Week 5: Lough Neagh and Steve Jobs

the installation on the shore of Lough Neagh

To open this week’s lecture Prof. Moore spoke about a project he worked on with someone called Jem Finer, a man who I had never heard of who used to play in a band called the Pogues, who I didn’t recognise the name of at first but then remembered they did that christmas song that get played far too early every year.

Anyway Prof. Moore talked about how the people who live on the shores of Lough Neaghs’ houses all face away from it which puzzled me and that they don’t really like the body of water very much, that they see it as an industry more than anything. I don’t live near the Lough at all and not being aware of any of this made me realise that it’s one thing to look at a photo or a piece of footage of the lough in a discover Northern Ireland advert, but an entirely different one to live near it and know everything that goes along with it.

The point of this story became clear when we were shown the piece that the BBC culture show did on the art installation in which Paul Moore was introduced as a “sound artist” a fact that he told us netted him lots of commissions afterwards.It was this one aspect of this one film that changed how he was perceived by others as he said he’d never refered to himself as a sound artist before, and in my opinion this also tells about the difference the reach of something like a BBC piece makes to someones creative presence.

The second part of our lecture was predominantly occupied by Moore’s love for Steve Jobs, a man recognised by some as a god and by others as a tyrant. One of my favourite quotes from him is “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. This quote is especially prevalent when it comes to defining new product categories which Jobs was very good at because if Henry Ford had asked his customers what they wanted they would have said a fasted horse. I have no question that Jobs was committed to what he did and that definitely deserves respect however I don’t think I’m as much of a fanatic as perhaps Paul Moore is.

The professor also talked about the ongoing rivalry between apple and microsoft which is something I’m a little more adept at discussing. In an interview that took place right after microsoft’s recent product launch the company’s recently appointed CEO Satya Nadella was asked about the direction that microsoft is going in. His reply was to mention the newly released windows 10 and how he want to focus not on nets and profit margins as a measure of success but rather on how consumers enjoy using windows as a service/ecosystem. He says it far better himself in this video.  

Paul Moore told us about how, in the beginning, microsoft as a company catered mostly to the military while apple’s macintosh was a computer “for the people” and while apple hasn’t really changed their ethos since then I think this quote from Nadella sums up microsoft’s evolution from their roots to where they are now.

Interviewer: “Why does microsoft exist?”
Satya Nadella: “To empower other people and organisations through digital technology to achieve more, that’s it”

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