My road to iDamascus with Steve Jobs as a prophet
After reading up on Jesus and Mohammed on the Wikipedia app on my iPhone 3GS, I was struck by how old and irrelevant our prophets are.
Jesus was the leader of a small ministry prone to speak in parables. Mohammed was a merchant who sometimes dwelled in a cave. It’s time for a modern prophet we can relate to.
Likely contenders are Lionel Messi for displaying artistry on a football field, Adam Scott for dating Anna Ivanovic, Jack Bauer for thwarting terrorism, Tina Fey for her role in 30 Rock or the genius who created The Wire.
Nelson Mandela was an inspiring anti-apartheid hero but is inappropriate. There’s no precedent for a perfect prophet: Abraham was close to sacrificing his son, Isaac; Joseph Smith was a convicted con-artist; L. Ron Hubbard started a religion for financial gain; and you have to be narcissistic to claim to be a prophet.
Barack Obama isn’t a prophet as the Messiah wouldn’t have such a low approval rating. But his good versus evil battle with gutter politicking Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination did have a religious quality.
And then it dawned on me that the iPhone itself is a greater miracle than anything Jesus or Mohammed could muster and so Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, must be a prophet.
As well as making phone calls, the iPhone is an iTunes compatible, podcast playing, and 3G, compass-, Google Maps- and GPS-enabled pretty pocket rocket.
The new iPhone 4G - a prototype comically lost in a Californian bar and given to tech magazine Gizmodo - adds a front facing camera, allowing video calling, an improved regular camera and a sharper display.
The iPhone is more practical than socks, less obvious than the airplane, more benevolent than a gun and as groundbreaking as the stone axe. If Jared Diamond updates his book it will have to be renamed, Guns, Germs, Steel and iPhones: the Fates of Human Societies.
A day does not go by that an iPhone app doesn’t make me a better, happier, more hyperbolic person.
Wikipedia apps provide information on demand. Run Keeper tracks your run via GPS and sends an extravagant amount of information to a website where you can digest how slow and unfit you are. And when you wake up feeling anti-American there is an Al Jazeera app or when you wake up feeling pro-American there is a Fox News app.
The iPhone doesn’t multitask, Apple’s dictatorial grip strangles the app store, emailing is a bitch, it’s shoddy at making telephone calls and it won’t make you more attractive to women. But flaws add character. Tiger Woods is a more interesting person after his indiscretions and Cindy Crawford is better looking for her mole.
There are of course “iPhone killers” in the market and many run Google’s Android system. Yet as much as the Android OS is evolving, it’s less seamless, polished and easy to use than the iPhone.
And Android software is on hardware as compelling as the Coalition’s economic credentials. Susan Boyle is more eye catching than HTC’s plastic looking Android devices.
The only Android phone that isn’t a pile of piffle is the Motorola Droid. With its sleek design, powerful processor, stunning high resolution screen and physical keyboard, it almost stands toe to toe with the iPhone. Alas, it’s not available in Australia.
The Android Market also has only about 15 per cent of the applications of the iPhone app store and less than 10 per cent of its mindless games. Much is made of the freedom given to Android developers but they are letting everyone down by producing so few.
You may be attracted to Android for political reasons. Google’s unofficial slogan is “Don’t be evil” and if you think information is useful, and want it disseminated widely, then Google’s your brand, but it’s not always as open and helpful as its slogan suggests.
Kogan is an Australian company that sells gadgets online. It was the first Australian company to propose an Android phone but it was forced to scuttle its plans in early 2009, citing future operability issues.
Steve Jobs may not be the Son of God like Jesus, he probably won’t ascend to heaven on a winged horse like Mohammed and it’s unlikely that he has magic reading glasses like Joseph Smith. But his company created the iPhone. So I have joined the Church of Apple and worship Jobs as a prophet.
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