Technology -- of course! -- is a man's world, and beauty messes it up totally. Henry Ford is absolutely clear on this point: elegance is sissy....

Microsoft's introducing Windows, my guess is, registered with the public in the manner of John Wayne endorsing handbags for gentlemen, and carrying one himself. Microsoft got famous selling serious, ugly software, outfitting the "man's computer designed by men for men."... My Webster's Second International holds that "bold," "daring," and "undaunted" are synonyms for "manly," and so of course the story is ironic, because (strictly on empirical grounds) the popular belief at its base is wrong. I have never known a bold, daring, undaunted programmer to prefer the PC to the Macintosh. I don't claim that there are no such programmers, only that I have never met or heard about any.

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.