The iPad hype continues today, and a number of shared posts today have threatened to send me completely over the edge.
MG Siegler shared a quote and a link today on ParisLemon:
“The ideology of the perfect machine and open computing are contradictory. They cannot coexist.”
Gee whiz. Thanks for clearing that up. The link is to a Slate article, and the quote sums up the Steve Jobs half of the Jobs / Wozniak competition of ideologies at Apple.
When I read that quote, I translate it to: "My subjective opinion of what perfection is cannot work in an open environment. But then, I’m Steve Jobs, so, you know … enjoy it."
That translation is a little wordy, though. Baratunde Thurston put it even better on a recent episode of TWiT: "Oppression feels really good and it’s very convenient."
Clearly it feels good judging from the worship the iPad gets from normally sane people. Yes, worship. For proof, see this introduction to the iPad review from Crunchgear:
In these times we have little opportunity for mystical religious experience. By “religious” I mean the feeling that something exciting is about to happen – whether after death or immediately, through the intercession of a divine being, a miracle in life. The neophilic mind has craved magic, craved the new and spectacular, since prehistory. Man deified thunder, worshiped the cave bear. Over time we have refined the impulse; we have learned to associate it with places and things of our own creation, which provoke the mystical feeling in themselves and in what they represent. Cathedrals were at once a site for worship and a site for awe, and our better natures were expressed in them for centuries.
These days a small minority of us, mostly situated in the developed world, have replaced the awe of religious experience with the awe of technological advancement. To further that line of thinking, the fanboy is, it can be argued, a new form of religious supplicant and the fanboy’s most prominent church is the Church of Apple.
The Apple iPad is like a great comet heralded in a cloud of rumor and tailed by equal parts excoriation and praise. I bring up the concept of religious experience because, for many of us, something like the iPad is the closest we get to the presence of a divine being. If you consider the situation, it is very mythic: we hear rumors of something; a prophet (Walt Mossberg) appears to tell us rumors of its coming; lesser prophets (bloggers, Gene Munster) talk up the coming; finally, it arrives with a tumult of excitement, lofted skyward by the high priest (Jobs). Unlike religious experience, however, a device cannot sustain us emotionally and so we are reduced to waiting for the next one… and the next. I know I’m getting metaphysical here and I apologize for this little exercise in throat clearing before I begin a review of one of the most anticipated products in several years. I’ve been thinking a lot about the juncture of belief aka “fanboyism” and technology and I think the iPad is a perfect example of the melding of these profane yet natural impulses.
As bad as that introduction is, Mike Elgan (a guy paid by multiple tech journals for his opinions on consumer tech) better demonstrates what’s really wrong with tech punditry today in a ham-fisted panning of the HP Slate so horrendous, I refuse to link to it.
“The bottom line is that it’s a Windows 7 PC. It’s going to suck.”
That right there is almost his entire post. I’m so sick of some of the crap that gets tossed around in the name of "expert opinion" in this industry. Why do I get so irked at the iPad and it’s acolytes? There. That’s it right there. No sense of reason whatsoever.
Here’s the rest of the post, just in case you think there might be some sort of logic included with the aforementioned quote:
We can dispense with any speculation that the HP Slate, a consumer tablet device demoed recently, will enjoy any success at all. Yes, the video looks awesome. But the bottom line is that it’s a Windows 7 PC with 1 GB of RAM. It’s going to suck. And it has other problems, too.
I’m wondering why my friends aren’t seeing red like I am. In general, most of what’s tossed out there in the name of tech punditry is trash, but most of the time, the bigger names at least make an effort to look like they put some work into it.
This is just ridiculous.