I don’t really want to talk about the articles and discussion in question. They’re not really interesting. Apple fans trying to paint Android fans as angry fanatics trying to paint Microsoft fans as angry fanatics… Well, it’s turtles all the way down. Personally I think Marco and Andy are both displaying a remarkable myopia and confirmation bias. But what do I know?
What’s a lot more interesting is the binary with-us-or-against-us fanboy logic that happens in all these camps. For a certain class of people that love these companies and their devices, this is a battle and the other side is the enemy.
We do this all the time. All of us. We define the other as many things, people, attitudes, on an on. We dehumanise them, vilify them, mock them, fight them, whatever we must to keep our position outside of the other.
This is the root of violence. Maybe just the violence of hasty, nasty words on the internet. But still violence. In your electronics you see a microcosm which explains every outbreak of war, every genocide.
Maybe that seems a bit dramatic. Okay.
But I think it’s true. I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise, but for the moment I think it’s true.
Thankfully it doesn’t have to be like this. Especially when it comes to gadgets. I know a lot of people are absolutely enthralled by and passionate about technology (it is, after all, the practical witchcraft of this age). But we can try to remember that in order to be part of this group, I do not have to diminish another group.
It also helps to remember that these are companies. They don’t care about you; they care about your money. Why in the world would you declare strong allegiance to a platform or a product made by a company? It seems to me as if you’ve dehumanised yourself in some way with that act of allegiance. Leaving aside the dehumanisation and denigration of the other, how about the dehumanisation and denigration of the self?