25 Oct 04Jef Raskin Releases New Reality


Two decades of work by Jef Raskin, the father of the Macintosh, culminated today in the release of Raskin Reality, a new version of reality that more closely conforms to Raskin’s worldview. Since his departure from the Apple team that developed the original Macintosh, Raskin has suffered from detractors who claim his outlook, while not factually inaccurate, is tangential to the reality experienced by everyone else.

“It was quite a simple matter to set things right,” Raskin said, trimming his mustache closely. “I found that even through determined effort I was unable to bend your reality to my will no matter how many letters to the editor I wrote. It was much easier to create an entirely new reality.”

Raskin added that he would be remiss to not credit Douglas Adams for the idea. In Raskin Reality, however, Raskin came up with the idea and authored Hitchhikers Guide, while Douglas Adams is still alive and a bestselling travel guide author.

Raskin advocates the elimination of graphical interfaces in favor of what he calls The Humane Environment (THE), a method of offering individual commands that may be executed at once or in combination that eliminates explicit applications and keeps the user from perceiving or needing an operating system interface at all.

THE is generally impenetrable to explanation or demonstration – see this screen shot – and thus Raskin found it necessary to create a reality in which THE was the dominant mode of computer interaction.

Long-time rival and hypertext guru Ted Nelson, who has spent almost thirty years on his Nelson Noosphere, was bitter at Raskin’s victory.

“I would link to Raskin Reality instead of explaining it, but Raskin Reality only points to itself, violating my principles,” Nelson said while driving a VW bus using an N-incomplete map to steer between points. The Nelson Noosphere requires every piece of information to be linked to every other piece of information in the universe. Nelson believes he is close to “as X approaches 100” percent finished, with only Zeno’s Paradox yet to be integrated.

Raskin has long fought a battle to ensure his place as a bold footnote in the history of computation and a double asterisk in the stories of Macintosh development, correcting journalists and bloggers alike who fall sway to Steve Jobs’s much-earlier alternate universe that many experience through the famed Reality Distortion Field. In Raskin Reality, the musician, philosopher, and computer scientist is always appropriately invoked in any article about the Macintosh. And in any article of any kind in any publication. And Steve Jobs cleans urinals at 1 Infinite Loop.

Using Raskin Reality requires an eyeglass-mounted heads-up display, a hot-air balloon, a sopranino recorder, and an academic institution. When events occur in actual reality, Raskin Reality will provide the corrected information for the participant. Raskin and his immediate family have been beta testing Raskin Reality for their entire lives.

Raskin Reality is not yet totally perfected. (Although, in Raskin Reality, it is.) In a recent interview with The Guardian, Raskin Reality was ineffective briefly, with Raskin remarking on the last 20 years of computational development, “There has been immense progress, primarily in the richness of applications. But all this power is lost on many people, and impedes the utility of it for the rest, because of the unnecessary complexity of using computers.”

Fortunately, Raskin Reality kicked back in quite quickly, as he next said, “Some programs I wrote in Basic on an Apple II ran faster than when written in a modern language on a G4 Dual-processor Mac with hardware 1,000 times faster.”

Raskin Reality was available for immediate delivery 20 years ago.

In Raskin Reality.

29 Responses to “Jef Raskin Releases New Reality”

  1. Hanji says:

    Frost!

  2. UhhhDude says:

    Tew. Or not.

  3. Hanji says:

    At last! I’ve been monitoring the RSS feed for I-daren’t-say-how-long waiting for that one!

  4. Leibnitz, N. says:

    You know, it’s kind of weird: whenever I use the ‘Jefi’ browser on my new quad-processor 8gHz Raskin in Raskin Reality, Java still doesn’t work right. Does anyone else have a reality I can borrow?

  5. UhhhDude says:

    In other alternate realities, Bill Gates is working the night shift at the Redmond Wal-Mart, Tyrell Corp. is releasing the latest Nexus android, Wil Wheaton is a respected sci-fi actor.

    Oh, and sexbots are available on eBay for $14.99 Buy-It-Now.

  6. Michael says:

    Raskin is a nut.

  7. Huck says:

    An N-U-T-T nut.

  8. greenacres says:

    Except in his reality, he is god and, thus, perfectly sane…

  9. greenacres says:

    The setup for Huck…

  10. jcorso says:

    Even though it’s only Monday, this would be Piece O’ the Week were it not for the unfortunate side effect of totally trashing headset monitors. I thought maybe I would get one at some point, but not now. Thanks, CARS.

  11. greenacres says:

    Oh, thanks, jcorso, after I go to the bother…

  12. Huck says:

    Dammit jcorso, greenacres was being so cool and hookin’ me up with the dope shit, but then you…! Bogart!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Scary.

    Is this by any chance the first of five horrific pre-halloween episodes?

  14. Brother Mugga says:

    That’d be great. We could have ‘Jeffi versus Stevie.’

    Special 20th Anniversary Special (Special) Edition Directors Cut DVD to include the fabled Raskin Reality Dream Sequence confirming the goat-chinned psycho to have been a prototype sexbot all along (eeeeeeuw – just imagine the beta-testing…).

    DVD extras to include a virtual pair of those ridiculous HUD/Borg glasses and a virtual subscription to MAD magazine (with guaranteed ‘Raskin Reality Fold-Together’ hilarity).

  15. greenacres says:

    I’m kinda thinkin’ that Jeff vs. Steve would be something like the climactic ending in ‘Scanners’ with Michael Ironside…

  16. CTHULHU says:

    TAKE IT FROM A DEMON-GOD WHO KNOWS, RASKIN REALITY IS FILLED WITH UNSPEAKABLE HORROR!!!

    OH WELL, BACK TO THE DREAM…

  17. Brother Mugga says:

    Hang on, who’s going to blow up whose head and inhabit whose body?

  18. Oh my heck. That has got to be the longest stinkin’ article ever. Do you really think the average CARS reader has that kind of attention span? Oh my gosh, now I’ve gone and written the longest CARS post ever. My own attention span is waning…

    Anyway, yes, Jef is an absolute nutcase. Did you see the “Cyborg Jef” picture? It’s just plain *freaky*. Omigosh, I can’t get that demented man’s FACE out of my HEAD! STOP STARING AT ME!! YOU FREAK!!!!! MOMMY, MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!

  19. Del says:

    You know I think I live in the Raskin Reality. I recently started reading this travel author named Bill Bryson. He made me laugh so hard and several time I couldn’t help thinking that he reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams (Who at the time had recently departed this Life, Universe, and Everything).

    Now I understand. I am in the Raskin Reality and Douglas Adams faked his death to write under the pseudonym Bill Bryson. All is right in the world again.

    In the words of Douglas Adams:

    “10 percent of computer users are Mac users, but remember, we are the top 10 percent.”

    – Douglas Adams

    “The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armor to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place.”

    -Douglas Adams (Talking about Windows 95)

  20. MacStansbury says:

    Hey, I’m getting a little tired of people still giving Huck all the credit for the 11th Post™. Cause it was me, me who made the 11th Post™ what it is today. Jeez. I came up with the idea, the concept, I was the first one to promote it, the first one to package it.

    And it’s not sour grapes. The kids these days just don’t realize what a good 11th post should look like. It seems that Crazy Apple Rumours has taken the interface and ruined it. It’s too complicated. There needs to be an easier way to type into a computer and have it be the eleventh in a series.

    Maybe psychotropic drugs. Yeah. That’ll do it.

  21. Kallaloo says:

    This article is possibly the sharpest, most finely-turned piece of satire ever on CARS. Of course a subject like the Jef Raskin interview is catnip, a philosopher’s stone, the golden opportunity for a satirist … but man, did CARS ever rise to the occasion. What a welcome change from the slapstick and porn jokes (which can be funny too, don’t get me wrong). Nice, nice work.

  22. Huck says:

    Dammit MacStans, I just like the eleventh post, okay? None of the other ones will do it for me. Seventh? What a slut! Third, looks *and* smells like a freshly milked goat. The list goes on of course, some might say, to infinity. But number eleven is irreplaceable, inimitable, and very, very prime.

    So, I entreat that you do not trivialize my passion for the eleventh. Good day.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It is good. Kudos.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Moltz, yer nutz.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Why must you bring up the subject of John’s genitalia?

  26. mr. conspiracy says:

    Has anyone else noticed the size of Raskin’s lips in the picture? He’s got some serious DSL going on…and I’m not talking about Digital Subscriber Lines, either…nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.

  27. I’ve been in Raskin Reality for over 30 minutes now. I mean, Raskin Robbins.

    Rummy… rice ream!

    ruff! ruff!

  28. Uli Kusterer says:

    In Raskin Reality, *I* had the fr1st p0st!!!!