A good article about Iraq still furthers negative stereotype

To the Daily:
I want to commend a very good article about the toll of having a loved one in Iraq (They also serve, 01/22/2007), but I have one gripe. Why mention that the woman wants to go to classes with wet hair and no makeup? All it does is further promote the idea that all women should primp themselves to go to class. By itself it has a small effect, but each time something like that is put into print, the social expectation of such behavior gains more and more momentum.

Blair Willcox
Engineering senior

Are we looking at an iPod nation of pod people?

To the Daily:
It’s interesting that Caroline Hartmann opens and closes Tuesday’s pop culture column with references to 1984 and Big Brother (An iPod nation of millions, 01/23/2007). For many people, we have less to fear from some capitalist dictator tracking our every move, than from the tsunami of mpegs, jpegs, and mp3s that digital devices swamp us with.

In the foreword to his 1985 book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” Neil Postman compared two possible futures: “George Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Aldous Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.”

Though Postman’s book was written about television, it applies just as easily to today’s digital devices. Apple versus IBM is a minor issue. Much more important is how to deal with the deluge of stock prices, song lyrics, and sports scores that are being IV-ed into our eardrums. I love the convenience and information that technology has given us. But I don’t think it hurts to, every once in a while, turn off, shutdown or just hang up and function. Many people already worry about kids growing up with nature-deficit disorder, because of too much time spent “online.” I hope we don’t wind up becoming an iPod nation of pod people.

Ed Dawson

Apple cannot take all credit for iPod’s success

To the Daily:
In regards to Caroline Hartmann’s column (An iPod nation of millions 01/23/2007), I agree that Apple has gained momentum in the past few years, but I have a different perspective on the issue. On the market side, Apple does seem to be dominating in the computer, multimedia player and online media service sectors, but such development couldn’t have come without Apple’s partnership with other technology-based companies. In the past, Apple had control over the hardware productions of its Macintoshes. But the company has admitted the Intel processor’s architectural superiority over the old Mac processors, and we now are seeing the new “Intel Macs” in stores. Even the iPod’s success is owed to a partnership with Toshiba. Apple would not have had the capability to make the iPod without Toshiba’s ability to produce small, large capacity hard drives.

We see Apple’s dominance all around us today, but should Apple take full credit for it? Maybe. A radical new change of strategy allowed the company to produce superior products that everyone wants. But we should note that most successful Apple products are a technological mixture of various companies (some that are considered Apple’s rivals in other markets) and today’s Apple products are simply not 100-percent Apple.

Daniel Shin
LSA freshman

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