April 3, 2010

They Got iPad Fever for More Cowbell!

"I think that the press has been all over the iPad because Apple puts on a good show, and because everyone in journalism-land is looking for a daddy figure who'll promise them that their audience will go back to paying for their stuff." -- Cory Doctorow

Inside the iPad: “This week apple released the thing that does stuff that their other stuff already does”

I could rant on and on about why today's fluffed-up iPad lust is just consumer drool and why only morons buy Version 1.0 of any device or software, but Cory Doctorow gets the boot in nicely enough with Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either) - Boing Boing

With the iPad, it seems like Apple's model customer is that same stupid stereotype of a technophobic, timid, scatterbrained mother as appears in a billion renditions of "that's too complicated for my mom" (listen to the pundits extol the virtues of the iPad and time how long it takes for them to explain that here, finally, is something that isn't too complicated for their poor old mothers).
The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a "consumer," what William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote."
Infantile pretty much sums up this way new device now being hyped so high it could even, it seems, "pull us out of the recession already!" (I actually heard some certified Fox blonde ask this question. Sigh.)

And elsewhere we see the usual suspect blonde bloggers buying into the "device" with the same feckless abandon they once put into voting for last election's presidential device. (It's new. It's cool. It's.... oooo..... bright!)

It all fills me with inertia and reminds me of the Onion's immortal comment on all these Americans who, facing massive taxes, massive productivity shortfalls, massive cuts in defense, mass expansions of entitlements, still -- still -- have way too much money: New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable

Millions of consumers proceeded to their nearest commercial centers this week in hopes of acquiring the latest, and therefore most desirable, personal device.

"The new device is an improvement over the old device, making it more attractive for purchase by all Americans," said Thomas Wakefield, a spokesperson for the large conglomerate that manufactures the new device. "The old device is no longer sufficient. Consumers should no longer have any use or longing for the old device."

Added Wakefield, "The new device will retail for $395."

Able to remain operational for longer periods of time and occupy a demonstrably smaller three-dimensional space, the new device is so advanced when compared to the old device that it makes the old device appear much older than it actually is. However, the new device is reportedly not so radically different as to cause confusion or unwanted anxiety among those familiar with the feel of the old device.

"Its higher price indicates to me that it is superior, and that not everyone will be able to afford it, which only makes me want to possess it more," said Tim Sturges, owner of the old device, which he obtained 18 months ago when it was still the new device. "I feel a strong urge to purchase the new device. Owning the new device will please me and improve my daily life."

Posted by Vanderleun at April 3, 2010 6:58 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Human lemmings they are.

Oh, look, a squirrel!

Posted by: RagnarD at April 3, 2010 9:18 PM

I don't even have a device.
I know. I'm pathetic.

JW (totally out of the loop) M

Posted by: jwm at April 3, 2010 11:07 PM

I went to the Apple Store yesturday. My son's phone croaked and there were a number of iPads there for people to try. I thought it was a bad idea to try to get the phone fixed yesterday, expecting a zoo. It wasn't that crowded. In fact, I was walking around and one of the pads was unattended. It's a large iPhone without the phone part. Plus it's the weight of 10 iPhones. I'm not sure I'd use it if I got it for free. It's too heavy. The iPhone is just fine for reading. The Kindle is black and white and much less weight. The ipad is a nonphone that won't fit in your pocket.

Posted by: Rick at April 4, 2010 5:02 AM

Why should I get the device when I don't even have a cell phone yet?

Posted by: bonny kate at April 4, 2010 5:05 AM

This. Weak. Apple.


Posted by: raincityjazz at April 4, 2010 5:59 AM

The torrent of instant communication has served to mute meaning and diffuse conversation into a broad scatter of symbols and shortcuts. Language is changing at the pace of technology. Meaning is being lost even faster.

Thus we build our tower of Babel. Thus we confuse our own language. See, how like God we are? We didn't even need His help to destroy what we are making, even while making it. Next!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at April 4, 2010 6:44 AM

My wife gave me a 32GB Ipod Touch for Christmas, after considering the single-purpose Kindle. Why did we shun the Kindle? I explained here. There were several reasons, but a large one was that the Kindle is not pocketable.

The iPad does a lot more than the Kindle, to be sure - but same problem as far as I am concerned. I would not be able to just toss it into my pants pocket and go. I can with the iTouch. With the Kindle reader for iTouch, I am never without my library. This is hugely convenient!

But it's also the chief reason there will be no iPad for me. It strikes as an overgrown iTouch without the superb portability. No contest.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at April 4, 2010 11:01 AM

The terminology you're searching for here, GV, is:
It seems to manifest itself most visibly in purchasers of Apple products, and anyone who never raises the hood of their car.

Posted by: ed in texas at April 5, 2010 10:31 AM