Is the iPad a Step Forward or a Step Backward?

In Time Magazine's review of the new Apple iPad, Lev Grossman writes a glowing endorsement for it. However, his last paragraph was what I found most intriguing, especially as it pertains to how the iPad can effect culture.
If I have a beef with the iPad, it's that while it's a lovely device for consuming content, it doesn't do much to facilitate its creation. The computer is the greatest all-purpose creativity tool since the pen. It put a music studio, a movie studio, a darkroom and a publishing house on everybody's desk.

The iPad shifts the emphasis from creating content to merely absorbing and manipulating it. It mutes you, turns you back into a passive consumer of other people's masterpieces. In that sense, it's a step backward.

Not much of a fairy-tale ending. Except for the people who are selling content.

Does the iPad threaten the advancements we've attained because of the PC Revolution?

To paraphrase Andy Crouch (in his must-read book, Culture Making), will the iPad motivate and empower the next generation to create culture or will it simply be an enabler for a generation to simply consume culture?

1 comment:

Andy Crouch said...

Spot on--I share this concern. It is interesting and a bit troubling how Apple has shifted from being positioned for culture creators to culture consumers.