So far I’ve talked about a couple of hot topics, but they can really be boiled down to a simple source…bigotry. The dictionary definition
assuming dictionaries exist anymore of bigotry is “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” Of course, the way it’s more commonly used is in the sense of a strong negative bias towards something, not necessarily everyone who holds a different opinion, and that is more of the sense when I’m using it.
I’m not a big fan of bigotry. I hold strong opinions, but one of those opinions is that I am always potentially wrong, and many things do not have one right answer. I’ve heard people argue this position with math, saying 2+2 always equals 4, but then I would respond that 2+2 actually equals 8/2, and I would be making a true statement.
That being said, no one is immune to bias, least of all myself. I find it is much more useful to recognize your biases rather than deny them. The former gives you a much greater chance of seeing past them, sort of like admitting to alcoholism is better than pretending that drinking three beers during breakfast is just to help take the edge of your hangover.
I’m not saying that all biases are bad, however. I am biased against being sprayed with pepper spray, for example, and even though I have not experienced it myself, I feel that I am perfectly happy in my ignorance of this particular experience. So keep in mind when I say “bias” I’m not really referring to the same thing as “bigotry.” The difference is primarily in the source of the hatred, be it rational (everyone I’ve seen get pepper sprayed has reported not enjoying the experience, and I have no reason to disbelieve them) or irrational (gay people are evil because God said so). Note that the latter can often appear to be the former at first glance. For example, if I say gay people are evil because they spread AIDS, abuse children, and are trying to tear down our family values, it may seem like a rational argument at first glance. Ultimately, however, those arguments are not drawn from a rational reflection, they’re drawn from irrational hatred which then latches on to anything that remotely correlates to our existing bias and all information to the contrary is ignored. This is not rational.
So what’s my point? I personally have an irrational hatred of something. I recognize it, admit to it, and have a million excuses as to why my bigotry is justified, but it’s there nonetheless. I am referring, of course, to my extreme dislike of Apple and everything they stand for.
Why hate Apple, you ask? I just explained that! It’s irrational! I don’t really have a good reason, other than the fact I consider everything they make to be overpriced, locked-down, annoying junk. In fact, this xkcd pretty much sums up my history with Apple:
The truth, however, is that I just don’t get Apple. My bigotry is born out of willful ignorance. Sure, I could learn the system if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. So I live in denial, raving about how much better my custom-built PC is running Windows 8.1, which is frankly an inferior operating system to whatever Apple is using on the sole basis of the decision to implement touch controls for desktop computers. I don’t think there’s ever been a moment where I’ve been sitting at my computer, using my mouse, and thought “Geez, this sure would be quicker if I could let go of my mouse, reach across my desk, and put fingerprints all over my screen!” Windows 10 looks like a step in the right direction, even if Microsoft apparently forgot how to count, but I don’t have that yet and I still feel quite superior to the Apple geeks.
Heck, I even briefly tried Linux, until I realized it was basically all the negatives of Apple plus boatloads of additional annoyances. The Linux fanatics are already frothing at the mouth from that sentence alone, but frankly you guys are either living in denial or are intellectual masochists. Sure, you could use a GUI to adjust your sound, mouse DPI, and login settings, but we’d rather you search web forums for two hours to find a bunch of shell commands you can add into a startup script just to have basic PC functionality. And that’s assuming you can actually find your problem, like when Google Chrome decides to use your onboard sound card and the rest of the system uses your PCI sound card, and there is literally no way to change it in any setting on your computer. Do Linux users routinely use different speakers for different programs? Why would that even be an option, let alone an unchangeable default? And don’t get me started on having to log in, lose the mouse pointer, log out via the keyboard, and log back in to have a working mouse. I spent more time fixing problems with Linux than actually using the operating system.
Sorry, got off-topic, but Macs are similar, but in the opposite direction. Every
limited, because I hate Apple experience I’ve had with an Apple OS has gone pretty much like this:
Me (first attempt): “Ok, this Mac looks clever. How do I turn it on? There’s no on button. Screw this.”
Me (second attempt): “Ok, let’s give this a shot. Let’s see, it’s got a mouse, keyboard, yeah, I got this. Let me see what the system options are, I’ll just right click here…Ok, there’s no right mouse button. Let’s try the top menu…it doesn’t tell me anything. Fine, let’s take a look at the system diagnostics…can’t find them either. Any games? No? Moving on.”
Me (third attempt): “Well, well, let’s see one of these fancy new iPhones. I’ve had a smart phone for a couple years now, lets see how it holds up. Here’s my email, here’ the web browser…got it. Ok, let me check out this link from my email. Let’s see…copy and paste, copy and paste…there’s no copy and paste!? How does Apple not implement the most basic word processing function besides being able to input text!? Screw this POS.”
Me (fourth attempt, talking to my cousin): “Here, I have some music I ripped from a CD I can put on your iPod from my MP3 player. I’ll just transfer it over on the computer here. No, it shouldn’t be an issue that your home computer isn’t here. Let’s see…plug mine in, open it up, transfer files to desktop. Ok, plug yours in…nothing works, it wants me to install a program called ‘iTunes.’ I can’t copy the files, so fine, we’ll install your program. Done, now just copy my files into the program, and sync. Done. Wait, every file on your iPod except the ones I added was just permanently deleted without warning? What kind of retarded monkey would design a ‘sync’ function that only syncs one way!?”
Me (fifth attempt): “Fine, let me check out this Apple laptop, see how it works. Ok, it’s got a touchpad, good to go. Well, no buttons, but hey, the old one only had a single button too. Tap it and…nothing. I can’t click. Fantastic.” (asks nearby rep how to click) “Wait, I have to push in the entire touchpad? And I can right click, but I have to use two hands because one has to hold a key on the keyboard while the other hand presses in the touchpad? Did anyone actually try using this thing before it was released?”
Me (sixth attempt): “Meh, I’ll check out this iPhone. I read they finally added some ‘new’ features, like the ability to cut and paste (golf clap), folders (finally), wallpapers (really?), and very limited multitasking (eye roll). Ok, hold down an icon. Drag to lower right corner. Uh, it went back up to the bottom of the left-to-right list. I don’t want the icon there, I want it in the corner where it’s easier to reach with my thumb. (Five minutes and a Google search later…) So apparently you can only change the icon order, not where they are on the screen. There also aren’t any widgets for additional functionality. I give up.”
And so on. Granted, in the world of Apple fans, things like having access to “diagnostics” or “system information” is probably irrelevant when their perfect device never crashes and always runs at the perfect speed. But for me it’s like checking out a car and having the dealer tell me the hood doesn’t open because the engine is perfect. After all, if there’s a problem you can just take it to a dealer! That’s cute…now let me open the hood, thank you.
But really it comes down to several bad experiences combined with my own prejudices. That’s the source of my Apple hatred. The only time I have ever personally purchased a product from Apple was when I bought an iPod Nano for my wife (which, of course, she loves and has virtually none of the issues I’ve personally experienced with iPods). Every product I’ve used has resisted my attempts to utilize what I would consider basic features and exists within an extremely restrictive and anti-competitive market environment. Apple represents form over function given mass appeal, which is pretty much the exact opposite of my personal philosophy.
So there you have it. My irrational hatred of Apple consists of a few, identifiable elements; my aversion to pretty but overpriced devices, my ignorance of their seemingly incomprehensible design philosophy, and a series of bad experiences over the years. I’m fairly certain that, given someone else’s money, some personal research, and time, I could not only learn to use Apple products, but enjoy doing so.
I bring this up not only to bash Apple, which is always fun, but also to illustrate how someone can build an irrational hatred of something and build their own internal “logic” which then validates their position. You see it all the time in society; think of how much dislike the general population can generate in regards to women, LGBT individuals, minorities, immigrants, etc. People blame women for irrational decisions in society (ironically), LGBT for the degradation of family values (more irony), minorities for crime (*cough* Wall Street *cough*), and immigrants for economic issues (Wall Street again).
There’s a lot of irrational hatred going around, and it’s not just something that’s relegated to the usual bigot suspects. We have people who are insulting those who are against illegal immigrants and gay marriage while demanding removal of flags and hating on police. Sure, there may be reasons for those dislikes, but if you aren’t bothering to ask yourself whether or not your hatred is purely logical or has a more irrational source then you’re doing the same thing as the ignorant people complaining about how gay marriage is trampling their religious rights (irony again) and illegal immigrants are stealing all their jobs (yeah, right).
Something to think about.