It has many flaws and is a long way from great art, but Apple's desktop is modestly beautiful beyond question.... It is beautiful because the technologists who built it aimed to make it beautiful, and thought of themselves as artists.... Their signatures appeared inside every one of the original upright Macs. When Steve Jobs, who led the design team, wanted to inspire his people to finish up expeditiously, he told them "real artists ship."

David Gelernter,
from Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology
(Basic Books, 1998)


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From Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology, copyright © 1998 by David Gelernter. Published by Basic Books, a subsidiary of Perseus Books, L.L.C.