Unrefined thought on the iPad closed system/open system/old world-new world/learning to programme meme: We learned to programme and it made us smarter, better, improved our brains. We fear a world in which people cannot improve their brains in the same way. We fear that simpler, more refined interfaces will close off a route to getting smart, that people will be stupider as a result, or that access to knowledge we take for granted will be accessible only to an elite.
But the thing we don't see is that the hacking, programming and outlets for creativity and extending our brains on these new world platforms hasn't emerged yet. We don't see what it is that people will do on these new machines to get smarter. The first ones to use an iPad to push the limits of their brain will be the ones who discover what that is.