Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Apple's new campus headquarters proves that Steve Jobs was from outer space

When Steve Jobs left us almost two years ago, comedians joked that he was from outer space because he gave us something so amazing, it's been described as magical. And "magical" isn't just a word I pulled out of thin air. It's from a quote I'm borrowing that originated with the NPR Podcast called This American Life, and about Mr. Daisy's visit to the Apple factory in Shenzhen, China. One of the workers who assembles the iPad gets to play with it for a while, and he uses the word "magical" to describe it.

What Mr. Jobs invented was so revolutionary that those who took the time to truly comprehend it were left speechless by his ability to envision it. Therefore, he must not be from our planet.

The joke goes even further in my own day-to-day life as I refer to the iPhone as "my miracle box." You might wonder why, and the answer is pretty simple. It's because my iPhone can do so much stuff that (a decade ago) I never could have imagined outside of Star Trek or in the least, J.J. Abrams' home. Hence, "miracle box" seems like a good nickname for such a device.

Well, it appears that if you share my thinking, the joke's on all of us now. The plans that Steve Jobs left behind for Apple's new campus headquarters to be built in Cupertino, California looks a lot like the mother ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Seriously, if this thing doesn't lift off into space at the touch of the red button, I will be surprised.
Expected to open in 2016 (that's election year for you Republicans who are keeping track of such things), Apple's new 2.8-million square feet facility was brought to the Cupertino city council by none other than late CEO Steve Jobs himself. Catch this little factoid: its diameter is larger than that of the Pentagon. I've been to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and it's frickin' huge. This thing is going to dwarf that building. Impressed? *Nods head.
The building is meant to incorporate and develop much of the surrounding green space. There's going to be a system of bike lanes put in for all the health conscious tech geniuses. There's going to be bio-fueled "green" buses to take people around and to go to and from work. The facility will also house its own natural gas-burning power plant. I have a friend that says natural gas is the "fuel of America's future." Well if Steve Jobs believed in it, I think it probably means it's the number one choice of space aliens too.
Here's one of the afore-mentioned healthy tech geniuses jogging along the path that probably goes around the huge mega-structure. I guess that's what $140 billion dollars and screwing the taxpayers of America out of billions of dollars in taxes can build for you. Did any of you watch Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, address Congress on CSPAN? Cook completely "owned" them, practically having our senators lapping the dirt off of his shoes. I think Yahoo Finance (which I read to stay on top of stocks) had an article that said, "Tim Cook should tell Congress to kiss his ass." Since Congress is comprised of elected officials, that means "Tim Cook should tell the American people to kiss his ass." Nice, right?
Apple's terms and conditions page 1 of 99 as seen on the iPhone. Remember
Tim Cook says that the United States tax code could take a cue from Apple.
"We like things simple."
When asked to defend his company's practice of holing billions of dollars in tax shelters in Ireland, Mr. Cook responded (more or less), "The tax code has not kept up with the digital age. Apple thrives on keeping things SIMPLE, and Congress should do the same with the tax code. Eliminate loopholes, reduce overall rates, and make it attractive to bring overseas cash back to the United States."

So it's all your fault people. Apple likes things simple. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE NEXT TIME YOU READ THROUGH APPLE'S ITUNES TERMS & CONDITIONS, WHICH IS 56-PAGES LONG! Yeah, Apple wants things "Simple."

I gotcha Mr. Cook. Thanks for the advice.

28 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Michael - what an amazing looking space and 'office' building - it'll be fantastic to get a glimpse of it when its built.

I hear what you say about tax - but I guess as Eric Schmidt, Google, said to the Brits - your laws need to be changed.

It's depriving so many though of tax dollars, that especially now could help the economy ..

Thanks for showing the building .. I pass on the rest! Cheers Hilary

David P. King said...

And I thought the new Adobe building just up the highway was impressive. Welcome to the future, eh? :)

Pat Dilloway said...

So basically Steve Jobs drew a big donut on a piece of paper and told them to build it.

Jay Noel said...

I bet that building has an underground lair where all of their secret projects are protected by tight security and armed mercenaries.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's going to be one heck of a building.

Misha Gericke said...

Lol love your closing statement. I wonder what complex terms and conditions are like...

Also, even the pictures of the campus headquarters make it look huge.

Andrew Leon said...

Wait, now I'm confused; is this pro-Apple or anti-Apple?

Jai Joshi said...

The hypocrisy is vomit-inducing isn't it. And the way congress licked his feet was just as sickening.

What drives me crazy is that the only reason why the tax code is so complicated is because corporations like Apple lobby to make it so. All those loopholes and arithmetical acrobatics weren't invented by poor people! And then the same rich people complain about the tax code they invented to screw us all over. Schmucks.

Jai

D.G. Hudson said...

Money can buy a lot of things, including permits. I like the design of the 'mothership', and I'd approve it too.

It's not a good thing for politicians to associate too closely with corporations.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Man, that building looks amazing. But most of that apple BS is why i didn't buy an iphone

Leigh Covington said...

The man was seriously amazing and I love that building. WOW! What a sight to behold. I finally gave in and bought an iPad a couple weeks ago and now I don't know how I ever survived without it. Best thing EVER!

Indigo said...

I love the green touchstones taken into consideration with the building.

As for technology, I'm on the fence. Without the current advances I would have been left in the dirt a long time ago with my deafness. My world is so much larger due to these technological miracles.

On the other hand, I also believe for everything there is a price to be paid. What price, is something only time can determine. (Hugs) Indigo

Sheena-kay Graham said...

T&C are never simple. Steve Jobs was a legend and this facility seems to be readying to live up to the greatness that is Apple.

Lexa Cain said...

Well, I guess the building is kinda cool looking. But if Apple's so great, how come they haven't managed to build a flux capacitor yet?! lol

Stephen Hayes said...

I grew up near Cupertino and it's hard to imagine this building there. Of course many years have passed since I've visited. Interesting architecture, though.

Liz said...

I don't know what to say. It makes my head hurt.

Madeline Jane said...

I always love reading your posts. I like Apple, except I'm not a huge fan of Macs. I feel like they may have taken innovation and simplicity a bit too far. Then again it's either Mac or Windows 8. The diverse variety of choices just blows my mind. ;)

Elise Fallson said...

I have so much to teach my children. One of which is to question everything.

Theresa Milstein said...

That place does look like it's out of a movie. I wonder how Apple will do the longer Steve Jobs is gone. They're still reaping the benefits of his ideas for now, I'm sure.

56 pages of "Terms and Conditions" does NOT sound simple. Somebody should've brought that up. I wonder what he would've said.

mshatch said...

I have a feeling Apple isn't the only big corporation taking advantage of tax loopholes.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

This post made me smile. "Why Steve Jobs was an alien" Brilliant!

Helena said...

And Apple also likes to keep things simple by having its products made in China by underpaid workers and not complicating the situation with labor laws and human rights.

Also, judging by the leaps and bounds being made in solar and wind energy, Jobs vision of the energy future was short-sighted.

Brinda said...

I'd like to know if one in a hundred users read the terms and conditions epistle. Who knows what's in that thing. That building plan IS cool looking...

Briane P said...

I'm not sure if I know where you stand on Apple -- good or bad or in between?

I hope it's in between. I'm not sold on Steve Jobs being a genius. He may have spearheaded the iPad, and iPhone, but he didn't invent the concepts and he didn't design them. I kind of think he's getting more credit than he deserves. He no doubt was quite smart, and apparently very driven. I have heard he was a complete a**hole, and I know you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but why not? Why should dying -- or overseeing some revolutions in technology, for that matter -- insulate one from common courtesy and human decency?

Check out this article:

http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-jerk-2011-10?op=1

My favorite is where he rags on an old lady making him a smoothie at Whole Foods.

So genius or not, he was a jerk, and I think we'd be better off as a society not simply putting people onto one peg or another. "He's a genius, he's a jerk, he's a saint, he's a sinner." Maybe if we admitted that Jobs got where he was by taking advantage of tax loopholes and working poor Chinese to the bone, we'd be less apt to idolize him and stop insisting that we get a new freaking iPhone every year.

(For the record? My phone is not an iPhone and it's 2 years old. Also: I HATE the iPad the boys have.)

As for that tax loophole, again, nothing's all good or all bad. I don't blame Apple for taking advantage of the ability to not pay taxes, and neither does anyone else who ever used a deduction on their taxes. If you took the "standard deduction" last year, if you itemized mortgage interest, wrote off your kid's daycare, deducted interest on your student loan, offset gambling losses against gambling wins, used depreciation on your Schedule C tax form, or took advantage of numerous other deductions, exemptions, reductions, and TAX LOOPHOLES, then congratulations: you used the individual equivalent of a corporate tax shelter.

Why SHOULD Apple pay more taxes than they legally owe? Has anyone suggested they did something ILLEGAL, as opposed to "wrong"? If the exemption is there, they should use it.

The tax code is complicated because we use it for social engineering, and corporate tax loopholes are NOT the biggest problem. The biggest problem? That mortgage interest tax deduction.

Apple saved $16,000,000,000 in taxes, according to Slate. Meanwhile, the mortgage interest tax deduction takes $69,000,000,000 in tax revenues away from the US per year.

So why is there no outrage that homeowners are 'sheltering' hundreds of billions of dollars in income from the IRS? Why isn't Congress calling homeowners to the witness stand and demanding that they stop deducting their mortgage interest?

Because the mortgage interest deduction is popular, and corporations are not. Every social issue needs an enemy, and tax reform has its corporations and "loopholes." But closing those loopholes wouldn't do as much to help the deficit and reduce the national debt as eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction, increasing the top income level subject to social security withholding, increasing top marginal tax rates on highest incomes, and/or eliminating income taxes altogether and replacing them with a national, progressive, sales tax -- one that could be applied to internet purchases, for example. That way, we would be taxing consumption, not income production, and encouraging people to invest and save rather than consume.

But Congress will continue to hold public hearings denouncing corporations for doing what legally they are allowed to do, and people will continue to condemn corporations for doing what the people do, too, only on a larger scale, all because the social narrative demands "good" and "evil" and "black" and "white" and "good guys" and "bad guys," rather than nuanced discussions of issues designed to actually achieve a goal.


Donna Hole said...

They'd build something like that in America and employ Americans? Wow.

Yep, he's sure showing off his "simple" designs and plans.

......dhole

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

@Andrew and @Briane: I'm in-between. I just don't like how Tim Cook came across as a hypocrite in the Congressional hearings. But I use Apple products, despite the fact that the Chinese workers who make them jump from FoxConn skyscrapers to their deaths.

Kevin Long said...

I'm not a fan of corporations using loopholes to get out of taxes because that increases the burden on everyone else but the story you lead with about Mike Daisy and This American Life is a fraud.

TAL even ran an entire show apologizing for trusting Mr. Daisy and poked holes in his story. They specifically looked into the quote you cited and spoke to the woman who took him to the factories and found it never happpened.

When confronted with the allegations Mr. Daisy apologized to Ira Glass and said that his show was theater and not journalism and he shouldn't have portrayed it as such. Unfortunately for Apple the story got much more publicity than the retraction and reminds me of the quote from the Man who shot Liberty Valance - "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." I doubt Apple will ever convince people the story was full of half truths and lies.

Just thought you might like to know. You can read the full TAL retraction at:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2012/03/retracting-mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

Belle said...

I think Steve Jobs was and Apple is greedy, evil and don't give a shit about America and Americans.

(I know, I know, tell me how you really feel.)