Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Reverse Effects, Take Another Bite

I've never owned a Mac. I've never owned an iPod (and iTunes is an abomination). I don't own an iPhone. And I refuse to buy an iPad.

I used to joke that AOL was like the holodeck in Star Trek TNG-pretty cool, but NOT the real thing. The iPad (and where it looks like Apple wants to take it) is like the new AOL.
The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a "consumer," what William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote."
Apple = Hip? Heh, I don't think so (nor have I ever thought so). Hmm... I seem to remember that Umberto Eco had a few thoughts on the topic...
I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.
Watch out for worms...

[Image Source]


  1. For technology, people should have whatever makes them happy. But the hand-held gadgets can get the better of them, and there's a real trade-off... constant electronic, artificial connectivity, vs. self-reliance and independence, not to mention peace. People get their e-mail on their iPhone, even when they're copied on an e-mail, or receive a message from a listserv, the phone tells them so. To me, the thing that's nice about e-mail is that it's there for you when you're ready, instead of interrupting. But like cars and shoes, we need computers to play the game we are expected to play. And to enjoy the blogs!! sp

  2. Hi Sussah,
    I don't actually have anything against tech gadgets as such, but I'm annoyed by all the worshipers of Apple products (and sometimes by Apple products themselves).

  3. Isn't that what we call "alienation"? We love gadgets, admire them, worship them, instead of just using them.

  4. Psephis,
    Ahh, "alienation." Where would we be without it? ;-)