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I am a Macbook Air—the ordinary 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 machine familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.
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, as a wise man observed, “We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”
I, Computer, 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 …
Don’t take your computer for granted.
Perhaps I just needed to feel good after yesterday’s freaky-deaky, but when I walked into that Mac Store today and walked out twenty minutes later with computing power sufficient to send a man to the moon in my hands — in a device barely heavier than a bag of croissants — it struck me, yet again, how astonishing the free market really is. How did someone like me get lucky enough to live in an era where such a thing is a household item, readily affordable even to those of us who can’t even install our own operating systems unaided?
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 will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Computer, 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.
If this little computer lasts as long as my last Mac did, I’ll end up paying less for it per month than I spend on cat litter. And less than I did on my last Mac, too.
I went to the Apple store beneath the Louvre museum, by the way. The lines to get in it on a weekend are almost as long as the lines to get into the museum. But that store belongs there: It’s one of the great design achievements of human history.
You show me a government that can provide this kind of service at this price — anywhere, even once in human history — and I’ll revise my beliefs about the blessings of the free market.
(… Steve Jobs, forgive me for the unpleasant things I said about you yesterday after the business with El Capitan. May everyone at Apple be fruitful and prosper.)