If Microsoft’s video had gone so badly I’d be mocking them

Apple’s event today wasn’t really overshadowed by its technical problems, but it felt like it was. I could tell you that the video feed started and stopped, began again, dropped out to colour bars, ran catchup like a Benny Hill sequence and when it would come back would also be accompanied by a Japanese translation soundtrack.

I could tell you all that and it would be true but it doesn’t convey the frustration. I truly do not know why I carried on watching. Actually, I gave up many times, but still I was drawn back. And eventually it did work – but the live feed ran so many minutes behind reality that I had to hide my iPhone to ignore texts that were coming through from people who happened to have a better feed.

But the texts, they did come. Because of the Apple Watch.

By the time that was announced on my screen, the feed was fixed and the frustrations were fading. But I have to wonder: is the reason I’m not fussed about the new iPhones just that they were announced when the feed was down?

Video and systems and launches and infrastructure are crucial – and Apple got it wrong today.

Update: the 1,179 news stories I won’t read

Five days ago I wrote about The 319 News Stories I Won’t Read. If you’ve heard me wibble on above ten minutes then you might figure that these 319 are sports stories. No. I ignore sports but just as one amorphous blob of nothingness, I don’t understand it enough to determine individual news stories.

The 319 were the Apple news stories in my RSS newsreader. And right now there are 1,179 articles about Apple. That’s quite a lot of stories and I would like to tell you about them, except I still won’t read them.

I may never read them. You can be sure that a gigantic majority are to do with the launch of the iPhone 6 and whatever else Apple may or may not release tomorrow. I’ve been staying away from the firehose of news because most of it is wrong, much of it is clickbait emptiness as well as wrong, and you end up being convinced that Apple will announce the discovery of alien life.

After tomorrow’s event, there will be many more stories and I might read some of those. But these 1,179 are dead to me.

All of which is a long way of saying that a lot gets written about Apple, that a lot gets read about Apple by me and that is KILLINGLY DIFFICULT to ignore 1,179 articles.

Apple is streaming its event live on apple.com from 6pm UK time tomorrow, Tuesday. I’ve skipped the articles but I’ll be watching the event. If you enjoy these as much as I do, please write in and explain what I get out of them.

You’re on your own – and it’s necessary, it’s good, it’s great

Thinking about this morning’s story that Experts are wrong – says expert, I’m minded of a Self Distract post I wrote last year.

I wrote about how we naturally turn to our friends when we have something big to tell them like you’re starting a company and they cheer you on, yet:

Only, there is also this unconscious part of them that says you’re not the one… who starts a new business, you’re not the sort to do anything they haven’t already seen you do.

Consequently, unless they are very unusual people – and you hang on to them if they are – you will forever find them holding you back. Their concerns for your wellbeing coupled to this locked perception of what you are and what you do means your friends will invariably hold you back.

You’re on Your Own and it’s Necessary – William Gallagher, Self Distract (December 2013)

If you can’t rely on your friends, who can you rely on? Sorry, did you really just say ‘family’? You might’ve said experts until you read this morning’s story. But there are other reasons to distrust experts. So, no friends, no family, no experts. You would think this piece would be a depressing read but I took some heart from writing it and I’ve had a lot of people tell me they found it encouraging.

Probably because it also includes the answer. You’ve got to look now, haven’t you? I hope you like it: that Self Distract piece meant much more to me than I realised before I wrote it. The act of writing it to you formed it better in my head, made me think more coherently. So ta for that.

Experts are wrong – says expert

I’ve often thought about this: experts say this or that can’t ever happen and then it does. Or they say it must but it doesn’t. I’ve just concluded that there is always another fact or another element that you don’t know or don’t see the significance of until it’s happened.

It has scared me a bit, actually. You know that Titanic wasn’t strictly speaking called unsinkable but few people seem to know why the term ever came up. It was to do with a new system of watertight bulkheads that meant if one was holed, it couldn’t flood the others. But these holds were open at the top. Nothing could flood enough to go over the top, of course.

So I spend some time, distressingly regularly, wondering what gaping hole I’m not seeing, what questions I’m not asking:

There will always be a wealth of experts arguing a number of sides to any given issue and most will be proved wrong. Yet we still seek them out because whenever there is uncertainty, we listen to anyone who professes to know more than we do. By looking for easy answers, we’re just asking for trouble.

Why Experts Always Seem to Get It Wrong – Creativity Post

The full post has more examples, better ones than my Titanic thing, plus more detail on why this all seems to be true.