Did counter culture help create Apple computers?

As mentioned in our first lecture, counter cultures that surrounded the history of the internet led to ‘a more complete and authentic self‘ and they viewed the internet as a ‘virtual community‘. Two people that were involved in counter cultures were Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, also known as the founders of the Apple computer.  In James Curran’s ‘Misunderstanding the Internet‘ he writes that Jobs had gone to India in search of ‘personal enlightenment‘ and Wozniak was ‘heavily involved‘ in the rock scene. Both of these things in 1979 were seen as being a part of a counter culture.

Steve-Jobs-Steve-Wozniak-1976

Wozniak (left) and Jobs (right)

What makes this interesting is the fact that both Wozniak and Jobs wanted to create a computer that was affordable for all people, therefore going against previous capitalist ideologies. Previous computers and computer systems were only available to those who could afford to spend thousands or to companies. Apple wanted to change that. In his book ‘iWoz‘, Wozniak describes how he wanted to help younger people become involved with technology and computers to help them go further in life. In the original business plan for Apple that was made public in 2009, it stated that “MAC will help the student of the 80’s learn the tools of the 80’s” meaning that they wanted to help educate rather than sell computers for profit.

Of course in later developments, it is debatable that Jobs became greedy and resorted to simply wanting profit from the Apple products. If you’ve seen the recent movie starring Michael Fassbender then it will be familiar to you that Jobs later went on to losing the initial reasoning behind the Apple computers.

Counter culture did help create the Apple computer, but it also helped create many other things also. One thing to think about is what current counter cultures can create for us and the internet in the future…

 

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2 Comments

  1. My answer to your question in the title is absolutely! You make some fair but worrying points in this post. As you said, Jobs and Wozniak wanted to make the computer available to the masses rather than just cooperation. This appealed to the counter culture of the day and so was born the Internet as we know it.

    However, you mention about the future, how can we trust what people are going to want from the Internet next? Organisations such as ISIS have already gained power through the Internet,(a very different counter culture with very differerent idea’s to the counter culture which lead to the birth of the Internet).

    What’s to say that the reason we have the internet may not degenerate into it’s demise?

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  2. It’s really interesting to read that Jobs and Wozniak wanted to help young people who considered technology as a career. If you look at Apple today, all you think about is an expensive piece of technology – whether the technology and design is better than other brands, is debatable, but what is clear, is that they wanted to create something different to stand out from the crowd. In my opinion they achieved this.

    Like

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