A Modern Life Lesson from Superman

The next time someone asks why I still read superhero comic books at age 29, I’m going to hand them a copy of Brian Michael Bendis's Superman #2. It opens with powerful reminder of the responsibility we all have to stay plugged into what’s happening in the world, even when it’s totally overwhelming — all under the guise of a superhero story. And it has the realistic, yet inspiring tone you'd want from a Superman story.

Green Arrow once privately asked me if my life was Hell.

"Hell?" I asked.

"Actual Hell! Because you can never turn off your super-hearing. You can't not see the madness of the world with your super-vision. You can't stop seeing and hearing all the horrors of the world."

First of all... yes, I can. I can turn it off anytime I want. I don't. I never have and I never will. But I can. We all can. I could leave the planet and never come back.

And yes. Some days it does feel like madness. The screams for help never stop. The hate never stops. Oh, and the ignorance. The ignorance sometimes never stops, and it just breaks my heart.

But, and it was my wife who pointed this out... she said: everyone knows there is suffering and hurt and war and disaster. All the time. Somewhere, someone is out there hurting someone else. Whether you have the superpower to hear it or not, you still know it.

But what a lot of people don't get to see or hear it what I get to see or hear: what happens after the scream.

People help. People reach out. More times than not, a scream -- and someone nearby helps before I can even lift a finger. People do their jobs. It's stunning to see. Beautiful, really. The police, firemen, EMTs, politicians, even.

Nothing is perfect, and it never will be, but the world works. Even during emergencies, tragedies, and sudden disasters. Especially during emergencies, tragedies, and sudden disasters.

Not all the time, and not everyone, but billions and billions of times a day, the world works. Billions and billions! I explained it to Ollie: that's what I get to see and hear every day. The sight and sounds of billions of people trying.

Does that sound like Hell?

Nitpicking the iPhone X Announcement

Yes, the iPhone X looks awesome. Yes, I want one. But anyone can talk about the good stuff. How about some of the annoying, nitpicky details?

  • Poor Craig Federighi. Was his face too handsome for Face ID?

  • A cellular Apple Watch won't be useful to me until it's as easy to play podcasts on the watch as it is on the iPhone. Until I can easily get podcasts on my Apple Watch and AirPods, I can't leave my iPhone very far behind anyway. I'll be sticking with my Series 2 for now. Plus, as a Type 1 diabetic,  I'm hopeful that the rumored glucose monitoring features will come to Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018.

  • I was crossing my fingers and wishing (foolishly, I'll admit) that they'd reveal that the existing AirPods charging case has secretly had wireless charging capability all along. I know, I know -- I ought to know better.

  • On iPhone X, Control Center is now accessed by dragging down from the top right corner of the screen. But, Reachability doesn't exist on iPhone X. So I'll be regularly swiping down from the top, but I'm not sure I can always reach that corner. Something I'll need hands-on experience to fully wrap my head around.

iPhone Event: The Set List Isn’t the Performance

Jason Snell distills down a thought I had this weekend, and he does it much more articulately than I could have. A great read for those looking forward to tomorrow's iPhone announcement.

So huge swaths of tomorrow’s Apple media event appear to have been leaked. [...] Still, it’s a little like saying that reading a set list is a replacement for attending a concert. The appeal of an Apple product launch is not a product’s spec sheet, it’s the reveal. (If you want to test this, refuse to watch an Apple product launch sometime and limit yourself to the Tech Specs pages. Good luck.)