iPhone watch

by Kieran Healy on June 28, 2007

I was able to pick up an iPhone early through a local contact at Apple, and I have to say it’s really something. No of course I wasn’t able to do that — who do you think I am? Besides, I already have a phone on a relatively new contract. But I was in the Campus Bookstore here at the U of A and, while briefly down in the computer section, I heard store employees field two calls from people asking whether it would be possible to buy an iPhone there tomorrow, and whether there would be an educational discount on them. The guy in the store replied with more than a trace of sadness that they weren’t carrying the phone because it was only available at Apple Stores and AT&T outlets. He didn’t know about the educational discount. I was only there for about five minutes and clearly these weren’t the first two calls they’d had about this today.

I won’t be buying one anytime soon but, like I “said before”:https://crookedtimber.org/2007/06/04/iphone/, it seems to me that the iPhone is going to be a success for Apple, and will probably provide a large kick in the ass to other cellphone manufacturers in the process. Criticism of the iPhone — and general backlash against the widespred interest amongst consumers — has been brewing for some time now. “John Gruber”:http://daringfireball.net/ has been keeping track of “some”:http://daringfireball.net/2007/06/straws_grasping “examples.”:http://daringfireball.net/2007/06/iphone_high_water_mark

Having read a bunch of the iPhone Naysayers, I’m struck by how much they miss the point of what Apple is trying to do with the device (in addition, I find myself wondering what the qualifications for becoming an IT Industry Analyst are, exactly).

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EU negotiations outcome

by Henry Farrell on June 28, 2007

I should really have blogged the outcome of the Treaty negotiations before this, but haven’t had time to comb through the fine print of the agreement. Three points though that are pretty clear. First, as discussed in my earlier post, the presumption of the member states that this can and should be shoved through on a nod and a wink is both unwarranted and likely to do long term damage to the EU’s legitimacy if it succeeds. See further “Glyn Morgan”:http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article2701067.ece on why the UK in particular should have a referendum:

The ethical rationale for an EU referendum is even more important than the political rationale. It is not healthy in a democracy for people to believe – as they will, if there is no referendum – that the political classes are a rule unto themselves, heedless of public opinion, and eager to remove from the political agenda fundamental constitutional issues. It doesn’t matter that the current proposals change little, and much of what they do change is in Britain’s interest. It matters that people, rightly or wrongly, believe that the EU has gone too far, too fast and without their proper consultation. For that reason alone, Britain needs a referendum.

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Taking care of Turquoise

by Eszter Hargittai on June 28, 2007

I don’t seem to be doing too well playing rock, paper, scissors over on Facebook so I’ve decided to focus my energies on taking care of my adopted turtle Turquoise. It’s good prepartion for when I’ll get a real turtle likely in the near future (unlike some turtle plagiarists, it’s a plan I’ve had for a while).

Unfortunately, you can only earn munny to feed your pet by having your pet pet by someone else or petting other people’s pets. (That’s not as hard to say three times fast as it may seem at first read…) And it turns out that despite having over 150 friends on Facebook, only three of them have (fluff)Friends, one because I asked him this morning. So this is a request that if we are linked on Facebook (or should be since we know each other) then can you please come over and show Turquoise some affection? Thanks!

Anyone wondering why I would spend time on Facebook has to understand that it is imperative for the legitimacy of my research to familiarize myself with these services. It’s a sacrifice, but all in the name of science.

I should add that I have been thinking about a more substantive post concerning Facebook and hope to get around to it one of these days. Lots going on there, it is spreading like wildfire way past college students, and there are some understandable reasons for that. More later. It’s time to check in on Turquoise now.

The Key to All Mythologies

by Scott McLemee on June 28, 2007

Liberal Fascism, the forthcoming opus by Jonah Goldberg, has undergone a subtitle change, as perhaps you have heard. Formerly it warned of “The Totalitarian Temptation From Mussolini to Hillary Clinton.” Said temptation will now run “…From Hegel to Whole Foods.”

The delays in publication must have been necessary given the burdens of fresh scholarship demanded by this broadening of scope.

The pub date at Amazon is December 26, which is not the part of the season when trade publishers bring out books they are going to push very hard. Somebody at Doubleday probably had the same thought recently expressed elsewhere:

I assume Frederick Kagan, Bradley Schlotzman, and Jonah’s mom are already getting complementary copies; Dinesh von Souza will probably do his patriotic duty; which leaves – ? A mule train a half-mile long will have to be rounded up to ship the remainder of the edition to the respectively vice-presidential and presidential libraries of Dan Quayle and George W Bush, where they will serve to fill out the echoing bookshelves and glut the hungry silverfish.

Hint to Goldberg: Make it a little more “campaign friendly.” That’s where dropping Hillary from the subtitle is probably going to hurt you some. How about “The Totalitarian Temptation from Dialectics to the Democratic Candidates”? Plus you’d get that extra alliteration — a real bonus, catchiness-wise.