Opinion: The iPad Age of iAquarius

Entire industries are in a state of agitation as Apple prepares to ship its (perhaps) delayed iPad, with Apple imposing draconian secrecy demands on partners, Amazon leaning on publishers for lower eBook prices and TV and broadcasting networks attempting to find a sustainable business model for the wired generation.

In other words, that third wave of creative destruction and the reinvention not just of the media but of the wider culture it represents is beginning to break. This is only the start.

We’ve been watching this kind of activity here at Distorted Loop since our beginning. Some may recall this is precisely the watershed event we have always predicted would disrupt mass media.

It was inevitable that big media would at some point engage in an internal debate that inexorably led publishing alongside all other content industries to recognise the spark at the centre of their business.

The spark is nothing other than the central expression and creativity at the heart of the human DNA. The capacity to invent. To create. To make. To transform the mundane into the impossible and the impossible to the mundane. That’s the spirit of invention that led to the first hand-crafted books, the expression at the heart of medieval calligraphy, the energy that led to the first printing press, and, equally, later on the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, punk and Sniffin Glue fanzine. Even Batman came from someone’s exploration of what some sometimes call their soul.

Sure, today’s business negotiations are all about the Benjamins. But how long will that remain the case when as the world full knows scant months ago the infrastructure at the heart of the global economy almost blew itself apart as the world’s very rich proved themselves morally unfit for purpose.

We’re at a moment of transformation. The uber-zeitgeist transition when the mundane becomes important and the commonplace the prize. A golden age. We’ll look back to what we now call normality and wish we could have it again.

Reflecting the age, Apple’s dealing left right and centre with content providers to offer their material inside the Cupertino iPad garden. Hundreds of thousands of these things have already sold in the US. Apple is reportedly selling more iPads in the first three months than it sold iPhones in the three months after that products debut.

The mad desperate scramble to populate Cupertino’s content garden illustrates the global greed for stimulation, and underlines how Apple’s ecosystems only exist as vessels for other people’s creativity.

That’s ultimately what Apple exists for. Not to boost search engine traffic or to prop up the business of some faded multinational software monopolist. Apple’s inherent reason for existing has been a consistent message: creating creative tools for creative expression, creative communication and consumer consumption of creative’s creations.

There really is no rule that says you can only ever be a consumer. Think Different.

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