For those of you who know me (and those who don’t), Inception is in my top 3 favorite films of ALL time (along with The Shawshank Redemption and The Usual Suspects). I’ve watched that movie, honestly, over two dozen times and it’s still as awesome imo as the first day I’d ever watched it. Recently while browsing random Inception things online, I came across a very interesting theory I’d never even thought about or heard before. For those of you who are inception fans, go on reading. For those of you who are not, I say just ignore it and chalk it up to a geek discussion =P
Theory 3: Saito is the architect, pulls a Mr. Charles on Cobb.
Much has been discussed of deciphering what actually happened in Inception by identifying the layers of reality, but little has been said toward identifying character motivation. Ultimately there are only two characters who have objective-based motivations, Cobb and Saito. Everyone else is either in it for the money or the experience. From this viewpoint alone, everything is either based on Cobb’s reality or on Saito’s.
Cobb is under the impression that Saito hires him and his team to plant an idea into the mind of a rival corporation, and in turn Saito will arrange for his legal troubles to be cleared away and that he’ll once again be able to live happily with his children. We are then under the assumption that the inception being performed is on Cobb’s target, Fischer. However, it’s not entirely illogical that everything that happens in the film is actually Saito’s doing.
It makes some sense if you look at the first three dreams (Saito’s limbo, dinner party and apartment) as being orchestrated not by Cobb, but by Saito. He’s aware that the Cobol corporation has hired Cobb to steal the information regarding a new plant’s opening, so half-way through their attempt to do so, Saito actually pulls a variant of Mr. Charles on Cobb by telling them that he knew about their plans all along, that he knows he is dreaming, and that it was all really just an audition for them to work for him instead. Informing them that they failed the audition plants the initial seed of inception in Cobb’s mind; that there is a surefire way he can get home to his children. It is that belief that comes to define Cobb for the rest of the film.
Remember, Cobb believes that inception can work if the idea is born out of a desire for reconciliation. In his case, it’s his desire to reconcile with his children that motivates him to accept Saito’s challenge of planting the company-dissolving idea in Fischer’s subconscious. We can assume that Saito really does want to break up this potential energy superpower, but, other than honor, what reason does he have to make Cobb a free man again? Instead of paying to have Cobb’s record completely erased from government records, wouldn’t it be cheaper to just create a course of action that leaves Cobb in limbo until his brain scrambles?
It’s a stretch, no doubt, and I don’t personally think that’s what Nolan intended, but there is select evidence causing people to believe this is the case. The most crucial support for this theory being Cobb’s trip to Mombasa, which is when A) Saito improbably saves the day by pulling up in a car right when Cobb needs him the most (this last-minute save being a real world continuation of the Saito-Mr. Charles gambit) and B) where Saito interrupts Cobb’s post-sedation bathroom trip, where his appearance coincides with Cobb’s hallucination/aborted confirmation that he has returned to reality, thus planting the seeds that will eventually lead to Cobb’s decision to stay in limbo.
I read an article this morning that said, Apple’s liquid assets at the end Q2 was essentially enough to buy almost all their mobile competitors at once. Of course, the most obvious counter argument would be that this violates some Antitrust Laws. Without getting into semantics, lets be real; the United States is a country run by capitalists (this is not worth me getting into a political debate with anyone) so this would not be an unreasonable assessment.
I’ve been a loyal Apple user for years because of two simple reasons, 1) They put a lot of emphasis (or Steve Jobs does) into their designs. Whether its industrial, graphic, web, motion, interactive, etc. 2) As simple as I can put it, their products work. It’s a dumbed down and generic answer but let me explain a bit. I cannot even begin to show my love for Apple’s amazing OS (operating system) and UX (User Experience) or essentially their usability. I’ve played and tested many products (and I still do all the time) as it’s kind of a hobby of mine (yes, I’m a total tech geek aka dork) and I’ve yet to find an item with a better OS or UX. This is definitely up for debate, if you find one that meets either requirement, please feel free to tell me so I can go play with it myself ASAP.
My only quirk with Apple is basically the infamous slogan or former slogan of “Think Different.” Apple with all its benefits still has one major flaw, which is ironic since it pretty much is counter intuitive to its famous slogan; you are not allowed to “Think Different.” Even though you pay for your hardware and your software, you are not allowed to have an open source operating system (you are not allowed Jailbreak your iPhone). Your hardware, which once again I stress, you paid for but yet are not allowed to have it for worldwide use or even different local competing mobile companies (you are not allowed to unlock your iPhone). Again, the argument is they are trying to preserve their OS and again without getting into a semantics argument; I paid for this product and last I remember, I live in a free (debatable) country so I should technically be allowed to do what I want with that hardware (obviously as long as I am not hurting anybody or causing some sort of break in national security).
The other ironic thing about the slogan is that it also works both ways. Apple would love for their competitors to “Think Different”. The fact that they have, is the reason Apple has been able to dominate the market in practically every piece of hardware they’ve created since the initial first generation iPod. So I am sure Steve Jobs would love for them to continue to think differently.
So here’s my ode to Apple, a 5 minute poster I created in Photoshop updating your slogan with Steve Jobs as the official spokesmen (whom BTW I have tremendous respect for, as a thinker/designer/engineer/business man; this man is like a hero to me):
I’ve been on my extreme minimalist “kick” lately. I would even go as far as to say it is a bit more than a kick since I’ve actually taken my extreme theory and education into actual real world practice (long story but if you’re my friend on facebook you know what I’m saying). So when I stumbled on this video just now, I felt even more inspired. It’s pretty much one of my my life goals to “master” the ability to not only be content with what I have within my means (I think and feel like I’m doing a good job with this one) but also to maximize the potential of how little I have to work with in the most efficient and properly designed way possible. Obviously this is a more “selfish” way to live as it’s fairly difficult with a partner (as you must be keep their different mentality and ways of life in mind) and close to impossible with children (as their comfort in now priority). Seeing as how I’ve gone this far with neither here nor there, at this juncture; I feel even more powerful about this ideology.
The video above is from Christian Schallert who turned his 258 SQ FT apartment into nothing short of a masterpiece. Christian was inspired by small Japanese style homes and boat furniture design. He outdid Chinese designer Gary Wang who turned his 330 SQ FT apartment into a minimalist work of art himself (although Gary is an actual architect so his work was a little more refined). Anyway, I find happiness and inspiration when I see efficiency and design especially when the medium is so limited. What can I say? I adore the “less and more” concept =)
“If you have a small space, you’re forced actually to not be chaotic.”
Steve Jobs’s decision to excise that (dedicated switch on/off) button illustrates his obsession with simplicity, and his long-running desire to build systems as minimalist in design as possible.
- Cordell Ratzlaff (the Designer who designed Mac OSX under the tactful eye of Steve Jobs)
I’ve had this obsession with minimalism my entire life, but more so particularly in my recent adult years. I’m always on this personal quest to simplify and strip away what is not a necessity whether it’s in my work, wardrobe, living space or just life in general. I think this is why things like user interface, user experience, usability and infographics have such an overwhelming effect on me. I feel they are some of the most important aspects of interactive design yet they are the most under appreciated. Its, on paper, such a simple concept yet it is so mind numbingly difficult.
Sometimes I stumble upon an article online that encompasses me so much that I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. No matter how busy work is and how many times the phone rings or how many emails go unanswered, I just cannot pull away from it. This article is such an example of this. It’s the story of how the Macintosh Operating System came to be complete with programming, engineering, user interface and usability nightmares and drama. I imagine this must be what regular people feel when they read a suspenseful book or watch a TV soap opera. It’s also a quick a reminder of how terribly “uncool” I am, haha.
The design team’s mockups, in Macromedia Director, were dynamic, but they weren’t functioning software. Jobs could open and close windows, pull down menus, and see how the system would work. But they were only animations. They weren’t working code. The team had the working code running on another machine that was placed next to the Director demo. When they’d show the working code to Jobs, he’d lean forward, his nose to the screen, and examine them closely, moving from the demo to the prototype and back again. “He would compare them pixel by pixel to see if they matched,” Ratzlaff said. “He was way down into the details. He would scrutinize everything, down to the pixel level.” If they didn’t match, Ratzlaff said, “some engineer would get yelled at.”
Jonathan Yuen is one of my favorite graphic and interactive designers. He created his interactive portfolio site 5 YEARS AGO! (2006) which is essentially 80 years ago in normal time. It’s incredible that its stood the test of technological time which only further proves how brilliant this man is as an artist. His site is the epitome of beauty, simplicity, minimalism and emotion all in one package. I’ve seen, worked and encountered many sites throughout my time and travels and I can say, unequivocally, that this is my favorite interactive site ever.
Take some time to browse his site, I promise you you won’t be disappointed.
Some of the most amazing art pieces I’ve ever seen! So inspiring!
Reuben Margolin, a Bay Area visionary and longtime maker, creates totally singular techno-kinetic wave sculptures. Using everything from wood to cardboard to found and salvaged objects, Reubens artwork is diverse, with sculptures ranging from tiny to looming, motorized to hand-cranked. Focusing on natural elements like a discrete water droplet or a powerful ocean eddy, his work is elegant and hypnotic. Also, learn how ocean waves can power our future.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
I like to ride the back of shopping carts at such ludicrous speeds that it feels like I'm traveling through time. My hobbies include water drinking contests versus myself, running in semi circles, sketching only in pens (pencils are for chumps) and Shadow Jiu-Jitsuing.