The Geek’s Chihuahua

I quite enjoyed this new mini-book by Ian Bogost, The Geek's Chihuahua: Living with Apple. It helped me crystallize my burning geek rage during the Apple Watch review-pocalypse (I turned sharply against getting one, for the record). Here's one of my favorite excerpts:

For better or worse, the businessman is the hero of contemporary culture. Our hero is no longer the rock star or the pro ballplayer or the actor but rather the wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur. It’s no surprise that his manner would win out over Miss Manners in the public imagination. We rarely admit it, but we all want to be important, yet most of us aren’t. Smartphones let us simulate that importance, replacing boardroom urgency with household triviality. And even though they seem like populist devices, smartphones can never fully shed their origins as rapacious instruments of executive grandstanding. There will always be something rude about smartphone use, because smartphones allow us all to play the role of a cultural paragon we didn’t choose, one we may even despise, but one whose influence we can’t disavow. Rather than blackening our lungs like yesteryear’s handheld devices, today’s blacken our hearts.

You can see why I'm into this, I hope. Bogost totally gets the disconnect between the technological and sociological tentacles of the late-capitalist octopus, because he's equal parts a scholar of each. It's definitely worth picking up the e-book; you can get through it in a single concerted reading effort.

Just a couple times throughout the book, I found myself bristling at little jabs about Apple People. Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of them resonated, but I think there is something slightly more beautiful in the heart of a classic Mac child like myself, as opposed to a teen or adult who chose to become a fan later. I'll have to write more about that to convince somebody like Bogost that I'm not just being a lemming, which I freely grant that I usually am.

Check out the book on Ian Bogost's website