Hady Ba's weblog

Wikialité (Mea culpa)

Posted in Vie quotidienne by hadyba on octobre 6, 2011

Message personnel à la personne qui a exhumé ce vieux post: une chose que je ne savais pas quand je l’écrivais (wow, il y a déjà 5 ans!), c’est qu’il y’a parmi les contributeurs de wikipedia des administrateurs qui valident et peuvent bannir les producteurs de contenu farfelu. D’une certaine manière, c’est rassurant de découvrir que je suis moins ignorant qu’il y a quelques années. Ça me donne l’illusion que je progresse 🙂

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Death is life’s change agent

Posted in miscellaneous by hadyba on octobre 6, 2011

Je me vante de ne pas faire partie du culte de Jobs mais j’ai un MacBook depuis un an maintenant et je dois avouer que c’est beaucoup plus ergonomique qu’unPC. Quoi que l’on pense de Steve Jobs, on peut convenir que son discours de Stanford de 2005 est émouvant et enthousiasmant. Il y parle de la nécessité de faire des choses qui nous passionnent même si elles nous paraissent inutiles sur le moment; ne serait-ce que parce que la vie est imprévisible :

The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Il parle aussi dans ce discours de la manière dont un échec peut changer notre vie. Il faut certes éviter les échecs mais il ne faut pas en avoir peur au point de ne pas agir. Nos échecs sont ce qui prépare nos succès futurs et font partie de la vie. Une dernière partie de ce discours traite de la peur de la mort comme moteur:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Souvent, quand quelqu’un réussit, nous nous focalisons sur ses failles pour éviter de reconnaitre qu’il est un génie. Et c’est peut-être une attitude salutaire. Ceci dit, il est sans doute bon de temps à autres de se souvenir que la réussite valide d’abord la vie d’un humain qui a réalisé ses rêves et qui a un peu rendu service à ses semblables. Quel meilleur moment pour le faire qu’au moment où la personne nous quitte?

RIP Steve Jobs

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