Bandit.

            2. In most of the world you can’t buy cool stuff like guns or racing carburetors for your panhead or Corvette. They have to settle for an over-priced cell phone with a hundred features and functions that are useless if you actually have fun stuff to do.

          3. Not gonna happen. Most smartphone makers are losing money. For one thing, most people don’t want the cheapest phone. Remember when people said iPhones would never sell well in China? Ha, check the sales numbers.

            Another factor is that Apple is now designing and making not just phones, and not just the OS for them, but also the CPUs in them. That’s an incredible advantage over manufacturers who have to buy CPUs from outside firms, use an OS they don’t have control of, add it all together, somehow differentiate their product from everybody else, and still make money. Look at the millions of ticked-off Android users who bought cool cheap phones that never get OS updates. A few years ago, they predicted Android would destroy iOS, but it didn’t happen. Many who bought or switched to Android have been buying iPhones.

            Plus, Apple now has utterly tremendous economies of scale.

            1. So Apple trying to be that “one man” “doing all the things” is an advantage, is it? Did you not read I, Pencil?

              1. Sometimes vertical integration works, sometimes it doesn’t. Apple doesn’t mine and smelt their own aluminum, because that wouldn’t make sense. But tight integration of hardware and software is an excellent advantage, and so it’s worth it to them to design both CPUs and iOS together.

                Another example: many people thought that it was foolish for Apple to open retail stores, but it worked out great. Apple stores make money per square foot than Tiffany’s.

        2. Vertical integration doesn’t really scale, it eventually breaks down. Comparative advantage will almost always win out.

          The only place where heavy vertical integration does work is in exotic cars and other bobbles where the price can be extreme. You want a bespoke McLaren 650S that’ll be 265K.

          1. Apple’s vertical integration is working great so far….

  6. I seem to somehow recall in distant memories, this writing thing that you speak of. The last time I actually tried it, it came out as a sort of unintelligible scrawling. This writing is for primitive hominids. Us modern humans use a new fangled thang called a keyboard.

    1. Which may be why the handwriting of younger folks looks like it was done by a monkey having a seizure. My son can type like a champ and barely knows how to even hold a pencil.

    2. It’s also for artists.

  7. “The Pencil is touch sensitive so the harder the pressure on the scree, the darker the writing becomes….The pencil is powered, so will require recharging.”

    Wacom was, has been and is doing this since the early 90s late 80s. And their pens were unpowered, requiring no charging. What innovation am I missing here?

      1. A Rechargable Pencil for only $99??? I must have!

    1. No doubt we’ll find out about the tech in the coming days. Of course Apple is very aware of the history of styluses, so they would not have gone with a powered one without a good reason. An iPad screen is very advanced compared to a Wacom screen.

      As for the “dramatic reversal” over what Jobs said, Jobs and Apple have always been aware of the importance of timing. Something that’s a bad idea at one point may well be a good idea later on.

      1. An iPad screen is very advanced compared to a Wacom screen.

        I understand that. I guess I’m a little surprised it took this long to bring the concept to the touchscreen.

        Something that’s a bad idea at one point may well be a good idea later on.

        The Federal Reserve keeps assuring me this is the case.

        1. There are styluses that people have been using, but they are of limited functionality. In South Korea, people use snack sausages.

        2. The major problem with styluses is that they get lost. So I imagine the people at Apple are thinking “replacements are $99, fucking goldmine”, but I don’t think it’ll actually work out that way.

          1. This. As an early Wacom adopter, the fucking stylus is the first thing you lose. I can’t keep track of a real pen, why would I keep track of a stylus?

            Some years back I helped roll out the first Tablet Edition windows laptops to our physician group. I carefully attached every stylus lanyard. Physicians didn’t like the little string thingy hanging off their laptops, so they started removing the lanyards. You won’t believe what happened next.

            1. They started sticking them into their urethras in a not-so-subtle tribute to Mapplethorpe? Because that’s what I would do.

            2. “You won’t believe what happened next.” Well, don’t leave us hanging! Where do I click? WHERE DO I CLICK?????

          2. The major problem with styluses is that they get lost. So I imagine the people at Apple are thinking “replacements are $99, fucking goldmine”, but I don’t think it’ll actually work out that way.

            I’m actually the kind of guy that knows when you’re going to ‘borrow’ my pen and reminds you. Even if it finds itself when lost, unless it’s well supported across lots of devices/apps that’s $99 for a stylus that I’m gonna use for like 2 yrs.

            1. I’m actually the kind of guy that knows when you’re going to ‘borrow’ my pen and reminds you.

              So you’re Milton from Office Space?

              1. Excuse me? It’s never been officially proven that I’ve burned any buildings to the ground if that’s what you’re asking.

      2. As for the “dramatic reversal” over what Jobs said, Jobs and Apple have always been aware of the importance of timing.

        Aware of it in the sense of it’s existence and maybe, at one point, having owned one, but the history of the Watch certainly suggests that that bird is not always in hand.

        1. Sure, Apple products don’t always spring into existence in fully-developed form. The first Mac, the first iPod, the first whatever are often limited. But sometimes they need to get the product out into the real world a bit early, to recoup investment, gather real-world experience, and start getting developers onboard.

          1. *If* that’s what’s happening, I’d call that staging rather than timing.

            Considering all the big complaints I’ve seen are physical or economic and the only potential solutions I’ve heard on the horizon are software-related, I’m loathe to think so. Considering they’re still competing with Samsung and FitBit in a market that they themselves (in addition to the et al.) are diluting/chilling it seems like you’re suggesting that they’re playing absurd six-dimensional-chess type of long game.

            1. “Staging” is a better word, yes. And Apple is very much playing a long game. They do not think or act like a typical electronics manufacturer. E.g. they don’t defer to a marketing department demanding endless new features and endless models. They have a somewhat austere, Zen-like attitude toward design, and they design for themselves, not aiming for whatever they think they can fob off on the customers. I.e. they “eat their own dog food.”

      3. ” An iPad screen is very advanced compared to a Wacom screen.”

        But if you’re using a Wacom, you care more about the quality of your desktop screen since the main point is to just cut out the middleman between hand-drawing and your main graphics computer.

        There are drawing apps, but they’re pretty rudimentary due to the performance limitations of mobile and tablets so it’s not like you can get very complex with illustrating on a tablet anyway

        1. Admittedly I’m just thinking of this in terms of design, which is what I use my Wacom for. Maybe everyday users will start using styluses, although I find it hard to imagine why unless it makes it easier to check Facebook

        2. You can get very complex with illustrating on a tablet. It’s not what I’d use for CAD/CAM or 3D modeling, but for anything freehand, artists love them.

    2. An Apple logo.

    3. What innovation am I missing here?

      The attachment of the Apple logo.

      1. That’s not an innovation. Tons of people stick Apple logos on all kinds of crap everyday.

        Only Apple seems to be able to use that to increases the value 1-10,000-fold.

  8. If no one person knows how to make a pencil, then imagine the miracle of the iPhone!

  9. ?Ay, pencil!

  10. Apple really does seem to be losing its touch. The whole iWatch thing doesn’t seem to be panning out particularly, and I have some grave doubts that a $99 stylus is going to mean such a improvement in my user experience that I’m going to be shelling out for the cost of losing them repeatedly.

    The whole walled garden model only works if you make the garden a neat enough place to be. Apple seems to have lost track of that fact.

    1. As they continue to stockpile billions? Apple bashers sure are a strange lot.

      1. Yeah, I’m such an Apple basher.

        That’s why my main phone is an iPhone.

        Jesus H. Christ, Apple fanbois can be almost as bad as Trumpalos. People can recognize that they aren’t exactly leading the way on useful innovation without hating Apple.

        1. The giveaway is the speed with which they call anyone offering anything remotely close to criticism “bashers” or “haters”.

          1. I use both Apple and Microsoft products, thanks.

  11. The whole iWatch thing doesn’t seem to be panning out particularly

    (1) Is there any good data yet on sales (net of returns)?

    (2) Its my understanding that most first-gen Apple products underperform their second-gen successors.

    I can’t see ever owning an Apple Watch. I like my mechanical watches. I like automatics, so they rewind when I shake my cane.

  12. This of course represents a dramatic reversal from the Steve Jobs’ vision. The late tech icon famously believed that if a device required a stylus, its designers messed up.

    What a dolt. Steve Jobs’s only accomplishment after he came back to Apple was to make his brand into over-priced hipster wear. Everyone of his ‘innovations’ including the iPhone were ripoffs of something someone else did for less money.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure that hundreds of millions of happy customers and hundreds of billions of dollars in profit for one of the world’s most valuable companies and most valuable brands are all wrong, and Cytotoxic is right.

      1. Yes. Hipster morons are morons. Seriously, every Apple user I’ve spoken too only likes Apple because it’s ‘simple’ and ‘just works’. Then they proceed to bitch about all of the problems they are having with their iShit.

        1. You think there are hundreds of millions of “hipster morons” in the world? You think Elon Musk is moron for using a MacBook?

          Nobody thinks their phone or computer is perfect. It’s only human to bitch. But the sales numbers, and customer loyalty, and reviews, and resale value all tell a story that’s hard to deny.

          1. But the sales numbers, and customer loyalty, and reviews, and resale value all tell a story that’s hard to deny.

            Like Democrats voting for Hillary, the Apple crowd sticks to what works.

        2. only likes Apple because it’s ‘simple’ and ‘just works’

          Something that few other companies get.

    2. And this is a problem for the market — how? He took something that people were willing to pay more for, and he got them to pay more for it. If what you say is true (and I’m not sure it is) than he is a hero for raising the pricepoint of a product that was otherwise already available. That is not easily done.

  13. Can we call the stylus and get it to ring or have a gps locator so we know where we lost it. If not then thats an awesome idea i just gave away for free. apple call me.

    1. Can we get a vibrate feature?

      I’m asking… for a friend.

      1. Your friend may want the big pen. The one called something else. I don’t think it writes.

  14. My wife wants the one that’s on Kickstarter, but last time I looked, it wasn’t shipping yet. So it’s up to her to tell me when it is if she wants it. She has an entire collection of those primitive pens and pencils thingies, and her hand writing is beautiful. I don’t see the purpose of these primitive devices. Only time I ever use one is to scratch out something called a signature on a restaurant check.

  15. “This of course represents a dramatic reversal from the Steve Jobs’ vision. The late tech icon famously believed that if a device required a stylus, its designers messed up.”

    Actually it’s not a reversal. Apple’s iOS devices still do not REQIRE a stylus. It is an option (which is why the Apple Pencil is sold separately). But it is an option for tasks for which it makes sense (most notably, artists who would use the iPad to draw on)

  16. It’s funny how they added in Samsung’s Air View as Samsung is getting rid of it.

  17. The late tech icon famously believed that if a device required a stylus, its designers messed up.

    He was – and is, for a general purpose device – right.

    The iPad Pro doesn’t require a stylus, but you can use one if you want to do sketching and art and long-hand writing.

    (I’m sure the people at 53 are amused, if annoyed at probably losing the main market for their Pencil product.

    The best parallel here is probably the Surface Pro, which also doesn’t require a stylus … but has a very artist-friendly pressure-sensitive touchscreen.

    Digital artists are likely to love this thing.)

    1. My surface Pro came with some sort of stylus-thingy. You had to set up a Microsoft account to use it and I couldn’t figure out what it was for anyway.

  18. Sell, Mortimer! Sell!!

  19. I like pivo.

  20. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  21. This is a great piece by Leonard Read. It should be translated and airdropped in Cuba and Venezuela (on biodegradable paper, of course.) I think it is also makes the case for each of us being more humble about our own individual importance, and so should be required reading for every Presidential candidate.

  22. That’s some kind of ersatz pen. A pencil is made of wood.

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