On walkabout in life and technology

Clothes Make the Man

We all know the old English proverb, “Clothes don’t make the man“, declaring that we should not judge a person by their appearance.

Yet we do continue to judge people, just these days it’s by their devices.

That person is a Apple fanboy with their walled garden white earbud iPhone and shiny MacBook Air. That person is an open-source neck-beard with their incomprehensible 1976 vintage text editor running on a cheap ChromeBook. That person is a fuddy-duddy corporate-drone Windows user dodging updates and viruses and popups while using PowerPoint for everything. And over there is the rare and exotic Blackberry holdout, spinning their nipple and clicking hopelessly on a thumb sized keyboard.

The reality is that we’re all wrong to judge. Each of the above common misperceptions is so badly wrong.

Everybody uses MacBooks and iPads now, from children to old folks to lawyers, not just creative types or mad fans. Some of the most progressive and leading-edge developers I know live on Linux, and they are serious, clean shaven, collared shirt wearing, money-making entrepreneurs. There is a whole generation out there that sees Windows as computing, are very happy and productive with it and see no need to change, and why the heck should they? And I have yet to see anyone race through emails and send messages and be more productive on mobile better than Blackberry users.

Maybe Mark Twain said it best:

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

We should go back to judging people by clothes, because devices tell us nothing.

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter or @hiltmon on App.Net.