I've done a lot of Thanksgiving pieces, where I was thankful for people, things, places, ideas, freedom, food and in hidden symbolic language, love and sex.
I write a lot of critical reviews here, that's what reviews are for -- to warn people about problems with products and hopefully to help the product creators aspire to more perfect user experiences. I mean no personal criticism with these critiques, after all I've already disclaimed that I make shitty software myself. With bugs! And so do you.
One of my benchmarks for things working is I imagine showing what I'm doing to my grandfathers, both of whom I knew, and wondering what they would have thought. Would they have had the context to make sense of what we're doing? And then realize that it's been no more than 25 years since they were alive. A lot has changed since then.
On Twitter, my buddy Chuck asked if I could see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from my apartment. Of course I can! I got out my iPhone and took a picture and emailed it to him. It took just a few seconds. But what power! I paused and thought. I know my father would have understood it. But his father? I don't think he would have had the language for it. That's how fast our culture is evolving.
In the recent discussion around the Isaacson bio of Steve Jobs, a lot of the criticism of my critique was that there is technology and humanity and they are subjects of different books. That's where we differ. They really are the same thing. Just study history and you'll see -- human expression and technology are inexorably interwoven. Utterly inseparable.
So that's what I choose to express thanks for this Thanksgiving. If you want to sing the title of this post to the tune of something, try Thanks for the Memory, which was Bob Hope's theme song. And thanks for technology! La la la la la. Etc.