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MacHeads: the Cult of Macintosh

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posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:48 PM

Originally posted by scientist
I can tell by your logical approach to this topic, you are not of the aforementioned iCult - however, I hope my explanations has at least put a little more light on my perception of said cult mentality.

There is nothing technical about this. It has nothing to do with drivers, or speed, or motherboards, or how well PT works. I'm talking about the people who don't know about any of that stuff, yet still profess superiority... but it's more than that. Some of them get extremely emotional over the subject, as if they were the inventors of ipod/osx/g5/airbook/etc.

Getting defensive / offended over a corporate product is just scary to me.

I understand and agree. Much like religion... believing is one thing, forcing opinions on others is something else entirely. No matter the topic, some people always have to take things a little too far.

Sorry to go off topic, but your picture/avatar is fantastic. If that is an original then well done sir.


posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:49 PM

Originally posted by Areal51
The thing is that, I've never seen anybody recruiting people to attend Mac worship services on the street.

let me refer you to the very first reply to this topic:

Originally posted by mattguy404
I've convinced about a dozen or so people to go out and buy Macs over the past couple of years - this is how Apple, I think, gets a large share of customers.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:54 PM
I feel a little guilty because I haven't read through the entire thread, however picking up a cue from the discussion as it stands now, I gather that we are past the Mac vs Pc segment. Some backround first. I am not a "computer guy".

I've known a guy for many years who is a died in the wool "Woz is King" Mac dude. He has had Apple computers from the beginning and played a parental or mentoring sort of role in getting me into using computers and trying (unsuccessfully) to transmit his enthusiasm for computers to me. Not all computers. Just Macs. I don't want to disparage any fundamentalist religious group by making a comparison to growing up in a fundamentalist home, but from what I have heard my own upbringing in the computer world was similar.

There was never any discussion of the comparison between Macs and PCs which was not emotionally laden with disgust and contempt for PCs. Anguished facial expressions featured prominently in all discussions. Most people in life have experienced this sort of thing. It's called mindless intolerance.

For years I used Macintoshes exclusively. For people who say they are reliable, blah, blah, blah, all I can say is that I used to run mine into the ditch once a week.

Time passed. Circumstances brought me into contact at work with a very bright young man at work, who used PCs exclusively and made no bones about telling me that Macs annoyed him. We carried on the mock comic bantering for a year and a half or so with me playing the role previously played by my Mac mentor. Believe me, this guy could give as well as he got, so he wasn't bullied by any means. And . . .

. . . somebody gave me a PC!!! Someone asked me if I wanted their old Compac 166mhz desktop. I said sure and every time I had a problem with it I would ask the young guy at work what do do and slowly, by spending time getting out of my jams I learned a lot about PCs and actually accomplished a lot with that 166mhz PC.

Working with the PC and this young fellow brought perspective to me. I realized what a closed world the Mac world was for some people, like a religion where blinders are strapped on tight. The Apple marketing guys have created their own cult I believe as a way to survive. Darwinian evolution at it's most ruthless.

I'll tell you one thing though working hard to solve F-ups on both platforms (and I mean hours and hours and hours of dogged dumb, methodical persistence) gives one a wider perspective than a user of only one platform might have. Each system is "outside the box" of the other. If you want to be a great technician, you should be knowledgeable about both. IMHO.

[edit on 22-1-2008 by ipsedixit]

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:58 PM
I don't think 'Cult' is the right term, but OK, fair enough for discussion.

For me it is much like those who prefer to buy a fine German engineered auto, over a Ford. Both will get you there, but one has a nicer ride.

One thing to consider, Consumer Reports did a study on Productivity. They looked at how much got done, and how long it took, for individuals to perform the same task on both PC's and Macs. In the end results, the Mac faired better. And just to make it clear, Consumer Reports uses PC's in their offices as their standard equipment.

I just bought a Vista based Laptop. I own a few Apple computers/ Laptops. I prefer Apple, but I am not about to buy an iPhone until they are free from ATT. I have no desire to buy an iPod.

I drive a fine German made auto as well.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:59 PM

Originally posted by Netstriker

Originally posted by Dr_Suess
As I type this message on my Imac.. lol. The wife is making me get another Apple this year. She can't live without Itunes... Damn you Steve Jobs.

Huh, you do know iTunes is available for windows right?

Yes, but the mac is so much prettier or so my wife thinks.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 06:59 PM
reply to post by ipsedixit

If I could quote your entire post, I would. Thanks for the great addition to the topic, and providing some detailed insight. You seem to be unbiased (based on the lack of enthusiasm for computers that others display), so it makes your perspective all the more important.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:03 PM
reply to post by Blaine91555

Many file formats are cross platform compatible these days, so that's not a good indicator of the type of machine that one works on or prefers to work on.

The comparison with Microsoft is flawed. Microsoft is primarily a software company, it does sell some computer hardware accessories, but it is all about the Windows and Vista operating systems for Microsoft, who sells their software and hardware accessories to users of machines that are manufactured by companies other than Microsoft. Apple Inc. sells factory hardware primarily, and it sells its software to the users of its machines. Those are two completely different paradigms. It's pretty clear why market share would favor Microsoft. Now if Apple were the only computer manufacturer in town, things might be different.

What does market share matter to someone who is using what one wants to use? Not much. So much for the cult theory being tied to market share. There is no relation.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:04 PM

Originally posted by Terapin
Consumer Reports did a study on Productivity. They looked at how much got done, and how long it took, for individuals to perform the same task on both PC's and Macs. In the end results, the Mac faired better.

well to be fair, I'm probably the least productive when I'm at work, regardless of whether I'm on a Mac or a PC
I take consumer reports with a grain of salt.

[edit on 22-1-2008 by scientist]

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:16 PM
reply to post by scientist

Surprisingly enough, although I will always be indebted to my first computer mentor, the Mac guy, he could never get me as enthusiastic about them as he was. The problem at the time was that computers of that era, like the Mac Plus and the Mac SE Just weren't powerful enough to do interesting graphics, although it is amazing what they could do in the word processing area.

What really got me going was the internet. My original Mac mentor had passed out of my life, but I was still acquiring Macs and using them on the web. That made a huge difference and finally got me hooked.

Currently I have both Macs and PCs but I spend most of my time on the PC. I consider myself a PC guy now, (although I have shocked some of my PC friends with my Mac taught approach to what I expect of my computer). The best thing that PCs have going for them is the PC community. The PC community is a huge resource with an awesome force multiplying factor that just cannot be matched in the Mac community.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:17 PM

Originally posted by Areal51
What does market share matter to someone who is using what one wants to use? Not much. So much for the cult theory being tied to market share. There is no relation.

it's not the market share in terms of demographics that are tied to the cult theory. It's that the market share is so small. I am not the best with math, so let me use round numbers please: lets say there are 10,000 computers users total. if 8% of them are mac users, that's only 800. So then let's say only a niche of those people are in the iCult. It's the size of this small faction of the Apple consumer base (or market share) that fuels the cult fire. It's very related, at least in my own theory. I'd like to hear why you think otherwise. Historically, cults are formed by small groups, furthermore small groups within small groups. To me, the connection is blatantly obvious.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:23 PM
Up until about 6 months ago I was a macaholic.

It all started back when I was in grade school. My dad had bought a kaypro 2 for our home computer. If any of you have ever owned a kaypro 2 you will understand. No graphics or color, unless you consider the green screen color. As you can imagine pretty boring. Well seeing it was the first one I had at home it was pretty amazing stuff. Playing hours of colossal cave, life was great. Then the summer ended and I started a new year at school, 6th grade. After all the hubub from school getting started, we discovered that they had a new class for us, computer lab. And guess what. The lab was filled with brand new shiny apple II's.

Apples early approach with donating computers to schools was genius. Indoctronate them while they are young. They got me with the colors and games, it was mind boggling. I think it would be interesting to sit in the meetings were they discussed this approach to marketing the apple computer.

It didn't help that my parents had fiends who are computer programmers, as well as macaholics. See in my early years I didn't have to buy the macs, they were given to me as hand me down computers. So as I grew up all I knew was the apple mantra of superiority.

Now that my interest has turned to networking and security I really don't have a need for a fancy GUI. I am just looking for stability and minimalism.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:25 PM
reply to post by scientist

So who's feeling superior to whom? You make many assumptions about others based on the alleged fact that you've solved your own computing problems? I know PLENTY people who detest ProTools on a PC, and some of those folks have been running ProTools since its inception back in the late 80s/early 90s. Those folks would be qualified to know what works best for them based on their own extensive experience.

The other thing is that InnocentBystander only spoke for HIMSELF, he did not speak for you, myself, or anyone else. Fine, you are comfy on a PC using ProTools, but what does that have to do with the choices that other users make? There are plenty PC users who would disagree with you because it's well known that different hardware configurations contribute greatly to the stability of software on PCs. Strictly speaking about PCs, not every PC user has the same hardware setup that you have. Never mind comparing yourself and your setup to someone who uses a Mac.

Your statements in your response to InnocentBystander do not make it seem as if you are looking for unbiased opinion. It almost seems as if you are trying to justify your own choices through what other users choose to do. And that's rather strange given your often repeated purpose of this thread to focus on cult like personality.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:32 PM
I think this is the other way around. I see your cult as a market niche. A certain 5% of people put more utility in the aspects of the apple product that separate it from the PC (completely regardless of which is better- I applaud your attempts). The apple corporation has simply identified this market niche as their target consumers. This niche exists in society regardless of Apple, and I definitely don't think they deserve any blame. Rather, they deserve incredible applause for not only identifying the niche, but more importantly for realizing that these people will pay an increased price for the Apple product, as compared to a PC with similar specs.

I think because the mac product is designed to reflect certain common characteristics in people (ie- creative, media savy, artistic, musical), it does begin to look somewhat like a cult (based on by far the loosest definition out of ten on A lot of people buy macs for legitimate reasons. At the same time, a lot of people (I think more) buy macs to be different, they buy macs so other people will see they bought a mac. But instead of them doing this because of apple, I see Apple doing what they do because of these consumers. This is just a certain counter-culture (a term I hesitate to use, but for lack of better
), that exists in society, and Apple sees this and exploits it, as do many other companies, big and small. Think $500 for a pair of jeans that was pre ripped or pre faded. Or $100 dollars so a dog can wear a hat. How about $60 for an ironic T-shirt? Plenty of crazy market niches exist out there, and the voids will be filled (since we live in a market society).

So I propose to you Sir:
Was it the chicken, or was it the egg?

[edit on 22-1-2008 by WuTang]

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:38 PM
reply to post by scientist

Mac OS X is built upon FreeBSD, and that fact makes it more open than Windows or Vista.

FreeBSD has been characterized as "the unknown giant among free operating systems." It is not a clone of UNIX, but works like UNIX, with UNIX-compliant internals and system APIs.[2] FreeBSD is generally regarded as reliable and robust. Among all operating systems which can accurately report uptime remotely,[3] FreeBSD is the free operating system listed most often in Netcraft's list[4] of the 50 web servers with the longest uptime. A long uptime also indicates no crashes have occurred and no kernel updates have been deemed needed, since installing a new kernel requires a reboot and resets the uptime counter of the system.

Apple's Darwin is truly open source.

Darwin is a open source UNIX computer operating system released by Apple Inc. in 2000. Darwin is composed of code developed by Apple along with code derived from NEXTSTEP, as well as from FreeBSD and other free software projects.

Darwin forms the core set of components upon which Mac OS X was developed. It can also be run as a standalone operating system. It boasts full compatibility with the single UNIX Spec Vers 3 (SUSv3) and POSIX UNIX applications and utilities.

Both above facts make Mac OS X more open than Windows, even though parts of the system are closed and proprietary. Really, man, you aren't doing anything to dispel bad information.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:46 PM
reply to post by Areal51

Not only is the base of OS X open, the Safari web browser is based on the Konqueror WebCore code from KDE, and also puts improvements back into the project.

Small point, but a point worth mentioning

Not wishing to start a war over it either though. But I think OS X can also appeal to a lot of linux folk.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:50 PM

Originally posted by WuTang
I think this is the other way around. I see your cult as a market niche. A certain 5% of people put more utility in the aspects of the apple product that separate it from the PC (completely regardless of which is better- I applaud your attempts). The apple corporation has simply identified this market niche as their target consumers.

po-tay-to, po-tah-to

In the end, it's all the same. I agree with your point, and think it's the same thing, no matter how you look at it. The big point is that Apple is nurturing and cultivating this cult mentality, knowingly and intentionally.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:51 PM
reply to post by scientist

If you drink Coke, you're a cultist, Pepsi offers a similar product, they just don't advertise as much. See the problem in my argument there?

You don't seem to understand that you did start a Mac Vs. PC argument, even with the request for people not to view it that way. You are calling the Mac users cultists, and saying they are even cultier when they offer real insight and pertinent reasons as to why they bought a piece of machinery, not because they wanted to be part of a "movement."

The simple fact is, that people use Macs because they provide a better product. Sure, I could get a suped up alienware laptop for almost 1000 more than my MBP, but even then, you have to buy MORE and MORE to make it the way you want it.

Macs use audio editing software almost 50% faster than any PC I've ever used, thats why I have one. Boy I must be nuts for wanting something that works better for my profession. And this is my first mac, I was alllll about PC's before this, but I compared and Mac's beat out the PC by ALOT.

The problem with PC's is that they are pretty much open source, and that allows people to do things to you (and for you to do unattempted stupid things to yourself) without your knowledge. For the 2 years Ive owned this thing I've never had a virus... AND I NEVER HAD TO BUY AV SOFTWARE! My pc had 3 pieces of software against viruses (all costly) and none of them worked in the end, so I had to format the damn thing regularly.

Its not a question of crazies.. Its a question of when someone finds themselves with a few extra bucks in their pocket and buys something that will pay for itself in avoided stress.

I could buy a Chrysler, or I could buy a Honda.. Hmmmm, well research shows that Hondas are more expensive.. But look at that! They're also much more reliable. I must be part of the honda cult.

Of course Apple is trying to recruit people, they are a corporation. Remember tickle me elmo?? Furby? Scarier than the mac phenomenon IMO.

[edit on 1/22/08 by SantaClaus]

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:53 PM

Originally posted by Areal51
reply to post by scientist

Mac OS X is built upon FreeBSD, and that fact makes it more open than Windows or Vista.

yes, but we aren't talking about mac vs windows. or even mac vs pc. even if we were, linux runs on both platforms, so your point is moot. Leopard and Tiger are not open source. freebsd and linux are, and they can be run on either mac or pc.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:55 PM
All of Apple's source code

There's source there from Mac OS X 10.0 up until the latest 10.5 (Leopard) release.

posted on Jan, 22 2008 @ 07:56 PM
reply to post by WuTang

Well, I've explained it the way that you've explained it, so what's different is our understanding. I think that Apple and other marketers create the cult phenomenon to make profits. I do not think that the users themselves go around religiously and evangelical-like recruiting others to their cause, holding silent services on New Year's Eve. In other words I don't perceive Mac users as thinking that they are a part of a cult. I only agree with the cult term to the point where a relatively small group of people, relative to a larger group of people, are defined by an authority as representing an enthusiastic bunch about a certain thing or issue. Like the filmmaker David Lynch has a cult following. But those fans of Lynch's works do not watch only his films. What I'm saying is that in 15 years, I've never heard another Mac user say, "I'm a part of the cult of Mac." Marketers and media pundits bandy around that perception, it doesn't seem to me as if the users do that. Even if they are fanatical about Macs and other Apple products.

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