Sunday, November 12

(Posted later, incomplete thought.)

Elizabeth and I are both sitting on the couch in our bedroom, working with text on laptops. My laptop is a Compaq Presario 2500. It is enormous, has three case fans, and weighs almost as much as the 286 Zenith my dad had for work back in the early 90s. Unlike the clunkily appealing Zenith, with its full-sized keyboard and glowing blue monochrome display, it is simply ugly.

Elizabeth is using a borrowed Macintosh, which as a physical object is like a Cooper Mini to the Compaq's late-model Chevy SUV, a Moleskine to its tattered Meade Wide-ruled Spiral Notebook, a Parker 24 to its dried up Bic, a Glenfiddich to its Jack & Coke...

I'll spare you the further standard observations which boil down to how the people creating Apple's products actually design things. If you care at all about this sort of thing, you've heard it before, and if your sensibilities are anything like mine, you might also feel that the technological religion which is Apple is kind of grating at this late date. Feeling morally & socially superior for using a Mac is pretty much like earnestly believing that shopping at Whole Foods makes you a better person.

Which is sort of a problem. There's a whole host of things which are visibly better along some highly noticeable axis. It's not that hard to see the appeal of Whole Foods over your local Super Wal-Mart. But it's dangerous (isn't it?) to conflate this appeal with an all around betterness.