Liberalism and the [a]politics of snark
This, from John Sides in the Washington Post, brings out the danger of the apolitical snark of New Atheism, that it works actively to ridicule and alienate a lot of people who are reachable for liberalism:
In Ideology in America, Christopher Ellis and James Stimson describe a striking disjuncture. When identifying themselves in a word, Americans choose “conservative” far more than “liberal.” In fact they have done so for 70 years, and increasingly so since the early 1960s. … But when it comes to saying what the government should actually do, the public appears more liberal than conservative. […] This has been true in nearly every year since 1956, even as the relative liberalism of the public has trended up and down. … This raises the question: why are so many people identifying as conservative while simultaneously preferring more government? For some conservatives, it is because they associate the label with religion, culture or lifestyle. In essence, when they identify as “conservative,” they are thinking about conservatism in terms of family structure, raising children, or interpreting the Bible. Conservatism is about their personal lives, not their politics.
Sadly, for many liberals of the New Atheist and pro-“science” variety, liberalism is about their personal thought process, not their politics.
2013 saw Jony Ive come into his own as designer of Apple software, with the release of iOS 7. Here’s what that could mean for the future of both iOS and OS X.
From Daring Fireball a proper take on iOS7 by Dave Wiskus, who writes:
As it stands now, iOS 7 is a series of solvable problems. The things you could label as deficiencies are mostly a result of that swinging pendulum—an overcorrection of skeuomorphism. So what comes next is most likely balance and refinement. Buttons might not need to look like they’re being physically pressed if you tap them, but some feedback is useful. Text-label buttons (such as Send in Messages) don’t need to be visually heavy, but it’s generally better to give users a sense of tap target size.
Wiskus then adds:
iOS 7 was a rare large leap forward all at once.
It makes more sense to summarise it the opposite way. iOS 7 is an intentional large leap backward. To rid iOS of all the skeumorphic and other gloss and cruft that had accumulated over six versions and start afresh. iOS 7, and Mavericks for that matter, feels unfinished (bring up the Notes app in Mavericks for proof) because it is unfinished. I assume Ive felt it more important to ship the basic framework for the future than to morph the UI over time. If so, in my inexpert opinion, that was a good call. As Wiskus (kind of) writes, the exciting thing about iOS7 is what it means for iOS8.