The Macalope Daily: By request only

The Macalope will be honest with you: He’d never heard of “Science 2.0” before the ever-vigilant markbyrn alerted him to this representative of both the “Apple products cost too much!” and “Walled garden!” genres. So his first inclination was to just leave it alone.

But then Jim Dalrymple linked to the piece, and markbyrn pointed the Macalope to one of the comments on it:

Oh man you are so gonna get Macalope’d.

Well, who is this pointy beast to not step up to the challenge raised by commenter saxon (not verified), whoever he or she may be?

Plus, Science 2.0’s Sascha Vongehr puts an interesting—if dumbfounding—twist on things.

Now it is not exactly news that Apple products are overpriced and of relatively low quality…

Low quality?! That’s a new one. This unibody MacBook Pro under the horny one’s hooves would beg to differ. By the way, Sascha, you know what’s seriously low quality? Your masthead. Science 2.0, Web 1.0.

Sascha seems to think that because it can break, the glass in an iPhone 4S is a lower “quality” manufacturing material than plastic. That’s...well, an interesting opinion. The Macalope surmises that dinner at Sascha’s house is a high-quality affair featuring plastic cups in lieu of that low-quality crystalware.

Not to school you scientists on the meaning of things, but “brittle” does not mean the same as “low-quality.”

By the way, ask an actual iPhone 4 owner like Shawn Blanc (tip o’ the antlers to Ben Brooks) and he’ll tell you it holds up extraordinarily well in normal use. Far better than plastic, and better even than aluminum.

iPhone users in particular like to be told what applications they may not use, what multi-media consumption will best confirm their preconceptions, and so on – they welcome Big Brother as long as he is smooth and shiny and comes with a price tag that helps maintain the illusion of upper class status.

Actually, what we welcome is the freedom from the “cesspool of malware” and low-quality apps and interface that are endemic to the iPhone’s major competitor. But please, continue your hysterical rant.

Siri, which uses voice recognition and replies audibly, makes this once more very clear. It also illustrates nicely that Big Brother is not a future politician with a hidden 666 mark.

Right. That’s Satan. Who does not appear in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Any other comparisons no one’s trying to make that you’d like to clear up?

Big Brother is actually going to be Big Sister, and she evolves as we speak and comes in many a guise, here as your sleek female personal assistant with the sexy husky voice who is first of all the personal assistant of big money.

The Macalope has an iPhone 4S in the house and Mrs. Macalope would have to be gone a long time before he’d describe Siri’s voice as “sexy husky.”

…of course Siri is designed not to tell the truth: “In China by sleep-deprived workers toiling for next to nothing.”

Unlike the phone that Sascha uses, which was apparently made in a utopian commune on the moon.

What strikes is the brain-washing by a complete replacement of associations like ‘Hungry-thus cook’ by totalitarian consumerism: Hungry? Buy crap! Bored? Buy crap! Depressed yet? Buy yet more crap!

Which is apparently all Apple’s fault, and if you bought a plastic phone with a nominally open-source operating system you wouldn’t have this problem. Or something. Actually, the Macalope’s not really sure what Vongehr’s main beef is here. It seems like he’s mad at society. Not that there isn’t something to be mad at society about, but it’s not exactly Apple’s fault.

What many do not understand about the prospect of science and technology bringing the future Dark Ages, which makes those many often reject such scenarios out of hand, is that they will be Dark Ages that you cannot enlighten, because they are already brightly lit, laser sharp science glued right onto your retinas.

Whew. Sounds like someone’s been reading too much William Gibson. Or has been holed up in his shack in the woods too long.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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