I’ve got a stupid question? Why is everyone picking on Bob Keefe? No, I’m serious… why? For those of you who don’t know, Bob Keefe is the “Intel Sticker Guy”. He asked a rather mundane question: “Why doesn’t Apple take part in the Intel Inside program?”. This is the program that allows computer manufacturers to make millions of dollars a year by putting Intel Inside stickers on their computers (it also includes the TV jingle you see in many computer adverts.
Now, I’m not denying that the question was stupid. After all, the answer is simple, “Because it’s Apple!”. But why does the whole (Mac) world and it’s wife feel the need to pick on the guy calling him dastardly and a jackass. Now this post isn’t an all out defence of Keefe (though in a way it does go someway to defend his question). It also isn’t an attack on those who went after him. It’s simply me asking the stupidest question of all: Why do people attack stupid questions?
OK, so I’m British. As such I spend my 4th of July usually cursing the rain that makes up the British summer. But if I went to America on the 4th of July and asked, “Why do you set off fireworks on Independence Day?” I would get told that it was a stupid question and it’s because it’s just what you do on Independence Day. Now that’s fair enough but in Britain there is the 5th of November, which is where we celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot and set off fireworks. The reason for those fireworks is that they contain gunpowder and as such symbolise the gunpowder used in the plot. So to me asking for the meaning behind why American’s set off fireworks on the 4th of July is a good question.
NB: Just to point out that I don’t actually know why, so if someone does feel free to post in the comments even if it is, “Just to celebrate”.
So now imagine that the Mac world is a country and Bob Keefe is from another country (the Windows world). In that country they all wear these things called Intel stickers and so he comes over here to the Mac world and asks, “Why don’t you wear Intel stickers?”. To this everybody points and laughs at him having such a stupid question. “It’s because we’re Macs,” they say and then go on with their lives. That has just left Mr Keefe with more questions than answers.
Now the Intel sticker question was not the only stupid question asked on Tuesday. Someone asked the question, “Does the iMac have a future?”. Why isn’t that being picked on as being a stupid question? What did people expect Jobs to say to that. Maybe, “No, not really. We released this for a laugh and are dropping the iMac from the product line next week”. But the thing is this is a stupid question that we in the Mac world ask ourselves. Does the iMac have a future?
On the whole most of the question asked were stupid, yet the one with the best answer was probably the sticker question. Instead of saying, “because we’re Apple,” Jobs said why being Apple makes them not choose to use the stickers. Sometimes we have to ask the stupid questions to get the smart answers, so don’t go deriding someone for asking a stupid question. Hell, science is the pursuit of answers to the stupid questions of the day, yet without those stupid questions we wouldn’t have answers that make our lives easier or save lives. After all it is stupid questions such as, “Why should humans stay on the ground?”, “Why should humans stay on the earth?” and, “Why should computers be so hard to use?” that brought us air travel, men on the moon and the Macs that sit before you as you read this.