Damnit Steve, I’m a Writer, not a Southpaw!

It is estimated that ~15 per cent (±5 per cent) of the world’s population is left-handed.

Get ready for a glad-handing!

Get ready for a glad-handing!

While I lack the citation a to proof my next thought, I am given to believe it based upon observances. I’ve often heard that lefties are generally smarter or more intelligent* than right-handed individuals. I am not loathe to accept that, as quite a few of my friends who are left-handed are very smart individuals. I have an ex-girlfriend whom, despite her tendency to be slow to act on things, was exceptionally smart – achieving high GPA’s when she was getting her Associate’s Degree a few years ago, and currently is maintaining that high level of personal excellence in the program she’s in now. I’ve another friend, who builds electronics and works as a comm tech – every conversation with him has always been one that skims a fine-line of technicalities. Another, friend? Recently completed their masters in oncology (i think) and is now doing more cancer research. I can go on…

But the theme is clear… all of my friends who are lefties, are smart.

Myself, I am right hand dominant. While I write with my right-hand and incidentally, throw with my right; I can play either way in Hockey. However, Golf is a different story. When you’re buying sports equipment above $500, the ambidextrous are somewhat forced to make that decision at the point of purchase. [Incidentally, I have a two-way chipper in my bag – easily my most favourite club]

So smart, it walks the dog and does your dishes for you.

So smart, it walks the dog and does your dishes for you.

When I was younger, I wrote left-handed – or at least tried to – until I was forced to use my right-hand. Such was the privilege of attending a catholic school in Quebec in my earliest of formative years. For a long time I would also use a computer mouse left handed – that is, until they started to become more and more contoured to a right hand. A fact that no doubt corresponds heavily to the emergence of left-sided keyboard gaming. [For you non-gamers, the precedent in PC games for a long time was to have the numerical pad as the game controls.]

As the owner of a MacBook, I tend to be ambidextrous in my track-pad use. Though, the type of gesture I try to do weighs on which fingers/hands I do use. [i.e.  two-finger swipes = right hand; expand/shrink = both index fingers; etc.]

Close to 10 years ago, I built my own computer with one of the best Intel chips made at the time, the Pentium 4 2.4C “Northwood”. I had built the machine with the intention of being fast, cheap and multifunctional. When building the computer, I happened to luck out big time on one of the most important pieces of computer hardware – THE MOUSE. Timing would have me able to purchase a Logitech MX700 for pretty much less than half it’s retail at the time, which was around $90-100 if I recall correctly. I got it for $40ish – thanks to Costco putting in on sale for $70 and I possessing a logitech mail-in-coupon for reasons I cannot remember. This mouse was the first interface device that I can remember using that was smart, sexy, smooth and contoured perfectly to my hand… my right hand. It was smartly laid out, with only one button poorly placed. (Pictured right: windows button in middle of mouse)

Now remember how I said that lefties are smart? Well, they also suffer from a societal-imposed disadvantage when using computers. They are forced to right-handed interface devices. I can’t imaging how frustrating this can be at times… OR CAN I? The simple fact is that I actually can empathize with my left-handed colleagues and acquaintances for the simple fact of my being a MacBook user.

Remember how I said lefties are more likely to be more intelligent than righties? Consider this:
– Steve Jobs
– Bill Gates
– Steve Wozniak
These three men, easily among countless of others, are left-handed. Two of which as you have no doubt noticed are Apple’s co-founders.


What does this have to do with anything? With the exception of the DVD drive and kensington lock hole, everything on the MacBook is on the LEFT SIDE of the computer. This has been the case since mid-2008 for MacBooks as far as I can recall. And MacBooks are not entirely alone in this. Other makes have inputs on the left edge. Why does this bother me so much? because I am a right-handed person who is forced to use a wired mouse that connects to the LEFT side of his MacBook.  Incidentally, said mouse is ambidextrous, but OS X doesn’t recognize one of thumb-button on the right side that would make me use it with my left-hand. I should also note, this mouse has one of the longest cords I’ve ever had on a mouse and it’s also made by Microsoft.     

Now, what throws all of this out the window is the an Apple peripheral I’ve wanted to get myself for some time now: the Magic Trackpad.  This device can be placed on either side but… OBSERVE!

Are you ambi-confused?

Are you ambi-confused yet?

I suppose on the other side of the keyboard in this picture before it was cropped for the Apple website, is the Magic Mouse. (Which is (brilliantly) ambi-dextrous by the way)


1) Blog title inspired by the infamous Dr. McCoy catchphrase (Star Trek), mashed-up with a reference to the late Mr. Jobs – who was in fact, a southpaw.
2) marked by asterisk – A distinction is made between smart and intelligent because I consider them to be similar but not the same. That is, a smart person can think quickly (critical), whereas an intelligent person takes their time to think (strategic). In other words, small picture vs big picture. I don’t discount the possibility of someone being both, but I am unaware of any examples of people being both. [All speculative and personal belief here]
3) You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a list of Accomplished Left-handed individuals in the world of Tech. I thought the list would’ve included Gordon Moore, Sergey Brin, Mark Facebookerberg or one of the guys from Twitter.


2 thoughts on “Damnit Steve, I’m a Writer, not a Southpaw!

  1. Pingback: Another Left-handed Comment | Analog Thoughts and Digital Dreams

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