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The Wrath of the Apple Tribe 870

Narrative Fallacy writes "If you've ever written about Apple products with even a hint of negativity, you'll appreciate Salon's excerpt from Farhad Manjoo's True Enough, about why the Apple tribe is so rabid. 'There are many tribes in the tech world: TiVo lovers, Blackberry addicts, Palm Treo fanatics, and people who exhibit unhealthy affection for their Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners,' writes Manjoo. 'But there is no bigger tribe, and none more zealous, than fans of Apple, who are infamous for their sensitivity to slams, real or imagined, against the beloved company.' Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg has even coined a name for the phenomenon — the 'Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation.' 'If I see the world as all black and you see the world as all white and some person comes along and says it's partially black and partially white, we both are going to be unhappy,' says psychologist Lee Ross at Stanford University. 'You think there are more facts and better facts on your side than on the other side. The very act of giving them equal weight seems like bias. Like inappropriate evenhandedness.'"
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The Wrath of the Apple Tribe

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:44AM (#22834004)
    to catchup with the Amiga.
  • by wanderingknight ( 1103573 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:47AM (#22834020)
    ..and their ad campaigns.

    Seriously, market a product as "stylish", "hip" and "different", and you'll raise a troupe of people to whom presenting themselves as different is pretty much their only end. I personally find it one of the most disgusting facets of consumerist capitalism.
    • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:03AM (#22834110) Homepage Journal

      I personally find it one of the most disgusting facets of consumerist capitalism.

      Ooo, someone forgot to take their "Think Different" pills this morning, didn't they?

    • by Maestro485 ( 1166937 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:10AM (#22834148)
      It pisses me off that using Apple products makes you "different". I'm way more different than those preppy jerks. I have a tattoo of a Chinese symbol on my wrist that means 'peace' in English. I have the tips of my semi-dirty long hair dyed green. I even have a nose ring *and* a lip ring (earrings are a given in my non-conformist world). Seriously those Apple fans need to start coming up with commercials with lame yet catchy songs that accompany a minimalist but stylish product line.
    • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @02:21AM (#22834490) Homepage
      The thing is, because I work in a field connected with the arts, I do actually know a lot of the people who kind of fit that stereotype of the hip, creative mac user. And they aren't rabid fantypes. They like their Macs, yes, and many are design aficionados, but they don't care that much about brand loyalty as such.

      The people I know who fit that rabid fanboy stereotype are the ones for whom Mac ownership is the hippest thing about them, dorks who think their choice of tech moves them one step closer to the cool-kids table.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by John_Booty ( 149925 )

      Seriously, market a product as "stylish", "hip" and "different", and you'll raise a troupe of people to whom presenting themselves as different is pretty much their only end.

      Yeaaah, maaaaaaaan. Ditch Apple and their desire to make money and their marketing campaigns. Stick with non-commercial entities like HP, Dell, and Sony that pay no attention to marketing, style, profit, or consumer appeal.

      PS: Most of the Mac users I know are developers. It's a nice platform for developers because you have all the *n

  • But But But (Score:4, Funny)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:48AM (#22834026) Homepage
    Nobody else has a real live Reality Distortion Field [slashdot.org]. We're special.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:48AM (#22834032)
    Step 1: Troll Apple users

    Step 2: Write an article about all the hate mail you get

    Step 3: Ad revenue

    Goto Step 1

    Dvorak has done this so many times he should be selling his technique on an infomercial at this point.

  • It's a religion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rog7 ( 182880 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:49AM (#22834040)
    I do have an unhealthy obsession with my Roomba, but it doesn't come close to the religious outrage that descends on my blog whenever / if-ever I say anything that doesn't approach worship of Apple.

    Honestly, it's the biggest reason I no longer buy products from Apple. The astonishing thing is how many years this keeps going on. I had a friend who started hiding his Newton for fear of the cultists that would swarm him and go on about how great it was while he was just trying to look up an address or whatever.

    The only sane Apple-nut I ever met was Douglas Adams, but then he was at least reasonable enough to acknowledge other OSes, although you wouldn't believe it from the Apple fans who quote him endlessly.

    Why are so many of their consumers complete nutcases?
    • Re:It's a religion (Score:5, Informative)

      by plover ( 150551 ) * on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:16AM (#22834172) Homepage Journal
      I'm pretty good friends with an Apple salesman. He loves their products and believes in the company. Both of those are prerequisites to being a successful salesman regardless of the products being sold, but Apple seems to make it easier than just about any other company. It's an amazing cult.

      I personally have purchased only one Apple product -- I recently bought my wife an iPod touch. While I absolutely love the cool user interface experience, the consumer lock down is much worse than I imagined it would be (and I was expecting bad.) Overall I can only rate the thing "half-way above shit." I'll never buy anything else from them and I'm not going to recommend them to other people unless that changes drastically.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tsa ( 15680 )
        You sir, can kiss your Karma goodbye ;) And be careful: those Apple fans know where your house lives.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:50AM (#22834044) Journal
    Sometimes evenhandedness is inappropriate. It elevates the wrong position to the same level as the right position. For instance, intelligent design.
    • by wanderingknight ( 1103573 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:12AM (#22834156)

      For instance, intelligent design.
      That's not a fair comparison. Intelligent design cannot _ever_ hope to partake in a scientific discussion, because there's no science behind it, and that's _it_. No point in debating something that's completely wrong in any way you look at it. Different opinions on different products, however, are a different issue altogether.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wass ( 72082 )
        No, the original poster has a perfectly valid point which you just reinforced.

        By the anti-evolution lobby making such a big deal about evolution and the need to include alternate theories, they've somehow made themselves a presence that otherwise would never have existed in the educational system. Everybody around the country now knows of the concept of Intelligent Design, but 10 years ago, nobody really thought about it at all.

        They've made such a big deal out of it, including high-profile activism, that s
  • by snl2587 ( 1177409 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:52AM (#22834060)

    about why the Apple tribe is so rabid

    You mean it's not rabies? Oh...I guess I didn't need those shots after the last time I called the MacBook "useless" and one of them bit me...

  • by cappadocius ( 555740 ) <cappadocius.vampirethemasquerade@com> on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:53AM (#22834068)
    +1 Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
  • by uvajed_ekil ( 914487 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:55AM (#22834072)
    I am always right.

    Next thread please.

  • I dunno.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @12:57AM (#22834082)
    I think the Linux/FOSS fanboys are trying to wrestle that crown from the Apple fanboys.
    • Re:I dunno.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Joe Tie. ( 567096 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:27AM (#22834236)
      I think the apple fanboys easily win for the moment. I'm a long time linux user, and often found the zelotry a bit embarrassing. But looking at the comments on digg when apple comes up actually make me feel a bit uneasy in general. It actually can be borderline scary seeing the amount of nerd rage apple stories can unleash there.
    • Re:I dunno.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DaleGlass ( 1068434 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @02:02AM (#22834412) Homepage
      IMO, the Linux zealots are less scary.

      It's a difference in philosophy. Linux is about freedom and choice. If you say "Linux lacks X", most of the time if you get a negative reply it'll be something like "well, go fix it, the source's there". You generally won't be flamed to a crisp for daring to suggest that say, the state of audio in Linux isn't ideal. Constructive criticism could get a positive reply. Take the guy who did Linux boot benchmarking -- it quickly resulted in optimizations of the process.

      Now try to do the same with Apple. Apple is about the "experience". Either you get it, or you can go look somewhere else. If you try to suggest the iPod, iPhone or something else isn't ideal you'll often get a reply from somebody who thinks nothing Apple makes might be a bit imperfect, and that if you don't like it, something is wrong with you. Mac OS was perfect before OS X came out. I've never seen a fan reply to the complaint of the iPod's lack of ability to play Ogg Vorbis as "You know, they should really include that". If it was a Linux device somebody would have added that within a month of the iPod's release.
  • by Psykechan ( 255694 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:08AM (#22834136)
    I use Apple products all of the time; the only personal computers that I ever have powered on anymore are all Macs. My "promoting" of Macs to friends and family has been more beneficial in convincing some of them to buy Apple products more than any clever advertising. I've even brought Apple into my workplace and who knows, it may even make a decent foothold in the formerly all MS shop. I would consider myself a fan.

    But I will point out the negatives in their products where I see them. There is no point in pretending that they don't exist as all that does is give them time to fester. I am a realist. I'll also point out issues with the company when they deserve it. Yeah, praise is better but only if they are going to work for it.

    I am more judgmental because I've been in the IT field for years and have used, and I mean really used, many different OSes out there. I also wouldn't have considered calling myself a Mac user before OS X. Sorry fans, but OS 9 was pretty terrible.

    I suppose Apple needs the rabid fanbase as they are advertisers that pay the company for the privilege. Maybe Apple should even thank them every now and then for keeping the company afloat for so many years. They also need the realists that speak their mind and truthfully say what is good, what is bad, and what is downright idiotic. Yes, this means that these groups will clash but it is needed.

    How else are they going to move forward?

    • by budcub ( 92165 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:41AM (#22834322) Homepage
      I couldn't help noticing how Mac fanatics kept on touting their superior OS, until OS X came along, which fixed all of these problems that they never acknowledged having before. Same thing with the switch to Intel. They kept saying how superior their Power PC chip was, then with the switch to Intel they're saying its now working so much better. WTF?

      Even though I'm not a big fan of Apple, I will admit they have some advantages here and there.
      • by wass ( 72082 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:51AM (#22834374)
        I'm a fan of OS X, and I used to DESPISE macs of OS 9 and earlier. I just didn't like how the old macs felt. I used Linux exclusively from 1998, until my fiancee got a mac mini around 2005, then I got an imac last year, which I've been using exclusively now.

        So I don't know why the mac-hating crowd has to paint all of us Mac users with one big fanatic brush. But I can tell you flat out that OS X is what pulled me to the mac, it's UNIX with an awesome GUI, and no more fiddling to get stuff to work that I had to with Linux. If claiming that makes me a rabid fanboy, then so be it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Solra Bizna ( 716281 )

        They kept saying how superior their Power PC chip was, then with the switch to Intel they're saying its now working so much better. WTF?

        Disclaimer: I'm a PowerPC fanboy. Still am. (NOT PowerMac. PowerPC.)

        When the comparison last made sense, it was between the G5 and the Pentium 4 "Prescott". The G5's pipelines are 10 stages long, the Pentium 4's are 31 stages long. Since then, Intel has changed their focus away from insanely deep pipelines, with the Core series being the first to really shine (especially

      • by Scudsucker ( 17617 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @04:26AM (#22834916) Homepage Journal
        I couldn't help noticing how Mac fanatics kept on touting their superior OS, until OS X came along, which fixed all of these problems that they never acknowledged having before.

        Windows didn't have an ounces worth of usability and security until Windows 2k was released in February of 2000. When was Mac OS 10.0 released? September of 2000.

        Same thing with the switch to Intel. They kept saying how superior their Power PC chip was, then with the switch to Intel they're saying its now working so much better. WTF?

        Because the G4's and G5's were superior chips to the Pentium's, especially the P4. The problem is that IBM is a shitty fabber. They weren't able to deliver on what they promised (3 ghz G5's within a year of the release of the first Mac G5) much less continue PowerPC development. If IBM had kept up development and you could get a 3ghz dual core G6 in a laptop Apple never would have switched to Intel.
  • by ptbarnett ( 159784 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:18AM (#22834188)
    Earlier in the week, I posted this comment [slashdot.org] to this thread [slashdot.org], about something in the first three paragraphs in the referenced article [wired.com].

    I was amazed at the number of fanboi's that modded it off-topic, only to have it modded it back up, then back down again. Some apparently thought I had committed blasphemy.

  • Mac Pride (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:25AM (#22834228) Journal

    The real reason Mac fans tend to be overly defensive is that they've felt marginalized by software and hardware vendors for years due to Microsoft's dominance in the desktop computing arena. I'm not blaming the vendors, sometimes fiscal reality precludes making a version of their product for a relatively small market, but it can be frustrating to Mac users who are convinced that their platform is superior to what Microsoft has to offer but still have to wait months or years, if ever, to get their hands on a desirable product.

    It's not unlike other minorities--African-Americans, gays etc., (not that Mac marginalization has anywhere near the same significance as the often violent discrimination that gays and blacks have experienced in their lifetimes)--who react to discrimination by the majority by developing a sense community "pride."

    Granted, though, many of Apple's fans go way overboard in it's defense. This, BTW, is from a long-time Mac user and recovering "rabid" fanboy who converted from Microsoft way back in DOS days who now uses OS X, Kubuntu and Windows XP interchangeably as necessary.

    • Re:Mac Pride (Score:5, Informative)

      by menkhaura ( 103150 ) <espinafre@gmail.com> on Sunday March 23, 2008 @02:21AM (#22834498) Homepage Journal
      I see two mistakes in your comment. First, black*, foreign (whatever country you are from; I'm assuming U.S.) and (arguably) gay people are born the way they are; they cannot change that, and even if they could, many, or most, wouldn't. On the other hand, a consumer has the choice to either spend more than he earns in a month (and, believe me, it happens more often than not down here in the Third World) on an item he believes (often correctly) that will give him more social status, or spend half or two-third his monthly wage on something that will be useful to him, running some OS and graphic DE that is at least as beautiful as Apple's.

      The second mistake I see is that the Free and/or Open Source (internal feuds do exist; let them sort themselves out) Software fanboys are even more plentiful than Apple ones. Being one of those myself, I think the reason is that we believe in an ideal, fulfilled by the hard work of those seeking recognition among their peers, or money, or plain and simple sense of self-fulfillment. Yes, there are very vocal FOSS fanboys out there, but they are either novices to the belief or prophets of the cult; most of us fall in-between, prowd of our sense of judgement, knowing what is good and what isn't for our families and for our our stranded relative's PHD about-to-be-lost-to-a-virus thesis.

      * That PC crap hits my nerves; I'm black, but I was born in Brazil; I'm not a fucking African-American, I'm BLACK, thank you very much! And I wasn't born in a "developing country", I was born and live in an UNDERDEVELOPED country; the notion that we are in a "developing country" has deluded our leaders to think we are "getting there". No country "gets there" when 32 million of its population STARVES.
    • Re:Mac Pride (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @04:33AM (#22834940)

      The real reason Mac fans tend to be overly defensive is that they've felt marginalized by software and hardware vendors for years due to Microsoft's dominance in the desktop computing arena. I'm not blaming the vendors, sometimes fiscal reality precludes making a version of their product for a relatively small market, but it can be frustrating to Mac users who are convinced that their platform is superior to what Microsoft has to offer but still have to wait months or years, if ever, to get their hands on a desirable product.
      I think Apple has nothing but themselves to blame really. In the early days Apple used to charge crazy prices for their hardware (the original Mac sold for 2000$, half of which was pure profit), had ridiculous developer programs, and no clone market.

      Compare that to Microsoft who goes out of their way (even today) to entice developers, and has a massive 3rd party sales channel (oem's) - the likes of which Apple doesn't even attempt to compete with.

      The only other group I could compare them to is the Commodore Amiga fans - of which I was one. We felt marginalized, but it was probably for lack of a clone market and Commodore's lack of marketing and management skill. They actually had a rather good developer support program - even in the early days of the product.

      Mind you Apple is doing great things in some areas to improve things - for instance they have a much better developer support program. You still can't install Apple software on 3rd party products - which is where Microsoft is making a killing - and I think frankly Apple is losing out on.
  • by truthisabsolute ( 624291 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:28AM (#22834244)
    I have experience administering 12 xserves and 35 OSX clients located in US, UK and india. We ended up using xserves, imacs, powerbooks, and G5 towers because the CTO was an apple fanatic, not based on what was the best product after fair evaluation. From my experince I would never use OSX as a server platform because it has been less reliable than windoz and I am not a fan of windoz. Real unix is not tied to the GUI the way OSX is - a GUI problem can easily lock or crash an OSX server while "real" unix or linux does not have this weakness. Perhaps OSX without a GUI would be more reliable???? While I like Linux it also has it's flaws but using it or a "real" unix flavor for servers will lead to much more reliability. From my experience OSX is great as a client for those who are comfortable with the interface but it is not more stable than windoz which is a serious insult but true in my experience. I can say that OSX is more secure than windoz for a dumb user but a careful windoz user can be as or almost as secure if the right safeguards are in place. Personally I use Linux as primary OS and run windoz in virtual machines when needed. Some day Mac users may evolve to the point where they can use more than one mouse button and/or be able to resize windows from any edge or corner. When simple stuff like that happens I may use OSX more for a desktop, but I do not ever expect to use it for important services. Since the CTO has left we have moved most critical services to Linux and things are much more stable now. It seems like a cult of personality, with apple/OSX being the personality, will continue to prevent the apple fanatics from seeing clearly. I will be serverly trashed for these comments but the ones that are serious about apple know there are many real and serious issues with this proprietary OS/Hardware combo especially for critical services. If you want to solve serious apple issues afp548.com is a great resource for serious information and it seems they do not religiously sugar coat issue as most apple users do.
  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:30AM (#22834254) Homepage
    Why are Mac fans so quick to see bias everywhere? On issues we're passionate about, we all tend to think our own views are essentially reasonable. Thus when a reporter, editor, news network, or pundit mentions the other side's arguments, it stings.
      That's basically all the article says. And we knew that, of course. But why are Apple fans so extremely sensitive to criticism? I've said many 'bad' things about Apple on this forum, and it inevitably got me modded down. Apple zealots are even worse than the Linux zealots of ten years back.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @01:42AM (#22834330) Homepage Journal
    His columns for the whole past week were excerpts from his new book. And now he's getting air time from /. His basic thesis is - GEE who's a thought - people on the internet all flock to likeminded opinions to the exclusion of all rational discussion about anything that deviates from their gospel. Wow, never saw that coming.

    BTW Farhad is the biggest Apple Fanboy in the world. Before this week 80% of his columns were about iPhones, iPods, Macs and Apple.
  • The article starts off fine enough, with notations of the fanaticism of *some* Apple fans. I myself like Apple; if I was buying a pre-made computer, it'd probably be a Mac. Imo, very nice build-construction and quality (aside from their keyboards and mice, which are no-where near as good as MS keyboards or mice). But even more-so than Apple, I'm a big big fan of Lian-Li cases. Yet, I have some complaints: the usb-panels on the V1200 and V2000 are at the bottom of the case, instead of up top, or on-top of it, which is more accessible for big cases (which will likely be placed on the floor); and their new V-series have fixed that, but also reduced greatly the ventilation holes on the front. I doubt there'd be many Lian-Li fanatics bashing me for that.

    Some Apple fans do really annoy. E.g., the tendency for claiming that Mac invented everything. They accused Lian-Li of copying the G5's holed case-design; yet, servers used ventilation holes for a long time, and my year-2000 Gateway had them on the front. They also acted like the wire-less hard-drive replacement on the new G5's is some new invention of Apple's: it's juts hot-swap, which has been around forever (and Apple's implementation isn't that great, as you have to open the case to do it).

    In any event, those kinds of comments are perfectly fine. They're regarding largely matters of personal opinion. And the issue isn't so much that Apple fans disagree, but the way it's done; provide evidence, don't accuse writers of "ball-licking".

    But then the article digresses into the pits of moral relativism with talk about the Israel-Palistine conflict, or the abortion issue. These are issues of right and wrong. There isn't a real middle ground. Either something is right, or it isn't. There is no "plusses and minuses". How about we talk about the pro's and cons of rape, too?

  • by sudog ( 101964 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:38AM (#22834758) Homepage
    Apple zealots may be trying, may be annoying, may be pushy, but people.. Apple zealots got *nothing* on old-school Amiga fans. Apple zealots are tame school children stamping their feet in impotent fury compared to the raging, near-psychotic madness that defined the true Amigoid. During its heyday, the Amiga inspired people to dizzying heights of advocacy that I have *never* seen matched. And the weird part was that they were mostly right, so when they frothed at the mouth, they knew what they were talking about. These Apple fanboys these days.. the ones people seem to be complaining about are just parrots. But when you had a worldwide population of millions, all aligned up in the same direction, and augmented with people like Matthew Dillon (of DragonFlyBSD) and Dave Haynie leading them, you have a near-religious movement that I have never again seen since Commodore bankrupted itself.

    So *bah* I say.. Give these Apple people a break. The alternatives were quite a bit worse!
  • of your life. It is a well known fact that people who wear Burberry are much more succesful when it comes to fights in pubs. Individuals who are totally Macced-Out tend (from the observations I made during my years in the Licensed Trade) to fair less well during pub fights. They are usually not amongst the "Early Exiters", that group of society who can exit a pub in the blink of an eye during a fight. This is because their need to carefully pack or stow their branded products uses up valuable time.

    Nor are they amongs the "Early Retaliators", that group of society who are able to optimise their probability calculating skills and go for an early, but strategic smack down. They are usually checking that they did indeed transfer the Bjork/featuring Skunk Anansi remix of Army of Me and it is on their playlist.

    Unfortunately they are not amongst the "Early Avoiders" either, that group of society who demonstrate advanced cognitive process and geo-spatial awareness by hiding in the corner (or the toilet) and easily avoid flying fists, Doc martens, chairs, bottles or even the MacBook Air. This is because the Macced-Out tend to congregate around the pub juke box in order to complain about the appalling lack of interoperability and/or Portishead's third album. Sadly the Juke Box shares its high fight-loci rating with the one-armed-bandit (although the Macced-Out sensibly never go near that)

    This strategic imbalance in pubs is further aggravated by the absence of "target acquisition" and "engage RPG" items on the iPhone Menu. However all of this will change when Apple once again catch Microsoft unprepared with the release of their iChair.

    Heav clanking sound of lid closing tightly on my iBunker...
  • by sarahtim ( 717080 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @06:38AM (#22835272)
    Modern journalists are taught that they must always balance their pieces. That there are always two sides. That sounds fine and is fine if the matters they are dealing with are of no consequence. The problem with it is that they tend to equate the two sides even when they are not of equal merit. Sometimes this is because they cannot or will not take the time to become knowledgeable enough about the matter to evaluate the data they have. They find an expert, get some information. Then they say, I need a balancing opinion, and find another source to provide it. Then they find the most "entertaining" way of presenting what they have and give both sources equal weight. But what if one source was an intelligent, dedicated researcher who has spent many years becoming an expert and the other was not...

    I can't speak for other Mac users but my experience has been such as to induce a certain vehemence in supporting the platform. I have used Macs, PCs and many other micro-computers since they each became available. Despite its shortcomings it was clear that Apple had had a fundamentally good idea from the moment the Lisa and Mac appeared. CP/M and DOS immediately seemed dated. If you were a Mac user though, the DOS crowd spent years telling you it was a worthless idea... right up until Windows appeared. Overnight the story changed to; it's no big deal, Windows is just the same as a Mac now. But it was not just the same. In fact most of the people saying this had only a very superficial knowledge of the differences. "They both have windows..."

    These days I have (almost) given up discussing the matter. Life is too short. It is the nature of people that they do not like to think that they have made an incorrect or ill-judged decision. They will "invest" their own sense of worth in the decisions they have made. It is human nature but it is not science. As it has been most tellingly put: It is difficult to reason people out of something they were not reasoned into. Most PC users today were taught on PCs at school. They use them at work. They never even got to make that "decision" to use a PC. They know many of the idiosyncrasies of the machine. They are comfortable. They do not wish to hear that they have wasted serious quantities of time doing things that could have been avoided had they used a different system. Better to let them discover it in their own time... possibly by watching over your shoulder. Then their disappointment at realizing they have wasted much time may be mitigated by their pleasure at realizing that they have improved their position by their own efforts. In a cynical age, enthusiasm disturbs people. They are suspicious of it. To display it can have quite the opposite effect to that intended.

    Enough. More than enough. ... It's just... ranting is so much fun.
  • Superiority complex (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Knutsi ( 959723 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @07:05AM (#22835330)

    Using Macs on and off for a number of years, I think I understand at least some of why the fan boys get so bloody defensive all the time:

    1. Macs are fun. They are enjoyable to use, and easy to spend more time on comparing to PCs. They easily become a large part of your life.
    2. Explaining to others about some part of your life you truly enjoy, only to see it observed with skepticism because it is different, is very frustrating.
    3. This breeds a feeling of being misunderstood, secluded, and "tribal tendencies" to seek out your peers, and close mindedness.
    4. Feeling secluded for your views often feeds back into itself as you loose your patients, ability to explain the advantages, and your greater perspectives.

    In the end, I think the fan boys end up with a superiority complex. You know, a bit little like "driving by a car accident, knowing you're the only one who can really help [youtube.com]" ;)

  • False Premise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hercules Peanut ( 540188 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @08:13AM (#22835540)

    'But there is no bigger tribe, and none more zealous, than fans of Apple, who are infamous for their sensitivity to slams, real or imagined, against the beloved company.'
    I disagree. I've worked in/with IT departments for years and they are every bit a zealous about MS and often Dell. Anything else isn't a real computer. They tend to be a little calmer about the debate but they are every bit as vicious if you try to look into opposing technology. Many of these people have never even touched a Mac (or Sun, linux box or anything else). This is what qualifies them as the biggest zealot. At least most of the mac zealots have some experience when making their decision.

    I know I don't make a good sample size (though I have discussed this with my friends and they have experienced the same) but I've been around a bit now and this kind of false premise is getting old.
  • Macs are Over-rated (Score:5, Informative)

    by rueger ( 210566 ) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @10:48AM (#22836398) Homepage
    Anyone else amused that one of the biggest selling points of new Intel Macs is the ability to run Windows and access all of the programs that aren't available on the Mac?

    Two and half years into owning a G4 Powerbook [community-media.com] I've concluded that Macs are no more or less irritating*, crash prone**, or prone to dumb design ideas*** than are PCs. They just incorporate different irritations, ways of crashing, and dumb design choices.

    I've given the Mac a good run, and arguably am more knowledgeable than most users. I have taken the time to understand the ways that things work on the Mac. I doubt that I would buy another.

    * No Delete key, but a key marked "delete" which actually backspaces. Yes, I know there is some multiple key combination that will delete stuff, but I still believe that pressing a key marked "delete" should cause things to be deleted.

    ** "Kernel Panic" is exactly the same as the "Blue Screen of Death". In my experience the Mac crashes more often than my XP machine. And then there have been programs that just stop working for no apparent reason.

    *** The Dock irritates me no end on this small 12" screen. I'll take the Windows task bar any day. Simpler is better. It also drives me crazy that the Mac defaults to leaving all apps running forever instead of shutting them down when you click the "close" button.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Sunday March 23, 2008 @09:12PM (#22840822) Homepage Journal

    In the early days of Slashdot, Apple got no respect. Mention Macs in Slashdot and you were dismissed out of hand as being hopelessly wedded to the past or a particularly clueless, nontechnical moron. This was well before the iPod and the iPhone and the "I'm a Mac" ads. The popular perception in Linux and Windows circles was that the Macintosh was essentially dead.

    The Mac started gaining cred with the tech elites when Mac OS X shipped. Over a period of several years, with each software and hardware success, Apple gained more respect with geeks and more visibility with non-geeks. Now it is commonplace to hear people talk about Mac users and their vile, insufferably smug attitudes. But before Apple gained this respect, to be a Mac user meant that you were constantly assaulted with comments belittling your intellectual capability and your choice in computers.

    In my experience most Mac users who weathered the 1990s aren't very smug about Macs. They are just happy that they're no longer being constantly questioned for using a particular computer platform. Even so, there are plenty of myths about Macs that persist. After you've heard them over and over and over and over, it gets a bit redundant and annoying.

    I use Windows and Linux, and as both of those OSes have changed, so has my perception of them. Back in the day, WindowsNT rocked. I was able to do many things with NT that I simply couldn't do with pre-OS X versions of the MacOS. Windows ME sucked, but generally I've been pleased with Windows 2000. By the same token, when I first started using Linux I wondered how it would ever compete with Solaris. I certainly never thought it would be a usable desktop OS. Obviously Linux has matured, and so has my evaluation of the OS.

    But there are still people who should know better who proclaim that the Mac is a great machine if you're just concerned with eye candy. They also frequently state that Macs aren't good business machines, which is ironic given that the growth of Windows has been helped in large part by the games industry. I'm not going to say that serious gamers should buy Macs - that would be absurd. But when I hear that Macs are spec-for-spec always more expensive, and that Macs are "more proprietary" than Windows machines, it grates on me. The Mac has changed over the years, just as Windows and Linux have changed.

    It is also somewhat amusing that nobody ever got raked over the coals for being consistently anti-Mac. If you enjoy something and feel an affinity for it, you are punished. If you hold a consistently negative opinion of something, or refuse to consider trying something new, you are protected by your majority status and are considered perfectly normal.

    Since the tone of responses to the parent post seems to be, "It's about time someone hit back at those annoying Mac users," I have donned by asbestos suit. ;-)

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser