The Benefits of Being an Apologist


The infrastructural framework beneath ONE37 is utterly and definably simplistic. Built atop SquareSpace 5, the production of content is characterized by a distinct and indefatigable sense of seamlessness. The importance of this frictionless environment is of enormous personal significance, insofar as it facilitates a thoughtless means through which thoughts may be shared. In an environment known for its ever-quickening pace, sharing an opinion at the right moment is not only exciting, but also tantamount to the associative prosperity of the outlet. Be it a timely quip on Twitter during a keynote, a reflection upon a new Wall Street Journal article, or the notation of the iterative release of a new app, few boundaries stand between myself and my audience.

Foregoing needless difficulties has allowed for my opinions to become readily shareable at virtually any moment. Moreover, the breadth of coverage and understanding has grown in an associative curve. Thus, as it stands, ONE37 has become — for me — an outlet of indisputable excitement and learning.

Oddly, from my experience thus far, there is a palpable tension between these aforementioned results. “Excitement,” although fun and endearing, is often the culprit for grammatical errors, nearsightedness, and, most of all, the reinforcement of my naivet√©. “Learning,” on the other hand, acts as the filter through which such boyish excitement may pass. Whereas I may’ve once leapt to write about a given topic with little forethought, today I meter this reflexively gleeful demeanor through a sturdy infrastructure of experience, care, and contextual knowledge.

And yet, for all of the knowledge that has been consumed, I frequently choose to recklessly abandon such basic tenets of reason in favor of awe. In many respects, regardless of any judgment for such behavior, I’m genuinely pleased I’ve given myself such freedom in my writing.

Consider, for instance, my review of Sparrow for iPhone. Despite the gaping lack of push notification in the retail version, I produced a glowing endorsement of the app — an endorsement I utterly stand by today. For all of the astoundingly obvious flaws, the nature of my person is such that I found myself endlessly captivated by the design leanings of the user experience. Following years of dedication — based solely upon de facto choice — Sparrow’s thoughtful implementation was unquestionably deserving of praise. Despite any reasoning otherwise, however, my review of the app ought to have objectively discerned good from bad — examined flaws on equal level to benefits. Instead, I described an ostensibly obnoxious, impractical, and fruitless manner in which the end-user might justify the usage of Sparrow as their default iOS client.

In other words, through the sacrifice of the objective integrity of the review, I firmly instantiated myself as — what ultimately amounts to — a non-traditional apologist.

Such a descriptor is one of the most controversial stigmas available to the vocabulary of someone within the technology community. Leveling the accusation that someone is an apologist — in a traditional sense — calls into question the very essence of a person’s psyche, their personal leanings, and, most importantly, their integrity. From my perspective, such an accusation need not be indicative of such negativity. In fact, in my eyes, it is one of the most affable characteristics a person might hold.

Regarding the words on ONE37 as being tempered by a distinctly definable sense of apology is, in my eyes, an endorsement of my perception of the world in which we live. Rather than focusing upon the objective pessimism and negativity apparent within a great many works — both business and creative — I have made a personal choice to build my opinions and derive my joy from the innovative creations of a great many people. Excitement, for me, permeates the bounds of realism and idealism, logical and illogical, reasonable and unreasonable. For all of the flaws evident in a given piece of art, writing, or string of code, I choose to focus upon the positives therein.

Sparrow, despite its glaring flaws, is one of the most attractive and pleasurable apps available on the App Store today. Although I cannot use it in the manner I suggested in my review, I continue to sustain and cultivate a psychological reverence for the skill that comprises such a piece of software. In other words, although it would be much easier to do otherwise, I choose to embrace an environment of willful positivity.

It has never been easier for the average person to make a measured and poignant impact upon the world. Even in the most remote town or village in this country, a person can reflexively decide to build a website, a weblog, a Windows Phone app, an Android app, or an iOS app, and then simply build it. Thanks to this remarkable phenomenon, the Internet has been positively deluged with creative works — the vast majority of which are characterized by a distinct sense of mediocrity. But, for all of the mediocrity and failings, I tend not to think in such a manner. Instead, for even the most insufferable of apps, the most disjointed of articles, or the most garish of designs, I respectfully choose to see only the foundational effort beneath.

To join Twitter, install WordPress, and cultivate an online personality is easy. The process is made unquestionably easier by taking the work of others, and mindlessly treading upon it. Raining upon the most personal of efforts, standing upon the shoulders of those who’ve dared to try something new, or arrogantly casting aside someone’s best work for little reason aside from personal gain are each endeavors I simply cannot subscribe to. There is, indeed, merit in objectively considering a given subject but, conversely, there is a time and place for such behavior. Moreover, I tend to think such “time and place” is increasingly waning into stagnant depletion.

Innovation should be regarded for all of its beauty, rather than its blemishes. Ideas should be given time to steep before they are aggressively crumpled and cast aside. Negativity should be metered and relegated to the bounds of constructivism, not held as a fundamental tenet of poorly perceived self-betterment. Change deserves dialectic discussion and appreciation, certainly not reflexive fearfulness.

Thus, as I sit here writing, the words flow easily — my impact upon the digital world endlessly easy to share with as many people as might enjoy to observe it — I have come to appreciate that it is this seamlessness between person and digital world that has facilitated such positivity. That the tension between excitement and learning, and appreciation and fairness has come to constitute an environment in which I willingly choose to pursue the path less travelled. I choose to embrace the stigma, and I choose to enjoy the wonderful benefits of being an apologist for the brilliance of creativity, ability, and human endeavor.

Sitting here, as the sun begins to creep delicately across the mounds of magazines and papers strewn across my workspace, I conclusively contend that it should not be the mess that is deserving of attention, but rather the beautiful dawning morning outside the window. The world is all the more bright if you embrace such a perspective, regardless of what it is that you choose to behold.