in a 1990 interview steve jobs told the story of his reading an article about locomotive efficiency in animals. the research compared animals across the spectrum, eventually determining that the condor was the most efficient, using the fewest calories for the furthest travel. we humans fell far, far down toward the bottom of the list.
until you put that human on a bike.
then human efficiency surpasses even that of the condor.
jobs went on to describe a computer as a bicycle for the mind, extolling the computer's virtues, capabilities, and life-changing offerings.
I think of a bike that way: full of virtues, capabilities, and life-changing offerings. does it make me more efficient? apparently.
do I really care about that? not so much: I am lucky enough to have a car for those times I truly need to get somewhere.
steve jobs started the discussion with efficiency but we all know he was about much, much more. he was about style, gracefulness, creativity, experiences, opportunities, thinking the unthinkable, achieving the unimaginable.
I don't even know if steve jobs found pleasure riding a bicycle, but I like that he appreciated the efficient grace of a bicycle.
and if heaven is anything like my vision of it, steve jobs is up there right now, tooling around, swooping, discovering the pure pleasure of the perfect machine, riding his bike.