Choice is the anthem of the monoculture.
I bought a MacBook pro with much enthusiasm. If you’re a fledging developer wanting to make something, and look cool while doing it, the MacBook is the way to go. After all, you see the startup milieu brandishing these machines at hackathons. Even Mark Zuckerberg has one.
Then I got a new phone and realized quickly Motorola had not updated its drivers for the latest OSX. I couldn’t connect my phone to the Macbook.
One would think a laptop as pricy as the MacBook would be as universal as Apple’s message – that design matters. Rather, we see the opposite. The MacBook comes to the user on its own terms. It does everything an average human being could ever want from a computer. It also forms a tight, and jealous family with all the other apple devices. Perhaps that is Apple’s greatest contribution to the world – its dogmatically insular attitude which frowns at the unpredictability and tumult of the outside world. “The world changes, and I shouldn’t”. This attitude also comes with a loss of freedom. But who’s complaining? (Except for me)
We are a culture obsessed with our freedom in what we consume. But this often leads us to existential anxiousness. The rise of Apple is an ironic development. The Apple product user doesn’t have to choose between hundreds of superior android phones – each with their advantages, drawbacks, and looks. The Apple user does not have to bother with the titanic diversity of the windows pc market. The Apple user is contented with the package that is Apple. Not having to choose is itself a type of freedom.
We should value freedom, as it is the greatest legacy of our current civilization. But it seems the monoculture has also come to value a different interpretation of freedom – one that Apple does so well at providing: the freedom from anxiousness surrounding the use of our ineffaceable machines.