By Zach Foster
Continued from Part 1
There are two things that distinguish Apple computers from PCs. One is the marvelous function of right-click. I’m unapologetic as to my preference towards right-click because it simply makes my life easier. I have the freedom to utilize this efficient right-click technology rather than memorize some key strokes or having to click on the menu to accomplish a task. My friends keep telling me that right-click is unnecessary to work a computer. That’s nice and good for them; indoor plumbing isn’t necessary to maintain a living but it makes my life more comfortable.
The other difference is that Apples are much more centralized. Just like the Borg from Star Trek, one Apple computer can share the same existence—the same artificial consciousness—with an iPhone, an iPod, an iPad, iTunes software, and the iJackass who has unknowingly (or worse yet: knowingly) given up the vital instincts and skills to critically think and strive to survive—instincts and skills either bestowed upon us by the Intelligent Designer or accumulated over countless years of survival of the fittest—all for the pleasures provided by technology and in the name of the same technology, and progress, and the future.
Being a lover of liberty, a subscriber to many of the teachings of Austrian Economics, and a free thinker who sees through the utopian visions of socialism, I obviously have a problem with being constantly watched by iBigBrother; honestly, it’s bad enough having a large and inefficient Federal government dominating the economy, the markets, the agendas of political parties, and much of my waking life. The last thing I need is for my data to be collected and used to generate advertisements specifically tailored to my spending habits (or my web clicking habits). Worse yet, the highly centralized Apple products remind me of socialism: one class of workers, one local soviet council, one regional soviet council, one supreme soviet, one social consciousness with no room for deviation—all of them constantly holding you to terms and conditions and updates, very much like the ever-changing whims and mandates of the central planners. All of the above evils are claimed to be carried out in the name of progress.
I don’t buy it. I happen to be a socio-technological fossil known by two names: an individual and a human being, and despite the empty slogans and rhetoric collectively spouted by an amorphous thing called society, I lay claim to an old concept known as rights. Among these rights I claim are the right to privacy and the right to be left alone. I don’t want custom ads; if I feel like spending money, I’ll buy something. Just as I can reject the sleazy advances of a door-to-door salesman, I can ignore an electronic banner claiming to hold the key to changing my life, improving my sex drive, bringing in a higher tax return, etc. Half the reason I subscribe to cable with DVR capabilities is so that I can skip past the commercials. I’m not saying I don’t find these ads on Windows—I do, since they’re all over the Internet—but at least on PCs I can disable many if not most of the ads through changing a few settings.
I also don’t care about the capability of different pieces of electronic equipment to link up and share information. I am not one police department sharing information with another police department with the goal of catching a traveling convict, nor am I a satellite waiting to hear from various spacecraft and land rovers. When I feel like listening to music, I turn on the radio. When I feel like reading a book, I curl up in an armchair by the fire and open one of the 600-page tomes from my bookshelves. While I almost considered buying the iPhone exclusively for the Kindle application, I quickly realized that reading Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States or H.W. Crocker III’s Don’t Tread On Me would be highly infuriating from a three-inch screen. If I have to read anything online, I prefer PDF because I can easily print out the literature. However—call me old fashioned—but none of the above replace actually turning pages in a large hardcover book. I can only hope my muscles don’t strain under such a burden.
Nonetheless, the burden is mine and mine alone because I choose for it to be so. PCs are just tools in accomplishing some of my aims. I don’t impose my burden on others. It is mine, and I have the freedom to make it so. Every person has the freedom to do the same or to do something completely different—whatever makes them happy.