I Love Apple. But… this is not my idea of Utopia

This is Apple's vision for the world? They paved paradise and put up a solar farm?

“They paved paradise and put up a solar farm.”


I am a huge Apple fan. Apple revolutionized the computing world by making them useful to the average person. What a concept. So my family owns a bunch of iPods and iPhones and various other Apple products. We’re helping to keep our customers employed. :-)

But I’m not a fan of their latest vision for the world, as shown on their website’s home page (and printed above). My first thought was “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”, lyrics from the Joni Mitchell song “Yellow Taxi.” My second thought was of the stark contrast between Microsoft’s “Bliss” default image on Windows XP, and the stories and Microsoft’s PR effort surrounding its retirement, and Apple’s view of a world taken over by silicon.

Has someone gone mad? Lacking also in an appreciation for the way Sunnyvale used to look… endless orchards and grassy fields, before people like my parents bought houses in subdivisions in the early 60s.

Solar panels, in my view, should be on top of parking lots and buildings already in place. Make the best use of previously-developed land. The next generation should look forward to new fields of flowers each spring, not expanding solar farms.

I still love Apple, I’m still looking forward to the next iPhone. Our business has hundreds of awesome customers who happen to work at Apple. Maybe one of them will read this and send it up the chain a bit, give someone a brief moment to consider if this is really an appropriate image to project. Of course, the safe thing for me to do would be to ignore this, because, like religion & politics, you really don’t want to discuss controversial issues regarding an employer who provides the work for a large number of your customers, so they can afford to come in and have their cycling needs taken care of. But I don’t always do the safe thing. :-) –Mike–

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In search of “Bliss”

My "blissful" cycling scene, descending Stage Road just north of Pescadero

My “blissful” cycling scene, descending Stage Road just north of Pescadero

Yesterday I came across an article about the default Windows XP screen display, that green hillside setting that it’s estimated has been seen by over 1 billion people. You can read about it here. The image is called “Bliss” and it got me thinking… is it really that different from what I see most every time I get out on my bike?

So today I set out on a somewhat challenging ride that, as I approached the coast, became blissful. I actually took the time to stop at many places along the way, taking photos, looking for that shot you might see in an advertisement (or on a computer screen).

The ride itself was the reverse Pescadero wit h West Alpine added as a kicker. Head up Old LaHonda, down 84 to San Gregorio, south on Stage Road, east on Pescadero Road over Haskins the hard way, then up West Alpine, north on Skyline and back down 84 into Woodside. A tough 67 miles but surprisingly a bit tougher than normal when you don’t stick to it but instead make frequent stops along the way.

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