The internet has chosen, time and time again, efficient corporate power over any form of (visible) state control. The government can’t regulate what kind of content is available, but Apple can. The government can’t impose a universal identification system on the web, but Facebook or Google can. We do this because those corporations have been very good at convincing us they’re not those sort of corporations. They’re different. That Steve Jobs was able to convince well-meaning liberals that buying a tablet from one of the biggest multinational corporations in the world was an act of moral daring is certainly an impressive achievement, though I don’t know if it’s an admirable one.
— Mike Barthel on the politics of the Internet, delivering one of those theses that is important because it is not something we’re all already constantly thinking about. Also allow me to bandwagon for a minute and say that this is why I really prefer Microsoft to Apple: Microsoft makes no pretense at being anything other than a huge company. Like Apple, they make a number of very useful and groundbreaking products, and like Apple they make a number of less useful products. Unlike Apple they do not present their products as part of a messianic crusade towards a perfectly designed world. Microsoft is bad at marketing in this sense, but it’s also refreshing that they are just a company and not a worldview that is ultimately just reinforcing traditional capitalist values for a willing army of enthusiasts. That’s just my opinion, not that I know enough about computers to know what’s actually evil, other than all computers.