Freedom to function, an ongoing love story

This is a kind of a random strean-of-consciousness post I wrote while sitting around waiting in a mall a while back. I cant bring myself to delete it, but I can’t quite work up the energy to tie it all together either. However, I’m tired of it sitting in my drafts folder. Here it is, straight from my brain, raw and unedited:

I’m currently wearing three things I love. I love them for very similar reasons, and in every case it has to do with what they allow me to do, and how they perform their function seamlessly and stay out of my way. I may also make a mention of how they fail me from time to time.

The first item is my Utilikilt, workman’s model, color black.
I love this thing. It has pockets in exactly the right places, hangs exactly how I’d want it to, and is utterly indestructible. I don’t have to worry about damaging it, and when I need one of the items I’m carrying they are perfectly placed right at arms length in their pockets.
My only complaint about the workmans model: lack of the “modesty snap” that holds it closed in high winds. It’s generally heavy enough to hold it’s own, but I have to mentally prepare myself to make sure the wind doesn’t catch me unawares. This is it’s only flaw! As clothing goes I can’t erally think of something that works better for my day-to-day use, and is as comfortable. Form Follows Function indeed!

Item two: my Glock model 26 pistol.
I love this gun. I can carry it all day and only have to make small allowances in my wardrobe and movements. The Glock is my favorite handgun because of it’s operations. Dead simple if I needed it, no chance it’s going to confuse me or be difficult to operate under stress. It easily operates as an extension of my arm, no user interface required. It provides the framework to add any additions that I want on to it, and will perform it’s function. Perfect functionality and perfect simplicity. It’s no wonder that Glock’s logo subtitle is “Perfection”.
Some would say that the flaw of the Glock handgun is it’s aesthetics, but I actually like the unassuming simplicity, so I’m not counting that as a flaw.

Item three: my iPhone.
As I type this I’m standing in a shopping mall waiting for someone, and it’s thanks to my iPhone that this is possible. It’s a perfect pocket-sized device that let’s you carry the world wherever you go. One of the best features of the iPhone is in it’s simple user interface. The device really focuses on technology “getting out of the way” and letting you do what you want, when you want. This is interesting because it allows people who would never otherwise be interested in technology to reap the benefits.
The flaw of the iPhone: it only allows me to do what Apple thinks I should be able to do. I understand that Apple is interested in that seamless user experience and that they think that creating a walled garden around their product helps them do that, but I disagree with the principle.

The reason I like all of these products so much is because they allow me the freedom to function as I want, freeing me from restrictions instead of imposing them. This is what having /stuff/ is all about. I don’t want to buy things that make my life harder! Technology, from the rock all the way up to my iPhone, is there to make life easier and better. Too often we become slaves TO our technology and our gadgets, rather than them being slaves to us as they were designed.

I think it’s important to be mindful of our tools and toys, both as consumers and as creators. The one and only goal of a tool is to make things easier and better, and any that doesn’t is taking away our freedom to function as we see fit.