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Are Mac Users Smarter than PC Users? 987

arminw writes "Maybe not smarter, but according to MacNewsWorld they are better at expressing themselves than the average Slashdotter and certainly are better at handling the king's English than the average PC operator." Also, michael is better than CowboyNeal. Mathematical expressions of written style don't lie!
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Are Mac Users Smarter than PC Users?

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  • Pudge... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:06PM (#9717203)
    You already posted a Mac users are smarter story [] two years ago. Is this "We're Smarter" thing by Mac users necessary to make yourselves feel better about spending so much for your hardware AND your software?

    Anyway, we all know that the really smart users run Gentoo, highly optimized for whatever hardware they're using!
    • Re:Pudge... (Score:3, Funny)

      by RLiegh ( 247921 )
      Doesn't that only include Gentoo users who are running on a mac? ;)
    • Proof (Score:5, Funny)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:08PM (#9717235)
      Well, for one thing we Mac users seem to be able to figure out how to register for accounts on Slashdot...
    • Re:Pudge... (Score:3, Informative)

      by dasmegabyte ( 267018 )
      The really smart users aren't running the same thing everywhere. My dad always said to use the right tool for the right job, and not to, say, hammer things with a big wrench.

      I run Gentoo, OSX and Windows 2000 for my server, laptop and workstation, respectively. On the server, I want flexibility, stability and security. On the workstation, I want the ability to run industry standard software packages and perform intensive operations without ever having to muck about with the system's configuration. And
  • Flamebait (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sloppy ( 14984 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:06PM (#9717205) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, I'm sure this article is going to generate a lot of intelligent commentary.
    Also, michael is better than CowboyNeal.
    Somebody hasn't been following the polls.
  • by Mz6 ( 741941 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:07PM (#9717206) Journal
    Is it a slow news day today? Is there nothing else to post but something to start flame war between PC and Mac users? With that said... Everyone knows about those wimpy Mac users. While they may be smarter and have better vocabulary, us PC users get all the chicks.
  • by TempusMagus ( 723668 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:07PM (#9717207) Homepage Journal
    You could probably boil this all down to economics. People who come from families who earn more than $200,000 are typically better educated that kids who come from welfare families. The argument could be made that folks with enough cabbage to purchase a $2k+ Macintosh have greater access to funds that the poor schmo who can only buy some sub $800 PC system which, in my mind, reflects on their access to education. If you can afford a mac - you probably went to a real University instead of DeVry.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      At the cost of things like computers (sub $5k, say) it really matters little what you earn, as opposed to what you choose to buy.

      Most PC users I know bemoan the cost of a new mac, yet they'll gladly spend $25k on a brand new car that loses $5k of that value the day they drive it home.

      That is, spend 20 minutes driving it home to sit in front of their $400 PC for the next 4 hours.

      People choose their priorities.
    • by Ignignot ( 782335 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:18PM (#9717417) Journal
      Dont descrimnat! Us PC users can lern vocabularee gud an uther things gud to! Jus cuz us got no fansee buk lernin duznt meen us dum! Maybee them Mac users think they ar betur then us but they ain't! Them dont unnerstan what us has bin threw animore. Us have to grow up with onlee 100000 $ a years had a hard lief! Us maid stong cuz of that! Them liv in soft wile us gets hard!
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:38PM (#9717749) Homepage
      Yeah, because there's no such thing as a $800 [] Mac. And no one spends $2k+ on an Intel based PC, right? I mean, certainly no one here...

      You could probably boil this all down to bullsh*t, though. I mean, the whole story, not your post. It's not a scientific study, the results aren't meaningful, and so there's no need to 'boil it down' at all.

      [this coming from a Mac user who thinks he's smarter than everyone else... but it has nothing to do with being a Mac user]

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:07PM (#9717208)
    Ok, this is absolute troll food but I'm hungry:

    For a more realistic and interesting baseline, I collected about 2,800 lines of Slashdot discussion contributions and ran style against them to get the following ratings summary along with a lot of detail data omitted here:

    Kincaid: 7.7
    ARI: 8.0
    Coleman-Liau: 9.7
    Flesch Index: 72.4
    Fog Index: 10.7
    Lix: 37.1 = school year 5
    SMOG-Grading: 9.8
    Notice that these results apply to comments from Slashdotters, not to the text on which they're commenting. Look at the source articles and you get very different results because, of course, most are professionally written or edited -- although there is an interesting oddity in that ratings for files made up by pasting together stories posted by "Michael" are consistently at least one school year higher than comparable accumulations made from postings (other than press releases) by "Cowboyneal."

    Yeah, first off, I want to know what 2,800 lines he took. I would hope he didn't use a random method of comment gathering as anything under +3 is generally junk (and thus why it holds there). I want to know if he has taken a look at more recent Slashdot banter or comments generated since its inception. It's a well known fact that the signal to noise ratio has increased over the years (as is expected as the site grows in "popularity").

    When he mentions that he wasn't performing this "study" on the text Slashdotters were commenting on, does that mean that he wasn't paying attention to the particular stories we were responding to? That could have a major impact on the results.

    Yes, all of us Slashdotters are stuck-up assholes, but I seriously doubt that the higher rated comments are written at a 5th grade reading level unless you are looking at -1 to +5 instead of +1 and above (which I assume that most people read at).

    Perhaps he posted this, knowing full well we would troll it, just to prove his point?

    I guess if this hadn't originally been posted to MacNewsWorld I would I have found it extremely funny that the storey was posted by "pudge" instead of Cowboyneal...
  • Michael smart? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strictnein ( 318940 ) * <strictfoo-slashdot AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:07PM (#9717210) Homepage Journal
    Trying to (admittidly jokingly) determine which group is smarter by their message group posts? And using SLASHDOT posts as a base? Considering 3/4ths of all posts on slashdot are "Yu0 @r3 the SUXORZ F3G!" or "GNAA Ownz U!" (complete with beautiful ASCII art).
    In reality, it's a pretty funny article. Good read. Best quote from the article: ...there is an interesting oddity in that ratings for files made up by pasting together stories posted by "Michael" are consistently at least one school year higher than comparable accumulations made from postings (other than press releases) by "Cowboyneal."
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:29PM (#9717598) Homepage
      '3/4ths of all posts on slashdot are "Yu0 @r3 the SUXORZ F3G!" or "GNAA Ownz U!" (complete with beautiful ASCII art).'

      That was the first thing I thought of too. And not just the h4x0r-speak, but most posts are fired off pretty quickly and carlessly, and often with a focus on being funny or interesting, and not on making sense. I wonder how "In Soviet Russia, our new overlord Beowolf clusters don't have an imagination to imagine you, you insensitive clod!" (or other nonsense) would rate on one of these systems. It doesn't check for content, right?

      Anyway, the funniest thing about this article has to be this guy's picture. I keep thinking he looks like my grandfather, stoned, being distracted by 'pretty lights'.

  • No! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:07PM (#9717219)
    No, there not!


    PC User
  • No (Score:5, Funny)

    by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:08PM (#9717224) Homepage Journal
    Two words: Ellen Feiss

  • by presearch ( 214913 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:08PM (#9717227)
  • Oh yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by MoxCamel ( 20484 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:08PM (#9717228)
    I'm a Mac user, and I spent roughly twice the money an equivilent PC would have cost me. Many of the software titles I'd like to run are only available on the PC. In fact, I also own a PC so I can run those programs, bringing the total cost of my Mac up to about three times the cost of a single PC.

    I had to buy a BMW because Apple doesn't make speakers yet for my iPod.

    PC users. What a bunch of dumbasses.

    • Re:Oh yeah (Score:3, Funny)

      by irokitt ( 663593 )
      There are so many great games for the Mac.



      Super Breakout


      (My apologies to Gus).
  • by Twid ( 67847 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:10PM (#9717254) Homepage
    As a Mac user and Apple employee, I would just like to say:


    - Twid

  • by Bones3D_mac ( 324952 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:11PM (#9717287)
    Wow, even as a Mac user, I find this thread annoying simply for the impending flame war that will inevitably erupt. Don't we have anything more worthwhile we could be discussing than just another lame Mac vs. PC debate?
    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:29PM (#9717602) Homepage
      Wow, even as a Mac user, I find this thread annoying simply for the impending flame war that will inevitably erupt.

      It's in the "It's Funny. Laugh." section - this is supposed to provoke a flamewar just for the sheer hell of it. As a Mac, PC, Solaris and Linux user, I intend to sit back, have a chuckle, and toast the marshmellows using the searing heat radiating from my browser window...


  • Don't limit themseleves to just one platform. Each has its uses. Personally, I use linux, win xp, and a Mac from time to time.

    I mean, if you don't use them all, how can you really say one is better than the others?
  • by ThatsNotFunny ( 775189 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:12PM (#9717306)
    Are Mac users smarter than PC users? I'd rather know: Are Crack users smarter than PCP users?
  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:12PM (#9717309) Homepage
    Simply put, Mac users are, for the most part, academics, artsy or literary types who have spent a lot more time in rhetoric and literature classes while slashdotters spent their time in geeky technical (useful) pursuits. Writing style is not the main interest of the /. crew, although some argument could be made that better style can result in better communication.

    "Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:12PM (#9717314) Homepage
    At one time, the typical Mac user bought his machine because he was scared of DOS and the rest of the PC world. Today Mac users have other reasons. Many buy into the digital media goodies (FinalCutPro, iDVD, etc). Some like the unix aspect. Some are anti-Microsoft.

    Granted there are still "oooh, it looks sexy" Mac users, but those are quickly becoming the exception, not the rule.

    BTW: take a look at some of the Mac books at Barnes and Noble or Borders, almost half of them are thick, serious unix books!
    • "...the typical Mac user bought his machine because he was scared of DOS..."

      I don't think it was fright that was at play the first day in 1984 when I first used a Mac at the computer store in White Plains NY - I can remember exactly when and where - and saw the Finder, MacWrite and MacPaint all playing nicely with wach other and doing incredibly useful stuff and all that useful stuff coming out of an Imagewriter just like it looked on the screen.

      I daydreamed, goggle-eyed about what might have been in the
  • by thecombatwombat ( 571826 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:14PM (#9717340)
    This is dumb, and it's come up before.

    Yeah, the average mac user probably is smarter than the average pc user. The 4% of mac users are also in the upper 4% of the income scale. Guess what? Well educated smart people tend to have more money than others, your average BMW owner is probably "smarter" than your average kia owner.

    Looking at this in any way that's supposed to matter is just elitist. Moving on . . .
  • Sigh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by belgar ( 254293 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:14PM (#9717348) Homepage
    ...once again, I despair at the Mac zealots making the rest of the Mac community look like asshats. Good thing that doesn't happen in the Linux community, as well. Whew!
  • by joeldg ( 518249 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:16PM (#9717379) Homepage
    that is what this article should be called..
    a troll article written about a troll article.

    yea yea yea..
    perl people are smarter than php people.
    java duuudes are smarter than the whole world
    and now, a mac user thinks they are smarter than a PC user..
    bla bla bla bla..
    apparently a lot of people don't remember usenet when it was worth a damn and the old beige-toaster argument about the mac users and their babbling about how they are "better".. ...
    this is not news, it is a troll.
  • by hikerhat ( 678157 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:16PM (#9717390)
    The funniest part was where they said slashdot articles were professionally edited. I guess that makes me a brain surgen because I can clip my toenails.
    • The author wasn't passing judgement on editors here. He wasn't trying to be funny, either. He was baiting the editors by mentioning their names in the hopes of having his idiotic little story posted on Slashdot. Of course, the eds obliged, and now the front page is full of people commenting about this dumbass's flamebait. There's a moral here, kids: you don't need to be able to perform scientific stats analysis or use approved methods when surveying for intelligence. Likewise, you don't need any sort of
  • by basho3 ( 660338 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:17PM (#9717404)
    The cause here seems pretty obvious. A large proportion of Mac users are communications professionals and creative types. We make our living writing and communicating, while PC users are a more representative sample of the population. The Mac is also a premium product (a slight premium, please, let's not rehash that battle again!) and people who buy it are likely to have more disposable income and education. But ... as an enthusiastic Mac and Unix condescender, I have to admit I'll be adding this to my little toolbox! ~grin~
  • by GOD_ALMIGHTY ( 17678 ) <curt DOT johnson AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:18PM (#9717408) Homepage
    <cheap-shot>It's all style over substance</cheap-shot>
  • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:18PM (#9717411) Journal
    To flamebait friday... between this one and the Bobbie Fisher one, I think the UN is going to be sanctioning Cowboy for attempting to start a war!
  • I doubt it. (Score:3, Funny)

    by GMFTatsujin ( 239569 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:18PM (#9717418) Homepage
    MacNewsWorld is obviously in error. A study commissioned by Microsoft shows that Windows users are obviously superior, not only in linguistic acuity and dual-button mouse skills, but also in lower total cost of ownership. Windows users are also more innovative. It's true!

    On MacNewsWorld's part, I suspect... I suspect... Damn. What's that thing they call it when you hire your own family to work for you?

    Neopolitanism. That's it. I suspect *that*.
  • When I was skiing last winter, it occurred to me that you can draw OS preferences are kind of like snow-riding equipment preferences:

    Windows users are alpine skiers. They're the most common, they're generally well-behaved and not big risk-takers, and they're looked down on by the other groups. They also tend to crash a lot. Grandma is an alpine skier.

    Linux users are snowboarders. They tend to be younger, out-of-control, risk-takers, they don't really crash as much, and they annoy the skiers (for no good reason, they're just annoying). Teenage boys with eyebrow piercings are snowboarders.

    Mac users are telemark skiers. They aren't as adventurous as the snowboarders, and they have more in common with the skiers, but they also have this smooth, sophisticated sheen of coolness about them that neither of the other two groups have. Barbara Streisand is probably a telemarker.

    Tele skiers get invited to the highest-class parties; snowboarders throw the best parties; alpine skiers have to get the kids in bed because there's school tomorrow. :)

  • by kollivier ( 449524 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:27PM (#9717558)
    I mean, come on people! I'm a Mac user and I think this is about the stupidest thing one could spend time on. The author is comparing 2-3% of the computing world with 97-98% of the rest of the computing world. It should have occurred to him that results will vary HIGHLY depending on which portions of the population are used for the sample. The result is that such a comparison is useless, pointless, and elitest.

    The sad part is that this made it to the /. front page. If you need to post something that bad, just post a dupe. We're used to it by now, and who knows, there may be someone who missed the original post!
  • from reading the article, I thought that he was unfair, and should have separated the unix users from the windows users. After all, they are two different worlds. Not only that, but slashdot regroups windows, mac and *nix users altogether. Mixed bunch indeed, but I'd like to see a comparison between mac users and *nix users for one. Also, since MacOSX is based on unix, wouldn't that mean that somehow the people that programmed unix were better than Apple programmers? Evidently Apple wasn't able to come up with a stable OS of it's own and had to find a way of finding a stable one. And for literature's sake, please don't think that people who use abbreviations on slashdot don't know how to type the words they abbreviate. Sometimes, people need to type fast (when your boss is behind you, or you've got work to do) and typing whole words such as Microsoft or Macintosh can take a long time, especially when you don't like one or the other, and need to retype them several times before getting them right. Maybe we need a literary section on slashdot, that relates to fiction books as well as php, C or Perl manuals to up our score a bit. Ideas anyone?
  • by Biff78 ( 694374 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:29PM (#9717601)
    According to the article Mac Users have a larger vocabulary and use better English. This is expected to a certain degree since many Mac users were first introduced to their machines in high school or college when Apple had a lock on the educational market. Apple retained a larger precentage of college campus computers even after the general public and high schools began to transition to PCs. As a result, new users of Macs were being disproportionately recruited from among people with some college or college degrees. Better vocabulary and grammar skills would certainly be expected among this group. Cost could also be a factor. Macs cost more than PCs as a result those most likely to purchase them will be people with higher than average salaries. Since there is a correlation between salary and education, those purchasing Mac will once again have an above average educational level.
  • The answer is grey (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pappy97 ( 784268 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:31PM (#9717618)
    Back in the day of early Mac OS's and MS-DOS (And Windows until 3.11), the PC [Windows] user had to know more than the Mac User to operate the computer.

    Today it is the PC-Windows user who does not need to know anything, while the MAC (OS X) user should know something about how to operate the computer. Of course there are still many ignorant Mac Users (not the Slashdotters) who don't know that OS X is built on BSD, never see get into CLI, etc.

    BUT, when you say PC users, you have to include Linux User. I'll guarantee that ANYONE that has any kind of Linux OS installed knows more than the average Mac user about computers. BUT, a BSD geek using OS X probably is smarter than the average linux user.

    Make sense? I didn't think so.
  • They must be (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seven5 ( 596044 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:35PM (#9717677)
    They obviously understand the value for their dollar. Everyone else complains that macs are too expensive while cheaping out and getting $600 pcs and still complaining about their own environment. I don't get Windows users (i used to be one for 10 years). Mac users love their computers, LOVE THEM, we know how much. But i dare you to find me 5 people that have the same amount of love for their Windows computers. People complain about it and just keep going back, theres no other industry like it. Its amazing.
  • Makes me wish.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suso ( 153703 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:36PM (#9717708) Homepage Journal
    Reading this reminds me of when I ran an experiment on my Philip Glass Library website back in 1997. For a period of 3-4 weeks, I blocked Internet Explorer, then about 2 months after that, I blocked Netscape for about 3-4 weeks.

    The email responses I received from each set of browsers users was very different. On average, Netscape users seemed more educated and had a longer average word and email length than IE users. most IE users had a 1 or 2 line email where as Netscape users usually where 2 paragraphs at least.

    I should release that study sometime.
    • Re:Makes me wish.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:50PM (#9720574) Homepage
      I forget what the browser distribution back then was, but if you did the same thing now and I happened to run across it with each browser (I use both), my responses would be respectively:

      "Blocking IE? Oh, great, it's another of those 'IE sucks and I hate it therefore I won't let anyone visit my site because I am elitist' people. Screw that, I've got better things to do."

      "Blocking Firefox? Maybe they don't realize what the market share is like. I should email him and let him know."

      Obviously, in each case, I'd end up writing vastly different kinds of email (well, in the first case I wouldn't write email at all, but hey.) Just categorizing it on "browser type" really doesn't tell you much.

      (And I've run into both kinds of site in the last month, which is why I know those would be my reactions. :) )
  • Temporal Distortion (Score:4, Informative)

    by Quirk ( 36086 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:38PM (#9717746) Homepage Journal
    "... according to MacNewsWorld they are better at expressing themselves than the average Slashdotter and certainly are better at handling the king's English..."

    That would be the Queen's english. Perhaps it's merely a matter of temporal distortion.

  • by jamie ( 78724 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:41PM (#9717779) Journal
    I just ran a quick sampling of recent Slashdot posts through 'style'. Turns out as a whole, everyone writes at about a 5th grade level. And that measure is consistent at all Scores, from Score:-1 up to Score:5 (there's a slight dip at 0, and a slight rise from 1 on up, but very slight).

    We're going to be revamping the moderation system [] in the months to come, and we should totally provide a bonus for people who manage to write at higher than a fifth grade level. Well, that'd probably be way too easy to game, but still, it'd be interesting to see if that would improve the quality of discussion...

  • So? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Transcendent ( 204992 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:43PM (#9717820)
    There are many areas one can be intelligent in. Sure, they are better at English and other "humanities" types of skills... I conclude that Engineers, the ones good in math and science, use PCs.

    This study doesn't say anything about the level of intelligence, but merely the type of person that uses x computer.
  • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:44PM (#9717833) Homepage
    Okay first off lets understand something. Using a Mac or Linux isn't what makes you smart, or even arrogant. Using a PC doesn't make you dumb. This argument has been posed ad nauseum for decades as if to say one group just is smarter than the other.

    One group may be smarter than the other, but it has NOTHING to do with actually using the type of computer!

    It has everything to do with the life choices that we make and how we go about making decisions. It also has to do with how one has to come about making the choice of Mac or Linux over PC.

    First of all, the easiest answer to the question "which operating system should I use?" is going to be a windows PC for at least one or two more decades. Since this is the easiest answer, its the answer most often taken. Lazy people, uninformed people, and people just can't possibly understand how a computer works will take the easy answer.

    However, with Macs and Linux, the users arrived at that information differently. They've worked on many machines, perform various functions, and do more than email and surf the web. They are deeper into their computer experience because getting into that experience is important and they learn more. These same people tend to be mroe logical and research their decisions more because that's the nature of everything they do.

    Second, the two above statements are not absolutes, they are tendencies. Apple and linux users tend to look more into their computer experience because they want more out of it, but that's not to say there are no PC users who do the same thing. However, due to the tendency that more PC users are simply looking for that "simple answer" this then skews the overall social makeup of the PC user base towards the less analytical and creative of the general american populace.

    Third, its all about perception. The easy answer is perceived as easy. You can argue its not so easy, what with bugs and viruses and spyware, and that you will pay for it later. However, that's not what the general populace thinks. In my opinion they are misinformed, but they are definitely underinformed about their choices. Linux and Macs require a larger investment than most people are willing to put in, but if you make that investment it tends to be returned pretty quickly in one form or another. It's just like the way investment bankers work. They know you have to invest to get something back. Most people look at their PC as a TV or Microwave oven. To them it's just an appliance that needs regular updates. A similar investment can be made in a PC, you just go about it differently.

    The phrase "Mac/Linux users are smarter/more creative/better than PC users" serves no purpose other than to get people riled up. There are tons of better ways to explain it but they take several paragraphs, like this post does.
  • by Valiss ( 463641 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:47PM (#9717868) Homepage
    I mean with a title like that on /. you're *asking* for flames.
  • king's English

    This may be picking nits and I'm sure some English major will correct me but shouldn't it be Queen's English? There hasn't been a king in England for quite some time.

    (BTW, if I'm right then must be a mac user cause I have a 17" iMac. If I'm wrong then I'm a PC user because I have a Dell as well. If I get flamed for either I do have a linux box or two under the desk.)

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.