Apple’s Home Page Today

Wednesday 11 December 2013, 11:34 pm   //  

Mandela on the Apple home page

A great tribute. I’m sure this company wants you to feel Mandela-like while you line their coffers and lock yourself into consumption. This company would of course have you forget that the Nelson Mandela of computing would actually smash a corporate oppressor. Apple, Inc. metaphorically incarcerates mobile phone users, which is why they need to jailbreak their phones. And free speech doesn’t exist in the Apple Store, as it still does on the Internet. Apple, Inc. chooses what you are allowed to say and what computation you are allowed to do, so if you want privacy, no – on the other hand, if you want to be cured of homosexuality, you got it. Not that I object to different and even hateful opinions in a realm where free speech is allowed – but there is no such realm in this iCorporate la-la land.

If you admire Mandela, why not use a system that was developed with the South African/Zimbabwean philosophy of “humanness” or “humanity towards others”? The name for this free/libre/open source operating system, developed for the betterment of people rather then concentration of wealth, comes from Nguni Bantu. It’s a distribution of GNU/Linux, Ubuntu.



    Comment by Jason Scott — 2013-12-12 @ 12:46 am
  2. This is as righteous as Nick Montfort gets. And it’s good. Thanks, Nick.

    Comment by Ralph Lombreglia — 2013-12-12 @ 1:18 am
  3. Against my better judgement, I’m breaking a long standing moratorium on commenting.

    Don’t you think comparing the prolonged systematic subjugation of an entire people to offering a consumer product is a bit incongruous? One is forced upon a person and the other is chosen of a person’s free will. I’d argue that the comparison cheapens the hardship of the former.

    But I don’t know, I’m not a regular reader, maybe this is satire.

    Comment by Kevin Liuzzo — 2013-12-12 @ 9:04 am
  4. Kevin, thanks for the comment. I’m not the one who made the initial comparison by making Mandela into an advertisement, and if you check again, I think you’ll see that I didn’t claim, even indirectly, that any company or product is as bad as prolonged systematic subjugation of an entire people.

    I did mean to point out that people can make ethical choices about computing, as you say, of their own free well. It seems like a reasonable thing to point out to computer users on a blog today. By doing so, I didn’t mean to cheapen any historical or current hardship.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2013-12-12 @ 12:26 pm
  5. Interesting negative reactions. Some call it the “reality distortion field”; Orwell called it “doublethink”.

    Comment by Nathan — 2013-12-13 @ 4:12 pm

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