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Media (Apple)

Journal Journal: Different kinds of Reality Distortion Fields

I can't stand Apple apologists who blindly praise iTMS, iPod and diss Vorbis (I heard one say that if Apple started shipping Vorbis support, he'd switch from Apple to Sony).

I can't stand it when they're happy when Apple copies someone else, like Konfabulator (a copying which, btw, I didn't mind - if you remove competition from the field proprietary software, what have you got left?) but complain like hell when someone else copies Apple.

I stopped liking the (beautifully drawn) comic The Joy of Tech after they became blind iTMS apologists, dissing all other music services. Now, I'm not saying Real is "better" than Apple (I use Audio Lunchbox, Magnatune and a few other "good" ones, and would never switch to some DRM:ed crap), but I'm saying is that proprietary software already sucks, and if you take away competition you get a bad Soviet-style system. (With free software, you don't need competition, and I often find myself wishing for more cooperation between Gnome, Rox, XCFE and KDE, but with proprietary software, you've got to have it. (It's the same with markets--I usually don't bother with advocating antitrust trials, and so on, since I'm not a proprietarian, and classical egalitarian anarchism doesn't necessarily need competition in order to function (it thrives on cooperation, instead), unlike capitalist markets, where it's the only pressure for quality, customer service and pricing.))

Now, how come I don't like Jobs' RDF while I don't mind the weird, sometimes hard-to-make-sense-of RDFs of RMS and Kropotkin?

It's easy. RMS' reality distortion field is about changing the world and how we percieve it, in a positive direction. It's thinking completely out of the box (or it was, in the early eighties, when Free was still a dirty word), and of course it'll seem contradictionary sometimes. It's a paradigm shift (in a partly Kuhnian sense) in how humans socially interact. While parts of Jobs' RDF is only about treading in the same old proprietary system, only with gorgeus gadgets and bling-bling-bling.

There's a part of Jobs' vision that I like--widespread access to computers, using computers as an accessible creative tool--but I don't like the aspects of Jobs' RDF that are only about the bottom line for Apple. iTMS "is better than all other ways of acquiring music" (in the eyes of Apple fanatics) because it makes money for Apple. Copyright infringement "is stealing music" because iTMS is selling music.

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