Watts (chipotle) wrote,

MacOS: the choice of fuzzy thinkers!

So I went to Joel Spolsky's Blog and saw a link to another blog criticizing the Mac Over-Faithful, which in turn led me to somebody else's blog--Brian Tiemann, a FreeBSD hacker and arguably one of the Mac Over-Faithful.

Reading this entry, I came across this fascinating analogy:

You want to know what it's like to be a Mac user? Watch some guys drinking Budweiser and marveling to each other in hushed tones about its bouquet and its body and bite. Or listen to someone who drives a Civic, gushing in rapture at its horsepower and its handling.

Better yet, listen to someone ascribing "moral equivalence" to the Palestinian suicide bombers and Israeli forces bulldozing the homes of terrorism suspects, or claiming that 9/11 is no more reprehensible than the bombing of Afghanistan, because such a position is more comfortable for someone trying to fit in with the International Community?, regardless of how such a view might clash with our most deeply-held ideals.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get that run-off-the-road feeling, like you've asked a butcher to get you a couple pounds of ground beef and while he's feeding the meat through the grinder he's suddenly dropped into flashbacks from 'Nam, so even though you only set out to get stuff to make a nice cheeseburger you're afraid you're about to start having to duck semi-automatic weapons fire?

I read a bit more of Brian's blog, and--pardon the impending sentence construction--it hits one of my beefs about the way a lot of conservatives seem to express their beefs with liberals: arguments get reduced down to black and white, us versus them, or as George W. might say, "with us or against us." The idea that people might condemn suicide bombing and responding to bombs by razing the homes is evidently completely alien. And the possibility that people could simultaneously think the WTC/Pentagon attacks were horrific and that the bombing campaign against Afghanistan was an unjustified response? The hell you say! Couldn't happen!

No offense, Brian (not that I expect he'll read this), but this boils down to a very old, clichéd moral principle: "two wrongs don't make a right." I don't think Israel's responses in the ongoing intafada have been helpful, at all. That's not a statement of support for Arafat's leadership (which by any realistic measure has been abysmal). And while I don't think there are many people anywhere, including most of the Muslim world, shedding tears for the Taliban, that doesn't automatically mean the war against them was a "just war," to borrow a Catholic phrase--and America's continued operations in the region seem to increasingly be misdirected against civilian targets (as intelligence provided to us by Afghan political factions vying for power against one another becomes increasingly unreliable). Does anyone really think that acknowledging that means that I support blowing up office buildings?

Even if I come out and assert that America's Middle East policies have heightened tension in the region, do you think that means I think terrorism isn't reprehensible?

And just how did we make the leap to this from the funny (and logically defensible) Civic and Budweiser examples? That has to do with people being unable to tell the difference between the pedestrian and the superior, which is what Mac zealots usually claim about PC partisans. The same logic doesn't apply to the second examples. Flying passenger planes into skyscrapers is, when measured against acts of terror and war committed against civilians, certainly not pedestrian. And "violence should not be met with violence" may not be a statement you agree with, but it's pretty obviously not in the same category as "all beers taste the same" or "my Civic is as good as your Porsche."

And what the hell does any of this have to do with the Macintosh?


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