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The Best Phone is No Phone

In praise of not having a phone.

How we get suckered

I honestly think the biggest reason we are so chained to our phones is fear. Fear of something bad happening, etc.

Tools of mass distraction

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Tools of power?

Certainly you become more demi-godlike with a phone. To me it is still so incredible what we can do with phones. Yet, it seems to me:

Owning a phone (smartphone) is a net-negative to the individual, creator, innovator, artist, and thinker.

Why is this?

Too much focus on the phone-device (the tool in itself), rather than the individual.

How I understand Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was a genius; no question. I am a huuuuge admirer of him.

Yet the problem about Steve:

He saw the device as an end-in-itself, not the individual.

If we consider the marketing of Apple and Steve Jobs’ vision it was this:

All focus on the device, not the user.

The original Apple ads (far better than the soft ones of today) were good. Cold, hard, austere. But 100% focus on the magical device which was supposed to be like a rod of Hermes, or the ideal Midas tool. The iPhone promises us:

It will make you sexier, more productive, more respected.

Consider now, the practical flex people do is based on their devices. The newest iPhone as a status-symbol of how rich, intelligent, or high class you are.

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In praise of iPad and MacBook Air Laptop

If you’re an artist and creator, I would encourage more towards iPad and MacBook Air. For camera, RICOH GR III.

The killer app for iPad is Procreate. MacBook Air is the best in terms of lightness and thinness. Typically the lighter your device and tool, the more you will use it, and the more art you will make.

Society is getting hijacked by the nerds

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No more epic visionaries at Apple. Steve Jobs is dead, and Jony Ive peaced out. Without having a creative tyrant or leader, I predict that Apple will slowly decline and lose her creative dominance.

How about Google?

I am quite anti-Pixel phone. Why? Very sneaky designing.

Essentially this is the strategy:

We will create a great device that the user will always want to use, and slowly and surely … we will collect more personalized information on a user, in order to deliver them more accurate ads.

Now, this ain’t evil. It is just distracting. And to me, I don’t believe in ‘evil’. I believe in distraction.

And no, we are not being distracted for the sake of being distracted. No; just follow the money — it is more about making more money via advertising.

Google is not ‘spying’ on you.

spek-‘ means to ‘look’ in Proto Indo European. To spy is to look.

Technically, Google isn’t “spying” on you. No, Google is simply logging your internet search behavior and click-behavior, and creating a certain archetype of you (anonymous). Then it strives to be the middle-man or the match-maker between you and advertiser. The goal ain’t to control you … the goal is simply to get you to click on more advertisements and buy more stuff via the internet.

What does Apple want?

Apple wants you to buy new iPhones and devices for the rest of your life, and for you to buy more apps and subscriptions.

Now, truth be told… better to be addicted to Apple or Amazon than Google. To me, advertising is more distracting for my brain than products. It is a bit more transparent and less sneaky.

Google ain’t evil; Google is just a bit sneaky about her intentions.

So what is we to do?

Basic ideas:

  1. I discourage any subscription services. No Amazon prime, no Spotify, no Netflix, no Adobe Subscription, etc. I prefer ‘buy once’, own it forever.
  2. Uninstall all apps from your phone besides call function, Uber, Google Maps. As long as you can text and call family, you good. Also be highly highly highly suspicious of Facebook and all ‘free’ messenger apps (What’s App, Facebook Messenger, Kakao Talk, Line, etc). Messenger apps are the new crack cocaine in terms of personal distraction.
  3. Experiment shutting off your phone totally for certain periods of time. Intermittent fasting from your phone.
  4. Just know yourself: I am highly distracted. If I were in school today (and had an overbearing American-educated parent), I would probably be on at least 10 different ‘distraction’ medications (which I see as a crime against children and humanity). I know my sensitivity to distraction so with all of my tools and devices I try to get rid of as many distractions as much as possible. For example on my MacBook laptop, Mac Bartender. Disabling the clock, menu items, or any messenger things.
  5. Disable all notifications on your phone and devices.


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