The Macalope Weekly: They're on to us!

Look out, Apple fans! Stunning new research shows not only what jerks we are but how we’re also just one big cult. What’s next? Will they figure out the recipe to our fantastic peach cobbler?! Not only that, one silly pundit has advice for Google on how to finish the iPhone once and for all. How did they figure all this out in one week?!

And, on top of that, our moms dress us funny

What’s the surest way to get people talking about your poll? Call an enthusiastic fan base a bunch of names! At least that’s what MyType, a company that does personality-typing on Facebook, decided when it wanted to pimp one of its recent surveys.

iPad owners are best characterized as selfish elites. Wealthier, older and more educated, they are sophisticated, highly value power and achievement, and are not very kind or altruistic.

OK, now that you’ve had a long cold stare in the mirror, let’s look at who was actually polled: 200 iPad owners and 400 people who aren’t even iPad owners but say they plan to buy one. All of whom are the kind of people pre-disposed to answering Facebook quizzes.

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Most of the iPad owners the Macalope knows would rather be dropped head-first into a barrel full of deer ticks than answer a Facebook quiz, so there’s some question about selection bias here.

Selfish people are more likely to be iPad Owners: people who do not value benevolence are 39% more likely, those who do not value altruism are 33% more likely, and detached/uncompassionate people are 22% more likely.

Note the use of “more likely.” Even if you think these results are indicative of iPad owners as a whole, it’s not true to say iPad owners are selfish and unkind as most salaciously reported this. It’s only fair to say they skew that way.

As with most of the surveys he takes exception to, the Macalope’s not necessarily disputing the results vis-a-vis the sample population. He’s disputing the survey’s value in predicting the personalities of iPad owners as a whole. Apple’s sold millions of iPads and we’re supposed to think 200 Facebook users are somehow representative of the rest of us? Pollster, please.

Ultimately, MyType tips its hand when it gets to talking about iPad critics.

Critics are less imaginative, enthusiastic and extraverted than the average person.

Oh, so they’re miserable individuals, too. MyType is simply highlighting the worst possible look at both sides just to get attention. This is the poll result equivalent of standing on the end of the diving board and yelling “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look what I can do! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!”

Yes, honey. That’s very nice.

[Goes back to drinking.]

Dogma is my copilot

BREAKING: Fox News’s John R. Quain reports on how Apple manages to be successful despite its many, many very obvious gaffes, flaws, gaucheries and solecisms.

Its tablet computer can’t play most of the videos on the Web … its cell phone has trouble making voice calls … and yet its products are wildly popular, selling millions worldwide…

How do we explain it?! Hypnosis?! Mass insanity?!

Apple is the new religion, say several academics. It’s not a matter of rationality, it’s a matter of faith.

No, it’s a cult! These people are just kooks!

Man, the Macalope wishes Quain had said “Stop me if you’ve heard this one.”

That, according to the authors, explains why fans still believe when the leader of the Church of Apple, Steve Jobs, blames consumers for the poor reception of the company’s cell phone (clearly, users are holding their phones incorrectly).

Who believes that? That’s a crock. It was a stupid thing for Jobs to say. The Macalope said that. John Gruber said that. Rudy, the OS 9-using MUG member said that. Everyone said that.

In fact, they flock to buy the device despite its serious design flaws.

Using the plural and calling them “serious” simply shows that Quain completely discounts the counter-arguments about Flash and the antenna issue. Hmm, what do they call it when someone refuses to accept a different point of view?

You know the funny thing about the iPhone, at least for the Macalope? He hardly ever uses it as a phone. And when he does, he doesn’t happen to hold it in the way that affects the signal. So for him, the phone is great.

And if owning an iPhone means occasionally sacrificing a goat to Steve Jobs, is that really too much to ask?

The abstract for the article by two academics at Texas A&M is far more benign than Quain’s piece. The Macalope was tempted to drop $25 to read it in full, but his contract with Macworld specifically says that the only expenses covered are “3 bales of alfalfa a day and long-distance charges for crank calls to Steve Ballmer.” And if it is as jerktastic as Quain makes it out to be, he doesn’t want to reward that kind of behavior.

So, since he hasn’t read it, he won’t bother going into the fact that Texas A&M’s web site is janked up with Flash and that, not only does Dell have a scholarship program there, one of the company’s senior vice presidents is on A&M’s College of Engineering Advisory Council (PDF). He’s not even going to mention any of that. Seriously. It’s not relevant. That’s why he’s not bringing it up.

Anyway, the Macalope taking exception to this is obviously just a sign of his religious fervor for Apple. Sad. He was going to just ignore it but it turns out that’s also a sign of religious fervor because it means you can’t handle anything that challenges your belief in Apple. Reading it and sighing is also a sign. As is skimming it, getting bored, turning the TV on and watching an old What Not To Wear because there’s nothing else on.

And it goes without saying that reading a column about it written by a mythical man/Mac/antelope is also a sign of religious fervor for Apple.

(Zealot.)

You know what academic paper the Macalope would really like to see? A study on the use of “religion” as a knee-jerk explanation for why other people do things you might not understand because you’re not paying attention.

The secret of their success

The Macalope’s picked on eWeek’s Don Reisinger in the past for his penchant for pointless top 10 lists. But this week Don really hit the nail on the ol’ head. Detailing how the Google Nexus One could be redesigned into an iPhone killer, Don comes up with one item that would send Apple reeling.

#3 is…

Wait, wait, wait. Are you ready for this? The Macalope’s not sure you’re ready for this. Because this is real behind-the-curtain, through-the-looking-glass stuff here, people. So sit down and hang onto a loved one. Your world is about to be rocked.

#3 is:

Have a much nicer design.

You did it, Don. You cracked Apple’s code. Take August off.

Please.

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