Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Aug 2017 00:35 UTC

Earlier today, John Gruber linked to this piece, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the superior orders defense. Gruber later followed up with a more detailed article, and wondered what I think Apple should do.

Too many people reacting to this story think that it's about Apple deciding to acquiesce to this particular demand regarding VPN apps. It's not. The real issues are two-fold:

  • Should Apple being doing business in China at all?
  • Should the App Store remain the only way to install apps on iOS devices?

Neither of these are simple topics, and I would (and am about to) argue that neither question has a clear-cut "this is the right thing to do" answer.

Nonsense. In both of these cases, it's very "clear-cut" what "the right thing to do" is.

  1. No.
  2. No.

Since the App Store question is obvious - my computer, my rules, my software, get out - let's move on to the China question. The only reason this issue is supposedly not "clear-cut" is because we live in a society that values money over people. People like John Gruber argue that Google's advertising practices and data collection are bad and evil, but in one breath argue that it's okay for Apple to buddy up to totalitarian regimes like the ones in China or Saudi-Arabia that have complete and utter disregard for human rights because it's good for Apple.

You can certainly make that argument - and each and every one of us uses products that either depend on or are made in totalitarian regimes - but don't try to justify it or claim there's no clear right and wrong here. Collaborating with such regimes is clearly wrong, period. No ifs, buts, or maybes, and by buying products made in China or by putting Saudi-Arabian oil in our cars we are all complicit, whether we like it or not.

We like to make it seem as if right and wrong are cloudy, nebulous concepts, but in reality, they rarely are. The only thing that's cloudy and nebulous is our own cognitive dissonance and the twisting, contorting, and justifying we - as a society - do to solve it.

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RE[8]: Totally disagree.
by Darkmage on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Totally disagree."
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Unclefester: you're actually describing my cousin. I come from a family of means, not insane means but more comfortable than 90% of the population. (In Australia btw). My cousin is a great guy, I love him to bits, but in all honesty he's not the smartest guy out there. What he has to though are connections, a job after dropping out of uni at his dad's company at 18-19yo making $45k (quickly moved into a sales role making commission so $60-75k) and a loan for $100k with 4% interest given to him at the age of 21 with no deposit on the provision that it HAD to be an investment. Fast forward 12 years and that loan has ballooned into a pile of property investments most people could only dream of. He is set up for life, despite being one of the bottom three people in our family academically, and writing off about 3 cars including one worth $65,000 because he liked street racing in his early 20s. He has access to brilliant financial and business advice through his dad's business connections and family friends. This is before he even gets to touch his inheritance which will be substantial. The system as it stands sucks because the best and brightest get screwed and the average and mediocre get ahead through their already wealthy/connected parents. I work with another guy in a similar situation who swore black and blue his dad never helped him out, he just had a spare hangar lying around he got a discounted rent on to start his aircraft painting business with.

Edited 2017-08-02 05:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2