It is a new nature, a new Spinozian episode that re-designates an entire material world of objects, which includes the individual in bone and flesh, both determined and transformed by technology. So, there is no significant or gaping difference between the natural and technological world. A world of mechanical invention, material innovation and tech progress in conjunction with something original and almost primeval; perhaps harkening to a yearning, a dim light at the initial beginning of the world and the glory of its unity. Something that rubs shoulders with Einstein in that holy grail type quest for a unified field theory, an unlocking of the mysteries of the ark of the covenant. Of course, its also just a stupid computer; that’s the contrapuntal image of the competing and uncomplementary, as uneasy and tenuous as a ceasefire in Gaza.
On the one part, there is the genius of bundling the accomplishments of technology to an older, rooted in antiquity, world of symbol. All the Apple products are just new configurations of versions of nature, and at its basis, a re-discovery, a re-enactment of technology, dormant and pre-existing, hidden behind a veil, and which correspond to new image, or perceived as new images: Little miracles and the rebirth of the inner child. An inventory of totemic objects that incarnate private meaning; physical artifacts, quickly obsolete which hold emotional detritus, a ritual of pagan proportions on a pyre of the unwanted and desolate, now reseeemed by scrap metal pickets at computer landfills in China.
Jonathan McIntosh: “We will miss Steve Jobs. We will not miss his pioneering of closed systems, monopolies, predatory business practices, slave labor, worker suicides and locked devices.”Whats not to agree with? At the end of the day, Jobs and Apple are America’s greatest ambassadors for a broken, racist, oppressive system, run by white men with loud- hailers selling a sugar-coated version of white privilege and structural racism under the guise of some bleached and faded form of humanism. Its evident,technology consumer goods have replaced rock’n’roll and cinema as the central and most significant source of identity and discussion for people of all ages, and Apple is where all the hipness meets in a Woodstock for all. The attractiveness is based in an attention to form over function or pragmatism that singles out Apple products. Jobs himself, is the high priest of the cult, dispensing lifestyle objects like communion wafers marking you out as an Apple person. Once an Apple always an Apple.
Apple and Jobs simply have a more aspiring public persona than others who are vilified for doing identical acts: But, the mainstream press ingeniously engages in invidious comparison to frame Jobs as by contrast, Alan Greenspan’s vision was about getting rich. From the Huffington post: And lots got quite rich under the rein of Alan Greenspan, a disproportionate number of them on Wall Street….The computer guru of Greenspan’s world is Bill Gates, a man who got far richer than Steve Jobs. Gates’ secret was not making great products — the only ones praising his creativity at his funeral will be people on his payroll — but rather in gaining control of markets. In other decades, the anti-competitive practices he pursued to win Microsoft a near monopoly in the computer market might have landed him behind bars. But in the age of Greenspan they made him the richest person in the world. That said, all in all there is not much difference between Gates and Jobs, its just the aesthetic of the fascist component is easier to swallow.
And Huff post prattles on: …Unfortunately, we continue to live in the world of Alan Greenspan rather than the world of Steve Jobs. In spite of the remarkable innovations in technology over the last three decades, much of the country is poorer than it was 30 years ago. We have 26 million people who have the skills and desire to work, who can’t find jobs or full-time jobs because of the mismanagement of the economy. We have people losing their homes and going homeless even though we have more than 14 million housing units sitting vacant.A Gates, Buffet, Jobs or Greenspan are all contributors that fit with Benjamin’s famous epilogue:The growing proletarianization of modern man and the increasing formation of masses are two aspects of the same process. Fascism attempts to organize the newly created proletarian masses without affecting the property structure which the masses strive to eliminate. Fascism sees its salvation in giving these masses not their right, but instead a chance to express themselves. The masses have a right to change property relations; Fascism seeks to give them an expression while preserving property. The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life…..
…This brings us to why the consumption of the symbol is of importance to consumers. Veblen (1895) explains that this is due to emulation. The hierarchy of class and status in our society motivates us to desire to emulate upwards and we want to show off that emulation. In other words, people want to show off what they have earned to show their belonging to the upper class, in Veblen’s words – the ‘leisure class’, and the leisure class have a taboo of labor. For Veblen, the totem is the body and people want to emulate the bodies of those who already belong in the ‘leisure class’. Till today, Apple products are cost relatively higher than the other options that r
n windows systems. For example, the cheapest laptop at dell would cost $699 where else the cheapest Macbook costs $1348. The price of the Macbook is almost double the price of the Dell laptop. Thus, to choose to buy a Macbook over a Dell computer would make the consumer seem like he or she has the wealth to consume luxury products, therefore closer to belonging to what Veblen calls, the ‘leisure class’.
People buy the bitten apple symbol to show their relation with the leisure class and to place themselves as far away from the laboring class as possible. The body as treated like an object, controlling the body to behave in certain ways in order to emulate the ‘leisure class’. This questions if people are consuming the technology or the symbol. The desire to emulate can motivate people to consume and that is the power of the sign….
If you think you are the one in control, as consumers, as the people with the monetary power and choice, think again. Horkheimer and Adorno (1999) has shown how products can define the consumer and not the other way around as we often imagine it to be. As explained above, you can see how the symbol on the bitten apple can be in control of how the consumer thinks. The bitten apple symbol can motivate consumers to desire products from Apple Inc. The control of consumption and production does not belong to the consumer as we often assume it to be. “The iphone sells to a niche market based on its iconic status rather than its features.” (The Straits Times, Alfred Siew, 2007) We can see that it is not its advance technological features that motivates people to consume their products. Just the bitten apple logo on anything might do the trick. This is the power of the bitten apple. Read More:http://theapplephenomenon.blogspot.com/
The Arcades Project, and it is a recurring critical-poetic figure throughout his writings on modernity. The fossil metaphor is invoked in order to gesture to the stagnation of historical change in Paris’s culture of commodity fetishism in the nineteenth-century and in Europe in the early years of the twentieth century. He holds that the decaying commodity fetishes of the nineteenth-century, buried within Paris’s dilapidated shopping arcades, are critical figures for twentieth century culture because they allude to the fossilization of time in the commodity form. The fossilized commodity is a critical image for Benjamin because it captures the stagnant nature of modernity, highlighting the ways in which nature is reified as a dead and passive construct in the bid to sell the notion of a naturally unfolding historical development, and consequently, to point to the ways in which commodity culture lulls any possibility of real historical change. The once-fashionable commodities of Paris are best characterized as the shells of a mythic, ancient era – extinct pieces of nature unearthed by an archaeological dig. As Susan Buck-Morss argues in The Dialectics of Seeing, Benjamin’s fossil metaphor illuminates the narcotic-like effect of the commodity and its inducement of a profound form of amnesia that enables the perpetual worship of the ever-same as the ever-new (95-6, 80). It is a potentially critical image capable of performing a withering optic upon modernity’s phantasmagoric illusions of endless progress, highlighting the ancient, utopian longings for real historical and social change that lies dormant within the commodity form – the seeds of change that are ceaselessly buried in the parade of endlessly new commodity fetishes (106-9). Read More:http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_15/article_04.shtml
“Of course this creates ‘haters’ but adopting Apple as part of your public identity is impossible to avoid. I’m not sure you can say the same about other technology manufacturers such as LG or Samsung.” Alan Randolph, a former Apple accessory designer based in San Francisco, said the iPad was an “overpriced and beautiful fetish object designed first to inspire envy and then to allow us to consume even more thought-distracting entertainment on the move”. Randolph added that even when they are at home getting fat on the sofa, people love to think they are always busy and on the move.
“Apple flatters our own mythologies, our secret vision of ourselves as sophisticated and popular with dozens of friends who cannot wait to hear from us. Jobs knows you cannot touch us more deeply than that. “We are, at the end of the day, very simple vulnerable squishy creatures, and Apple does pretty up even the dullest lives.” Read More:http://politicalleft.blog-city.com/the_ipad_fetish_capitalism.htm
‘… the art of storytelling is coming to and end. Less and less frequently do we encounter people with the ability to tell a tale properly… it is as if something that seemed inalienable to us, the securest among our possessions, were taken from us: the ability to exchange experiences.’
Walter Benjamin, “The Storyteller” in Illuminations