Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pro-iPhone Letter Printed in NY Sun

By Joseph Kellard

The New York Sun (on July 11) published a letter I wrote in response to an anti-technology opinion piece about the popularity of the iPhone and a YouTube video that shows someone taking a hammer to the costly new device.

Article link:

Excerpt from the article: “The sight of a brand-new iPhone smashed to bits shows that our culture still has a sense of perspective and humor about the madness of technology. If Mr. Burr brings his hammer down on every new product that lands within our reach, then we'll have an instantaneous reminder of its fallibility, and our own.”

The Sun printed my letter as written—except that they lopped off the last paragraph, which, unfortunately, was my main point.

Letter link:

To the Editor:
[Re: “An iBacklash Builds Against iPhone, Spawning a Smash-Up Hit on YouTube,” by David Blum July 6, 2007] David Blum blames Steven Jobs for feeding a so-called “addiction” people have for costly new technological devices such as his iPhone.

So Mr. Blum revels in a YouTube video of someone smashing the multifaceted phone with a hammer.

Resurrecting a socialist bromide about capitalist innovations, Mr. Blum claims Americans really don’t need the iPhone, calling it a “wretched excess.”

Actually, some people do need the iPhone—whether to watch their favorite TV show while on the subway, read their email at the dentist’s office, or download music in their Lexus—even if their only purpose is to add greater convenience and enjoyment to their lives.

Years ago, when cell phones were mass marketed and became popular, some people undoubtedly said this innovation was another unnecessary “indulgence.”

Cell phones have since proven to be an indispensable technology for many. The iPhone—which Mr. Blum files under “the madness of technology”—may likely achieve a similar status.

Instead of pointing fingers at Jobs, the iPhone and technology in general when people buy a device merely because it is a hot item that others own, Mr. Blum should target the fundamental cause of this sheep-like behavior. It is the corrupt philosophic premise that places other people’s standards and purposes above one’s own. That is what should be smashed, not the iPhone.

Joseph Kellard

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