The Economist: Apple's User-Friendliness a Form of iFascism

#Computers

Mon, Apr 11th, 2011 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Economist asks whether Microsoft truly is the monopolitic, "rightist-fascist" operating system it is portrayed to be or if the reality is that Apple -- originally seen as an icon of counter-culture -- is actually a truer representation of uniformity and centralised control.

"The interplay of aesthetics (which Mac has in spades) and centralised control (which Mac also has in spades) is an interesting one," Mr Marshall writes. There is an interesting kernel here, but it's less about Apple's focus on clean aesthetics than about the seamless interoperability and user-friendliness of the entire Apple product line; clean aesthetics are just one part of that. And that's an issue that really does have sharp relevance for contemporary politics. In many areas -- health reform, financial reform, urban-planning reform, and more -- efforts to make life more user-friendly for citizens are targeted by both libertarians and by vested commercial interests as vaguely fascistic efforts to centralise control or limit freedom.

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