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It was my road map to the more than 1,500 digital pages of archival materials that I transcribed over a four-year period of numerous trips back-and-forth to the archive.
Without it, so many of those ideas would have been lost, and I wouldn’t have known how everything fit together because there was no way to go back and re-create the process I had followed.
Luckily the previous model would still exist so that engineers could re-trace their steps and see where they went wrong.
Our own work – writing, digital creation, invention – is no different, but so often we don’t keep multiple drafts, or think about the steps we make along the way.
It required thinking not just in terms of a final product, but also imagining how to exceed that final product, almost as soon as it was “finalized.” The story of one of the greatest pieces of technology of our era is not the story of sheer, magical genius, but rather of a simple human being and a relentless creative process.
If we don’t keep track of our process, it can be hard to recall how data fits together when dealing with a large volume of information.
I usually didn’t worry about spelling errors or style, just about how the data I was collecting from the archive fit in to my dissertation project and to the research I had already completed.
To my surprise, I ended up using this journal much more frequently than even my transcriptions (my data) while I was writing my dissertation.
The 2013 film Jobs tells the story of one of the most innovative technology companies of our century: Apple.
The creation of the Macintosh computer in the1980s and its mass marketing in the 1990s changed the way we communicate and live, and yet we don’t really see much of that in the movie.
Oftentimes, after a few days’ or weeks’ absence from the archive, I would return to find that I couldn’t remember where I’d left off.