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Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans 636

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the pope-jobs-won't-lie dept.
satuon writes "In a recently screened BBC documentary called 'Secrets of the Superbrands', UK neuroscientists found that the brains of Apple fans are stimulated by images of Apple products in the same areas as those triggered by religious imagery in a person of faith. According to the scientists, this suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion."
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Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:55AM (#36179112)

    Not sure if I'm alone, but every time I walk past an Apple Store I'm terrified one of the staff is going to come out and offer me a free personality test.

    • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Posting=!Working (197779) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:59AM (#36179168)

      If you walked in the store, you passed the test.

    • Re:Apple Stores (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:13AM (#36179400) Homepage
      Should be modded insightful. Yes, the whole Apple culture/worldview/aura is very L. Ron Hubbardesque.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's also amusing how much of a religion opposing Apple seems to be. I have to wonder if the grand irony is lost on you haters.

        • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tangelogee (1486597) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:24AM (#36179596)

          It's also amusing how much of a religion opposing Apple seems to be. I have to wonder if the grand irony is lost on you haters.

          ...kind of how Atheism is as much of a religion as religion itself?

          • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Bemopolis (698691) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:28AM (#36179658)
            Well, whenever I use Windows I am convinced of the absence of a just and loving God.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hedwards (940851)

            How so? Atheism is hardly a religion, it's simply the term for anybody that doesn't believe in God or really any paranormal phenomenon.

            Calling atheism a religion is simply a method of subjugating those that choose not to buy into all that religious stuff.

          • by Teun (17872)
            That 'religion' is often called Humanism.
        • Re:Apple Stores (Score:4, Insightful)

          by HunterD (13063) <legolas@evils o f t . org> on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:26AM (#36179614) Homepage

          Damn, this is turning out to be exactly like dealing with christians as an atheist:

          Them:
          "Your lack of belief in a god is a religion"

          Me:
          "Defining a lack of a belief in something as a religion is broken"

          When are people who are a part of the faithful herd (regardless of the faithful herd) going to accept that not being a member of your religion is not a leap of faith?
          (Answer: never)

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by i_ate_god (899684)

            Atheism isn't a religion, but it is a leap of faith nevertheless. You are basically saying, without any proof, that god doesn't exist at the same time as a preacher is saying, without any proof, that god does exist, and neither of you have really defined who or what God is.

            So yeah, keep pretending you're different from theists...

            • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Insightful)

              by enderjsv (1128541) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:23PM (#36180610)

              Not really though. Saying something does exist is not the same as saying something doesn't exist. If I said there are no such thing as purple monkeys who drive cars, the lack of evidence suggesting their existence would satisfy most people, especially as the claim is significantly outrageous. However, if I said there WERE purple monkeys who drive cars, people would become far more skeptical.

              Lack of evidence that something exists IS a type of evidence that it doesn't exist. It's not full proof, of course, but if it's the only evidence one can go by, it's better to regard it than disregard it and claim the opposite. If that wasn't true, then all kinds of claims could be made including my purple monkey statement and it'd be just as reasonable to say "well, you can't prove it DOESN'T exist, so you're a fool for denying my claim that it does".

            • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Informative)

              by MachDelta (704883) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:30PM (#36180742)

              You're painting all atheists with the gnostic atheist brush. Most atheists are agnostic/soft/implicit atheists. That is, they don't claim to know weather or not a god exists, but they think it likely that none do.

            • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Insightful)

              by NFN_NLN (633283) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:34PM (#36180796)

              Atheism isn't a religion, but it is a leap of faith nevertheless. You are basically saying, without any proof, that god doesn't exist at the same time as a preacher is saying, without any proof, that god does exist, and neither of you have really defined who or what God is.

              So yeah, keep pretending you're different from theists...

              Not even the same ballpark in leaps of "faith".

              - One prediction has a long standing history of being proven wrong on all the small details so why would I believe the biggest lie of all.

              - The other prediction is a logical extension of everything I've learned up until now regarding how the physical universe works.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Atheism is as much a religion as not-stamp-collecting is a hobby. Atheism is a lack of belief and for many atheists, its more an acknowledgement of science. When Atheists refer to "God", they are usually talking about the supernatural God of Abraham shared by both the New Testament, Old Testament and K'uran but it refers to any supernatural God of any religion.
        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Not religion, sport.

        • In my experience, completely.

          I like the iPhone because it has an external switch for vibrate/audible instead of sending me through 9,000 menus. It's the one thing I wanted every phone to have since I had a cell phone. Oh, others had external volume switches, but you had to unlock the phone to use it, or hit the button 40 times but not 41, and it would still bling if you set a message tone, but if you didn't set a message tone it wouldn't be audible when the ringer was on, etc., etc. The iPhone got it mostly

        • by KreAture (105311)
          Actually, it is more of a insight/confirmation that Apple is playing on religion.

          People who are weary/sceptic of religions will naturally resist Apples promotions as they identify them by the same signals as other religions.
          The feeling a sceptic gets when he is bombarded with Apple adverts is akin to the feeling from other religious groups making him fight vigorously for his free will. Nothing wrong with that is there?
          There are a lot of paralells too, maby even more to a sect or cult than a "normal" relig

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mr1911 (1942298)
        It is funny to see how the Slashdot community loves to bash Apple and those that use Apple products. Read some of the comment threads bashing MS and singing the praises of [insert alternate OS here] or hyping Android over iOS.

        It is easy to see the fault in others, but a more difficult proposition when looking in the mirror.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          We're not bashing Apple or their products. We're bashing the culture of Apple-Fandom. Yes, other OS's have their fanboys, too. However, my impression of Microsoft product users is most use it simply because they have to. I know of very few MS Windows users who cream their jeans and sing high praise of Microsoft. Apple has shortcomings too, mainly that Apple products are expensive and customers are forced to use Apple hardware. I'm mainly a Linux user...and yes, Linux has its fanboys too and each distr
        • I wrote an article expressing a similar view [berryreview.com] a couple months back. It goes beyond having an opinion (as one reply to you claims). People express a vitriolic hatred for brands that are "opposed" to their brand (as well as for the people who use them) . It is as strong or stronger than the support they show for their own brand. Similarly otherwise logical people will be blind to flaws in their product - until those flaws have been fixed, at which point it becomes another point to demonstrate the superiori
      • by DinDaddy (1168147)

        Except unlike scientology, Apple doesn't try and get as much money out of you as ... er wait

    • Re:Apple Stores (Score:5, Insightful)

      by poity (465672) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:20AM (#36179520)

      Also notice how cathedral-like those Apple stores are -- glass to harness the ethereal, wooden altars to exalt the immaculate, and "genius" acolytes to guide you on the path to salvation (from PC original sin).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bongo (13261)

        Yes it is called architecture and design. It says, these products are clean, modern, convenient. And the main point about the layout is that each table invites you to go over and look at stuff and play with stuff. That's why there's so much space. That's why Regent Street has a wide open space when you enter -- it is a breath of air from the busy street.

        Honestly, it is like geeks find design and aesthetics to be an affront to their sensibilities or something. And yet, do people sneer at beautifully des

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flappinbooger (574405)
      I was at the apple store in Sacramento CA and I struck up a conversation with one of their door people, who by the way was bizarrely gender-neutral.

      I said I was involved in IT and PC's and asked about their repair desk and how it was different.

      They said that the priority #1 of the help desk personnel is to ensure the well-being of the customer. Make sure they are happy, not stressed, calmed, not worried about the damaged product.

      The well-being of the customer paramount over actually fixing the product.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        This is because they don't repair Apple products. They merely give you a replacement. Sometimes it's just a temporary replacement while you wait 4 to 6 weeks for your product to be fixed, but they know eventually you'll just say "screw it, I'll keep the replacement".

        Thus the Apple store personnel are relieved of the responsibility of actually fixing the products, and so their only remaining job is to try to keep the customers calm and prevent them from going into rages that would drive away potential conv

  • by jarich (733129) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:56AM (#36179114) Homepage Journal
    Old news for anyone who's spent time around Apple users. Just saying. ;)
  • by bytethese (1372715) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:57AM (#36179130)
    Steve Jobs, who art at Apple, awesome be thy name...
    • by Mr_eX9 (800448)
      I'm an atheist and Apple's marketing shit doesn't appeal to me. In fact, as a former Mac user, the Apple branding was my least favorite part of the whole thing. Go figure!
      • by YttriumOxide (837412) <yttriumox AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:14AM (#36179418) Homepage Journal

        As an atheist myself (and a relatively "strong" one at that - I consider the concept of religion to be toxic), I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction in rabid Linux users, or rabid Windows users (although admittedly they're a lot harder to find). The article and summary are heavily focused on Apple, but the core content of the article (and yes, summary) states that it's more about it being a brand that people do build up a "religious" feeling towards.

        As an Apple user (typing this on a MacBook Pro) AND as a Linux user, AND as a Windows user for work, I really am quite certain I wouldn't have these kinds of reactions in my brain to seeing Apple logos. i.e. I am not an "Apple devotee" as the article puts it. I do however suspect you'd see these reactions in my brain for the things I am truly passionate about (sometimes irrationally) such as showing me a Dvorak layout keyboard; a linguistic tree; or the flag of my home country. Note that I don't consider myself "excessively" devoted to any of these things, but I can imagine it would trigger something (these things all do trigger an emotional response for example).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bytethese (1372715)

          As an atheist myself (and a relatively "strong" one at that - I consider the concept of religion to be toxic), I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction in rabid Linux users, or rabid Windows users (although admittedly they're a lot harder to find). The article and summary are heavily focused on Apple, but the core content of the article (and yes, summary) states that it's more about it being a brand that people do build up a "religious" feeling towards.

          I agree, I would think that Linux or Windows devotees would generate the same scans too.

          As an Apple user (typing this on a MacBook Pro) AND as a Linux user, AND as a Windows user for work, I really am quite certain I wouldn't have these kinds of reactions in my brain to seeing Apple logos. i.e. I am not an "Apple devotee" as the article puts it. I do however suspect you'd see these reactions in my brain for the things I am truly passionate about (sometimes irrationally) such as showing me a Dvorak layout keyboard; a linguistic tree; or the flag of my home country. Note that I don't consider myself "excessively" devoted to any of these things, but I can imagine it would trigger something (these things all do trigger an emotional response for example).

          I'm definitely an Apple fan (not a fanboy) since I switched in 2006. I weighed my options for a laptop when I went back to school to finish my undergrad degree, and chose the MacBook Pro. I also went from a "candybar" regular cell phone to the original iPhone, and have sold each old iPhone and upgraded to new ones as given the cost to upgrade, was worth it to me. I also bought my iPad (great supplemental and travel

        • by King_TJ (85913)

          Rabid Windows users hard to find? You must not read C-Net's blogs then!

        • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:41AM (#36179890)

          As an atheist myself (and a relatively "strong" one at that - I consider the concept of religion to be toxic), I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction in rabid Linux users, or rabid Windows users (although admittedly they're a lot harder to find).

          As an internet troll myself (and a relatively "strong" one at that) I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction in atheists when they see a picture of Dawkins, a smug and self-satisfied French existential movie or a first edition of Origin of the Species.

          *ducks, runs*

          • As an atheist myself (and a relatively "strong" one at that - I consider the concept of religion to be toxic), I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction in rabid Linux users, or rabid Windows users (although admittedly they're a lot harder to find).

            As an internet troll myself (and a relatively "strong" one at that) I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction in atheists when they see a picture of Dawkins, a smug and self-satisfied French existential movie or a first edition of Origin of the Species.

            *ducks, runs*

            Really, the *ducks, runs* probably wasn't necessary, as you DO make a valid point. There are a lot of atheists out there who do in fact treat it religiously. While I'm comfortable saying that I do in fact consider anyone who TRULY believes in some kind of invisible sky god to be borderline clinically insane, I do not count myself amongst that type of atheist. I don't go around "preaching" atheism at people, and certainly do not get "excited" by atheist ideas - to me it's simply "basic reality" and about

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        My pet theory is that marketing and religion work on the exact same thing and in the exact same way. Both make big promises, appeal to the emotional side of people, appeal to the lowest common denominator, promote group identity, promote hate of the other, etc. No surprise to hear about this study. I'm sure similar results will be had from anyone who is brand loyal.

        I wouldn't be surprised if people who were generally skeptic were also marketing resistant and resistant to populist right-wing demagogues or o

  • by KDN (3283) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:58AM (#36179154)
    I think it would be interesting to compare brain scans of different factions of computer programmers. Any number of programmer religious wars: vi vs emacs, Unix vs Windows, GUI vs CLI, indenting with blanks vs tabs, C vs Perl vs Ruby vs .Net vs Python vs JavaScript.
    • It's weird that anybody gives a shit about vi vs emacs--it's obvious that unless you use an exclusive feature, they're essentially the same, modal vs modeless is nothing more than a preference, and given their complexity, the most important thing about either is how familiar you are with it. I guess people just like to believe that what they're already doing is the best thing. And hey, who wouldn't like for that to be true? Maybe the difference is skipping the step where you find out if what you want to believe is true.

      Tabs vs spaces, on the other hand, well, there's no question. Heretics who indent with spaces should be burned at the stake.

  • âoeThis suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religionâ Interesting. Is there a good theory or evidence as to why processing religion is/was a selection pressure?
    • by jandrese (485)
      Because once a religion reaches critical mass in an area, nonbelievers are forcibly converted, either to the religion or to fine ash as they are burned at the stake. That's pretty strong selection pressure right there.
    • There are and have been a lot of religions that shun the disbeliever and control the lives of a majority of the population, making it more difficult for the disbelievers to marry and procreate. At the extreme end would be organizations like the inquisition, which killed the heretics.

      That's my guess anyway.

    • It's possible that it doesn't have to do specifically with religion, but rather with any uncritical following of a leader or alpha figure. It could be a dictator or sports team as well as a god. We're basically pack animals, after all, and that requires the acceptance of hierarchy.

    • by doconnor (134648)

      Here [www.cbc.ca] is a Quirks and Quarks segment discussing the science of religion. The have two scientists, one who thinks that religion was selected for to improve social cohesion, and the other who thinks that religion is an unintended side effect of our curiosity and desire to understand things.

    • There are some very interesting theories regarding how the brain's preference towards false positives due to survival pressure, and how that leads to a preposition towards religion.
    • Is there a good theory or evidence as to why processing religion is/was a selection pressure?

      Well, what I have heard is:

      • It is an outgrowth of a section of the brain that makes children obedient to their parents.
      • Religion helped keep early societies cohesive.
      • It is an outgrowth of a section of the brain that is responsible for fearing things that might be there e.g. a hungry lion.
  • Hallelujah! All hail Jobs! A likeness of the Apple logo just miraculously appeared in my lunchbox!

    Oh, wait - sorry, false alarm - its just an apple.

    P.s. in this modern quantum phrenology, how close is the "religious" region to the "sex" region - and can you distinguish between a Slashdotter's reaction to a neat water-cooled quad SLI graphics rig and a picture of Natalie Portman?

  • by tchernobog (752560) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:05AM (#36179254)

    Hah, they should try that test with us GNU/Linux users on Slashdot.

    We probably qualify directly as saints [wikimedia.org].

  • Emacs users (Score:4, Funny)

    by Torodung (31985) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:06AM (#36179268) Journal

    So if it works for Macs, we need a similar study done on Emacs users. ;^P

    (We apologize in advance for any resulting emacs vs. vi flame war.)

    • by AntEater (16627)

      So if it works for Macs, we need a similar study done on Emacs users.

      Any true Emacs user knows that Emacs is operated at the subconscious levels of the brain. Brain imaging of the frontal lobes won't show this activity. The key strokes occur in the brain stem or as reflexes in the spinal cord. When I'm programming in Emacs, I remain unaware of what my fingers are doing. In fact, it's more like an out of body experience. I just simply will the code to be and it appears on the screen.

  • Bullshit. (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:07AM (#36179280) Journal
    The idea that "Apple causes religious reaction in brains of fans" is absolute nonsense. Those pointy-headed intellectuals have it all wrong(probably because they are trying to do visualizations on an emachine or something).

    The truth is, a number of dusty little abrahamic "deities" have hijacked the portions of the brain that evolved to appreciate Apple products in a fair number of unfortunate individuals. Hence the confusion.
  • If somebody opened a "Linux Store" I guarantee you that it, too, would trigger the same parts of the brain for certain people. :)

  • Yay, does that mean I have built up a Snow-Crashesque immunity to Apple, Organized Religion, and Politics? That rules! Now how can I infect others with my immunity? (consults The Diamond Age) Underground glitter orgy party it is! Everyone meet me on my minecraft server!

    • by coder111 (912060)
      Sorry, no time for party. Too busy setting up data haven/virtual currency and looking for nazi gold that includes gold punchcards that organize philosophical concepts produced by my ancestor in London
  • When we were saying the same thing to apple fans here, we were getting bashed, modded down etc.

    Im wondering what will they come up with against this article.
    • by npsimons (32752) *

      When we were saying the same thing to apple fans here, we were getting bashed, modded down etc.

      Im wondering what will they come up with against this article.

      They will bash it and tag it "flamebait" and "troll", as well as mod you down. I'm also figuring someone will claim that "it's okay because Microsoft and Google have the same effects", someone else will claim that "people love Apple because their products are technically superior", and other fallacious apologetics will be spewed. That's why I have peopl

  • by Combatso (1793216) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:12AM (#36179376)
    They should be a tax free religious organization now.

    and making fun of an apple user is now a hate crime
  • It's a cult. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:13AM (#36179404)

    I think it's simply human nature. An individual who doesn't have religion inevitably creates something to fill that space. So you get celebrity and idol worship and the adulation of lifestyle brands.

    Having worked in design for well over a decade I've come across countless Apple fanatics. Although fervor has dampened a bit in recent years, the switch to Intel processors and Apple having becomes largely mainstream playing significant parts in that. Not to discount what Apple has been able to do, but routinely Apple gets all the credit for things others have been doing for years.

    The way I've seen some people idolize Steve Jobs is downright embarrassing. I've seen people use his portrait as a desktop background. Every time a new product comes along the rumors start flying about how it works and how it's built. I've heard some outrageous claims over the years.

    The thing that I never expected was that this level of fanaticism would infect the mainstream. The big irony is that for many people, particular college kids from what I've seen, continue to see Apple as representative of some kind of counter-culture. I wonder how these people would feel if they say who's on Apple's board of directors. It doesn't get more mainstream than Apple. I'm sure they'd find a way to rationalize it all.

    I've always thought Apple has a great marketing machine. But really, their job is made unbelievably easy thanks to all the fanatics.

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      I follow what you're saying to some extent. I don't think I'd claim the "worship of celebrities" and "lifestyle brands" has much to do with filling in something that's missing if one doesn't have religion, though. That's a pretty far stretch.... If that were true, one should be able to do some kind of survey or study and find that the vast majority of people taking an interest in, say, E-Television, or praising the qualities of Apple products were atheists. I *highly* doubt that'd be the case.

      As a consu

  • by npsimons (32752) * on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:14AM (#36179416) Homepage Journal

    Each of these cults correspond to one of the two antagonists in the age
    of Reformation. In the realm of the Apple Macintosh, as in catholic
    Europe, worshipers peer devoutly into screens filled with "icons." All
    is sound and imagery and Appledom. Even words look like decorative
    filigree in exotic typeface. The greatest icon of all, the inviolable
    Apple itself, stands in the dominate position at the upper-left corner
    of the screen. A central corporate headquarters decrees the form of all
    rites and practices. Infallible doctrine issues from one executive
    officer whose selection occurs in a sealed board room. Should anyone in
    his curia question his powers, the offender is excommunicated into outer
    darkness. The expelled heretic founds a new company, mutters obscurely
    of the coming age and the next computer, then disappears into silence,
    taking his stockholders with him. The mother company forbids financial
    competition as sternly as it stifles ideological competition; if you
    want to use computer programs that conform to Apple's orthodoxy, you
    must buy a computer made and sold by Apple itself.
            -- Edward Mendelson, "The New Republic", February 22, 1988

  • by DdJ (10790) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:19AM (#36179498) Homepage Journal

    The reality seems to be that fandom lights up some of the same regions of the brain as religion. Note that they're not claiming this is a common trait of Apple users, but fans. It's not really surprising.

    (And sure, they certainly had access to a large sample set.)

    What do you think would light up in RMS's brain? Assuming he even let himself get hooked up to a medical scanner that wasn't 100% open software and hardware, that is.

  • This article sounds like it was written by some heathen.

  • Good news! (Score:4, Funny)

    by The Creator (4611) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:21AM (#36179542) Homepage Journal

    Apple can file to become tax exempt!

  • The question is what kind of religion.

    People have made much of the metaphore that Apple is like being a Catholic while using a PC is like being a Protestant.

    I personally think being an Apple fan is more like being one of the Old Believers [wikipedia.org] in Russia. It's not so much that you do it their way, it's that doing it another way is 'dire.'

  • 1. That part of the brain is involved with irrational faith?
    2. That part of the brain is involved with rationality? or
    3 That part of the brain evolved over time to prefer sleek objects?

    Hard to tell, IMHO.

  • I think crediting our brains for evolving specifically to process religion is going a bit far. I believe it's more plausible that religion evolved to exploit this area of the brain rather than the other way around, especially since behavior is more plastic than anatomy.

    That said, Apple does call their PR people "evangelists," and Objective C is as conflicting, superfluous, and self important as any religious text I've ever read, so it's hard to dispute these findings.

  • They all make use of Reality Distortion Fields.

  • Neuroscientists have found that religious fervour lights up the same parts of the brain as waiting in line for your devotions at the Apple Store.

    The scientists were interviewed by a BBC programme exploring the fantastically lucrative and popular brands springing up around the supernatural. Religions such as "Christianity" parody the story of the semi-mythical Steve Jobs' virgin birth, adoption by a humble Silicon Valley family, founding of Apple, expulsion from the fold, decade in the wilderness and triumphant Second Coming, wherein devotees were led to enlightenment, glory and hipness.

    "The scans of 'religion' appear remarkably similar," said one scientist whose name is being withheld for protection from outraged Apple devotees. "The adrenal glands are stimulated and the same areas of the visual regions light up. Somewhat in the shape of an apple. No, really! Shaped like an apple!"

    Cupertino's response was frosty. "To have the sacred enlightenment of the products of our saviour Steve maligned by comparison to mere witchdoctor cultist mumbo-jumbo is no less than a calculated insult. One important difference is that our stuff works. ... If you hold it right." The spokesman then compared the neuroscientists' mothers to a PC.

    "The comparison is ridiculous," said "religious" leader Joe "Happy Heil" Ratzinger. "We're just out to make an honest buck like anyone. Well, fairly honest."

    Photo: His Stevianity ministering to a devoted soul [newstechnica.com]..

  • I don't think religion is an evolved trait. It's more likely to be a byproduct of group socialization. We are wired to form social hierarchies, and many leaders have exploited the human willingness to believe in a "higher purpose" to assert divine right over multiple tribes. As a self-aware animal, it's difficult for humans to understand that perhaps our only purpose on earth is to breed to avoid extinction. So instead we create meaningless social rungs -- serf, scribe, priest, investment banker -- and buil
  • Just like any other one, you have to pay to truly 'belong' and you must never, ever take the Jobs name in vain.
  • Oh please, I have friend who drools like pavlov's dog every time he sees the android robot. He is overlook any flaw, any shortcoming and lack of functionality and simply declare whatever the device is as perfect just like it is....its reached a point of absolute delusion. Many Sony fans are the same way, look at any PS3 fan forum and look at the excuses and apologies their fans make for the whole PSN fiasco. Even here there was at one time a rather overwhelming contingent that seemed to think the only reason Linux didn't rule the desktop was because everyone else was stupid...nothing else mattered. I think people get rabid passion for certain things because they fear "loosing" i.e. picking the wrong or least popular product, or fear of the perception their choice has on their peers. In reality there are far more people that buy things based on what they want to do and the products ability to do it, but the voice of logic and reason is usually low key because they are busy actually using their stuff rather than wasting time defending it.

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