Less interesting than the most recent Farhad Manjoo article on Slate is the little flame war between him and Charles Stiegler in the comments section* (which are now lamentably inextricably linked to one’s Facebook/Twitter/other social network site and utterly redundant to the local forums anyway, but I digress).
No, people don’t always buy expensive products solely on the look of them. Hell, with cars it’s fairly clear to me that people honestly don’t care about the looks at all, which is why just about every contemporary car is some similarly amorphous egg-like blob, and just about every previous era’s cars were boatloads more distinctive in looks (not to mention color. “Mist” is not a color. Your car is gray, and so’s your life, asshat.) It’s practically the engineer’s dream: Things like cost, luxury options, safety ratings and gas mileage become the primary means for gauging cars because everything else is basically the same.
But back to AppleCo, Manjoo on Slate is to Technology like Emily Bazelon on Slate is to Mothering: Lowest common denominator uninformed squeeing that makes me wonder why I’m not making money duping people who are equally as ignorant on those topics that I’m some form of journalistic guru. Case in point, who the fuck cares about what the new iPhone looks like, if it still sucks as a phone? What ever happened to utility?
While I’m beating up on Manjoo, there’s also his last article about Twitter, with this incredible bit of tripe:
…if a lot of conversation on social networks is banal, that’s only because banal conversation is one of the main ways people form and maintain social bonds. You don’t ask your co-worker what she did on the weekend because you really care; you ask her because you want to chat. In that way Twitter is only mirroring real life.
It’s called “banal” for a reason: It lacks originality. If you form social bonds by broadcasting banality, you’re a very boring person and so are all your friends.
*If there’s anything I hate more than closed-source iShit, it’s professional shills paid to suck the teats of Steve Jobs. This particular example trolls his own articles’ comments threads. It’s rather funny how masturbatory it all is.