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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Ah America
by Darkmage on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 03:14 UTC
Member since:

This is why Western civilisation is in free fall collapse and why American leadership is pathetic and stupid. Just look at the Chinese. Right now they are trying to build the largest infrastructure project the world has ever seen to connect 3 continents together. They're prioritising climate change and environmental policy as a matter of urgency and positioning it as necessary for the people. The rest of the world is trying to get on board the Silk Road or at the very least avoid being squashed by it. If America had spent the last half century building up South America into being the manufacturing hub of the world. With shared values to American civilisation of entrepreneurship, commitment to democracy and human rights. Most importantly treating them as an equal partner, instead of trying to lazily outsource everything to third world despots for a quick buck. America would still be making tons of stuff, South America wouldn't be as much of a basket case, and China wouldn't have leverage over anyone. Instead the USA has basically given away control of the whole world to a kleptocratic, authoritarian regime. And Western civilisation is in free fall with no idea of it's place in the world and howto go forward. Extremism and authoritarianism are rapidly gaining ground at the expense of democracy and freedom. Principles matter. Where you buy your stuff from matters. How you yourself conduct your business matters. Things we too quickly threw out which we are going to have to deal with in the next few decades.

Edited 2017-08-02 03:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ah America
by unclefester on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 03:41 in reply to "Ah America"
unclefester Member since:

China is a Potemkin Village - all show and no substance. It is environmentally, economically and morally bankrupt. The new Silk Road is just old-style colonialism and mercantilism with a new name.

Edited 2017-08-02 03:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2