What is the Essence of a Unicycle?

I am reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, where Jobs and his creative sidekick John Lasseter agreed on the following:

that products have an essence to them, a purpose for which they were made. If the object were to have feelings, these would be based on its desire to fulfill its essence. The purpose of a glass, for example, is to hold water; if it had feelings, it would be happy when full and sad when empty. The essence of a computer screen is to interface with a human. The essence of a unicycle is to be ridden in a circus.

Clearly Jobs had a better grasp of specifics than he did of generalities.

The essence of a unicycle is to impress girls.

Although, this theory has never actually worked for me and I am not sure how it applies to female riders. However, in spite of these minor inconsistencies, I will cling tenaciously to my firmly held view.

The essence of a unicycle is to provide the gift of freedom and joy It’s freedom and joy in its purest simpliest mechanical form.

That’s what it is for me, entertaining, playing basketball, or zooming through the woods.

The essence of my unicycle is to be more reliable than bicycles. I live on a highly corrosive tropical island, and everyone’s bikes are stained red and have saggy chains. Those chains fall off, and their steel parts turn to rust, while my very simple machine continues to work flawlessly. My unicycle laughs at the rusted bicycles it passes on the side of the road.

The essence of my unicycle is retaining my childhood while adopting the freedom that everyone so craves. I’ve grown up a lot since I’ve started unicycling (as much as a teenager can :roll eyes:), and I believe that unless you have something to bring you back to the fun, careless, responsibility-free times of what childhood should be, you will live a dull and unfulfilling life.

At least, that’s what it is for me. I know that when I’m truly an adult decades from now, I’ll look back fondly on these years I’m experiencing right now and go right back to them every time I take arms against the asphalt with my metal-pinned pedals and what I’m hoping is a multi-geared unicycle hub that isn’t terrifying.

ERRRRRRRR! (buzzer noise). I know you’re trying to get a rise out of us; I’m surprised nobody has called you out on this. If the purpose of a unicycle is to be ridden in a circus, how come 99.99% of them never get to do this? That’s like saying the essence of an American SUV automobile is to be driven offroad. :slight_smile:

ERRRRRRRR! ERRRRRRRR! Sorry, I know how much you want this to be true, but at age 50, it’s time for us to try other methods. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ahh, much better (though your English teacher would take issue)!

I notice Ereksonj has changed it to be the essence of his unicycle. Problem is, the makers of unicycles can only guess at the needs of Marshall Islanders. I thought of applying this concept to “my unicycle” but I have too many. I would have to come up with something common to all of them.

Childhood + freedom? Nice.

Trying to put myself in the mind of Jobs, having not read his book, I’m thinking of something like this:

The essence of a unicycle is to be balanced, by a rider, on one wheel.

A unicycle not balanced is not fulfilling its purpose. It’s like that computer screen turned off, or that empty glass. It’s only truly alive when that dynamic balance is taking place; always in motion. :slight_smile:

Umm, that would mean that my unicycles, if they could feel, would be very unhappy because they’ve never been to the circus :roll_eyes:

So if the essence of a inatimate object is how it is put to use, a glass could be more than a container for fluids, it could be a pencile holder, a vase, a rolling pin, a cookie cutter, a planter, a bug trap, a piece of art, a lethal weapon …

The essence of an object is derived from the essence of the user, so my unicycles like being in the outdoors, riding trials, resting against trees, communing with like mind munis, being sweated on, then later wiped down, the occassional caress, regular maintenance and the occassional upgrades :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe you like the circus, hence your unicycle likes the circus?

Pity my poor unicycle.

Except at age 42 I find my unicycle does impress girls. I don’t think they’re particularly interested in me, but they seem to like the uni.

I think the essence of a unicycle is to fall down and dump the rider on the ground. This is a happy unicycle:


I love this picture. Oh, to be young and bendable!

The essence of my unicycle(s) is self centered. To the nonunicyclist, I am amazing. I’ve always been pretty shy so it’s a good ego booster. It’s also a way to cling to good health. Arthritis and hot flashes do not interfere with my ability to ride (at least, not yet).

What is the Essence of a Unicycle?

The person riding it. :sunglasses:

I’m looking at this as a true insight as to why Windows sucks. :roll_eyes:

Ähm, the quote in the first post is from Steve Jobs not from timoteusmunk and has nothing to do with windows. It’s just a conformation that he has a very limited knowledge about unicycling, had in this case.



I think he was trying to say that a Windows computer does not interface with the user well, and therefore sucks because it does not satisfy the essence of a computer.

Is it the sweat that collects in your leg armour?

Haha so true


The essence of my unicycle is it presents a challenge, makes me focus on positive things instead of dwelling on negative things and every time I ride it, makes me feel as though I’m still a kid and contributes to a feeling of exhilaration.

Hmm. I guess it’s hard to argue with that one! :slight_smile:

Bendable is good. As it applies to the rider in the picture, the bending would seem to be a given; the speed of recovery from those bends is what I’d like to have back…

I was going to say something arty farty about being centered, but I was wrong.

The correct answer is VVVVVVVV


I think the essence of a unicycle is to fall down and dump the rider on the ground. This is a happy unicycle: