Steve Jobs knew what he was doing. He watched as technology tightened its grip on the American psyche. Long before others understood the potential of the personal computer, he saw its power. But it was his visionary use of media to explain technology to a hungry culture that revealed his singular genius. As a result, even by today's standards few inventions approach the worldwide religious devotion that tech users have lavished upon the products "Designed by Apple in California" and its late founder. In Appletopia , media and culture critic Brett T. Robinson reconstructs Steve Jobs' imagination for digital innovation in transcendent terms. Robinson portrays how the confluence of Jobs' religious, philosophical, and technological thought was embodied in Apple's most memorable advertising campaigns. From Zen Buddhism and Catholicism to dystopian and futurist thought, religion defined and branded Jobs' design methodology. Appletopia navigates decades of marketing strategy and divines the clever and creative ways that Apple conveyed its purpose to the world: Apple products were to be known for their fantastically simple design and astonishing ease of use. In so doing, Robinson resurrects Jobs' uncanny ability to integrate philosophical and religious thought with technological genius, laying the groundwork for Apple's ubiquity today. As it turns out, culture was eager to find meaning in the burgeoning technological revolution, naming Jobs as its prophet and Apple the deliverer of his message.
Brett T. Robinson is Visiting Professor of Marketing in the Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, where he also studied marketing and English literature. His doctorate is from the University of Georgia, where he helped establish the New Media Institute in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He currently lives in South Bend, Indiana.
Acknowledgments Introduction, Media Technology and Cultural Change 1. Macintosh Myths, Allegories for the Information Age 2. iPod Devotion, Acoustic Ecstasy and Altered States 3. iPhone Worship,"Touching is believing" 4. Technology and Religion, Where the Physical and Metaphysical Meet Conclusion, The Paradox of Technological Belief Notes Bibliography Index