Space Ramblings

IBM’s Linux Ad vs. Steven Spielberg’s. A.I.

IBM’s Linux Ad vs. Steven Spielberg’s. A.I. Now which makes you think you’re looking at something amazing and wonderful happening? Which makes you think you want to see the rest of this? Which makes you feel you’re headed into a future that’s going to be a pretty amazing and spectacular place?

There’s no real competition and it’s ironic that a commercial from an unknown director for IBM can top the Science Fiction vision of Steven Spielberg, the man who’s supposed to be the greatest director, certainly at drawing out whimsy and awe and our childlike sense of wonder and all that. Want a childlike sense of wonder, apparently the answer is to go Linux.

“Both ads were produced by Ogilvy, but this year’s version looks more like continuation of Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001” than a series of ESPN highlights. Linux has morphed from being a starting player on the IBM team to being the franchise player. It is portrayed in the new ad as a young boy, a prodigy absorbing knowledge from a variety of masters, and making it available to everyone.

Sylvia Nasar, author of “A Beautiful Mind” advises young Linux that “One little thing can solve an incredibly complex problem.” Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., actress/director Penny Marshall. Muhammad Ali instructs him to “Speak your mind. Don’t back down.” John Wooden, the greatest basketball coach of all time, tells him “A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork.”

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