our greatest achievements

14 and the greatest of all

‘Can a broken robot break a child?’*

‘Apple was his first and most heralded professional achievement; Pixar was a place he could relax a little and play.  While he never lost his intensity, we watched him develop the ability to listen.  More and more, he could express empathy and caring and patience.  He became truly wise.  The change in him was real, and it was deep.’**

Whether we’re fermenting, processing, or manufacturing, humans are makers par excellence from the raw materials we find in our world, but our greatest achievements are our inventions of love.

Twelve year old Estelle is upset by a malfunctioning Kismet, believing that the robot does not like her.  Leon is the same age, but is over-the-moon with a responsive Cog: “He heard me!  He heard me!”*  We are making robots now, and these two children are telling us, above all, how these robots relate to them is most important of all.

At the end of his book telling the story of Pixar, Ed Catmull wants to  share something about the Steve Jobs he knew: for all his achievements, it was the relational Jobs that he wants to remember above all.

The best of all achievements are about how we learn to regard and serve one another.

(*From Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.)
(**From Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc..)


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