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Gimme That Old-Time (Apple) Religion: Researchers

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News Posted: Fri, Jul 30 2010 10:07 AM
Apple's fans are so devoted that they have been called a "cult." A pair of researchers at Texas A&M have gone still further. The professors, Heidi A. Campbell and Antonio C. La Pastina have written a paper that says the sheer adoration and lack of fault-finding by Apple fans isn't a cult, but a religion.

The iPhone, after all, has been nicknamed the "Jesus Phone," and long before the researchers used that term in their own paper. According to the researchers, it's this devotion to the church of Apple that keeps users defending its products, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of a real flaw. Apple, it seems, can do no wrong.

Fox News spoke to one of the researchers:
"The religious-like behavior and language surrounding Apple devotion/fandom is an example of 'implicit religion,'" Prof. Heidi Campbell, one of the authors of the study, told FoxNews.com. Implicit religion can happen when the use of, say, technology becomes a substitute for belief and behaviors once attached to religion and religious practice, she said.

That, according to the authors, explains why fans still believe when the leader of the Church of Apple, Steve Jobs, blames consumers for the poor reception of the company's cell phone (clearly, users are holding their phones incorrectly). In fact, they flock to buy the device despite its serious design flaws.
That's all true, but most would prefer to label such behavior as "fanboyism." Android users have been shown to be pretty vehement in defense of their own products. The possibility of a Church of Apple has been lampooned before by both the Simpsons and Futurama, however.

Other somewhat questionable links between religion and Apple, according to the story:
  • Apple's creation story epitomizes the humble garage origin of its technology -- not unlike the humble manger of Jesus' birth (of course, plenty of other companies were started the same way)
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs is perceived as a messianic leader who was fired but rose again to save the company.
  • Apple has traditionally had an evil archenemy, the Devil, as represented first by Microsoft and now by Google.
We'd have to say that a lot of the above is a big stretch. Still, the almost blind adoration is undeniable. It's not an issue when something is done well. It's when something is obviously flawed (like the iPhone 4 and Antennagate) and yet many will blindly ignore it, that is seems somewhat crazy.
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3vi1 replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 1:00 PM

>> Heidi A. Campbell and Antonio C. La Pastina have written a paper that says the sheer adoration and lack of fault-finding by Apple fans isn't a cult, but a religion.

Instead of writing papers, why don't they just ask a Tennessee gubernatorial candidate to find out for sure?

>> Apple has traditionally had an evil archenemy, the Devil, as represented first by Microsoft and now by Google.

¿Qué dijo? I've never met an Apple fanatics that didn't rate MS as significantly "more evil" than Google. They don't seem to be shy of competition, just anti-trust.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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It's not every day that I get to read about The Devil, The Simpsons, Fox News, and Futurama all in the same story! That was AWESOME!

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 4:44 PM

lol... this article is pretty funny. And yes... Apple fans are a little crazy about their products.

And man you guys love that pic of Jobs lol

Also a side note... my GF saw the pics asked "Who is that? Bill gates?" Doh!

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I guess this is how Apple is trying to reach Tax Exempt status?

I am sure there are alot of unemployed people in the states that think Apple is the devil! The Chinese thought we were the devil before they went over there, so it didnt really matter to them.

I still think that turtleneck is evil!!

Yet... remember Evil spelled backwards is Live:P

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acarzt:
And man you guys love that pic of Jobs lol

All that's missing from that PIC are flames in the background! Anyone here care to Photoshop some in for us?

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 7:43 PM

I wonder if they're going to make a bible and convert all their Apple stores to churches?

 

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 8:04 PM

http://www.youversion.com/mobile/iphone

Worked for L. Ron.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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ClemSnide replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 9:08 PM

They've got a point. After all, Apple has less than ten percent of market share-- just like religion. It's soundly hated by people who think its advocates are just trying to be hip and trendy-- just like religion.

Also, Apple users attempt to clear your past-present-future timeline of operating thetans, souls frozen into liquid nitrogen and plunged into the heart of the galactic volcano by the evil space tyrant Xemu.

Each Apple user has a planet of their own, if male, and can invite any or all of their wives to live on this planet with them. Once a DVD is inserted into a SuperDrive, it transubstantiates and becomes literally the flesh of Steve Jobs, consumed to give energy while ninth-level initiates play World of Warcraft all night.

They place great stock in secret codes, such as that discovered by Leonardo DaVinci, an Apple user (of course in his day it was the Apple ][+). Only Magisters of the Occult Order of the Sundered Pippin can understand these codes, which are written into Encyclopedia MacROM. They have the secret of the Philosopher's Stone, that mystical artifact discovered by the ancient Greek Apple users, which could turn lead into gold, dead matter into living matter, and C into legible code.

They have Tantric sex. And lots of it.

One day-- the exact date varies due to calculations having been done on a Pentium-- the Rappleture will occur, and all faithful Apple users will be swept bodily into Heaven, leaving the doomed Microsoft souls to deal with the creations of the AntiJobs; each version of their OS will solve a certain number of problems, create twice as many as it solved, and be touted as the last OS you'll ever need.

OK, back to Earth. This "study" came from an agricultural college in Texas, did it? Enough said. I suppose their main objection isn't that a company (any company-- watch a Chevy Customer Loyalty ad sometime) can be compared to a religion, but that it isn't the right religion.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 2:13 AM

animatortom:
 

I still think that turtleneck is evil!!

I just might be Steve Jobs for halloween. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!

No? Too Frightening for the children?

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Well, next holloween I might do just that...Then I can get some of the cult of Jobs chicks to join me in some pagan rituals :P

Get them to drink my punch...Donkey Punch Indifferent

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ismism replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 3:55 PM

For me, the Koolaid is definitely wearing off, though I do love my 24" iMac. Apple's visual design sense is unmatched, though others are coming around. The reason I went Mac (akin to "went nuts?") in the first place was for music software (and I was sick of Windows crashing literally all of the time), but now that there are (free, or nearly so) rival programs for Linux and even a Linux distro specifically for music production (Musix), I have no excuse. Thank Dog it's easier to leave the Church of Apple than the mormon church.

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realneil replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 4:24 PM

ismism:
For me, the Koolaid is definitely wearing off, though I do love my 24" iMac

Me too. I have a 24" iMac that handles all of my pictures and my music collection too. It's like the energizer bunny in that it keeps on working and working,................

When I bought it, Vista was the MS flavor of the moment and it sucked.

Win-7 is allot better.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 5:08 PM

I've been meaning to pick up Win 7 and move to 64-bit so I can take advantage of all the ram in my computer.

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Yeah I dont think the Apple hale-Bop cult uses Koolaid!

Instead of Blue jumpsuits and tennis shoes....They will make you wear turtlenecks and drink the spiked Apple juiceDevil

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 9:35 PM

What is the apple juice spiked with? And is it free? Cuz.... you know... you can turn down free alcohol... Unless it's also spike with poison.... hmmm

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ClemSnide replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 11:09 PM

@ismism: You never actually leave the LDS (the Mormons). The reason they have such a great genealogical resource out there in Utah is so that they can verify that a person existed, and can verify that they have died-- at which point they can convert the dead soul into the Church.

Therefore, you'll get back in as soon as you're cold. It's pretty much the opposite of Monty Python's song  "Every Sperm Is Sacred:" And the wonderful thing about Catholics is, / They'll take you as soon as you're warm!


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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It's pretty much the opposite of Monty Python's song  "Every Sperm Is Sacred

Personally I have always liked "Always look on the bright side of life!" Or my favorite "Sit on my face"  Of course here in Hawaii everyone loves the Spam Song!
 
" Unless it's also spike with poison.... hmmm"
 

I keep forgetting that some people on this site were only like ten years old when things like the Hale-Bop comet happenedHuh? Or "what the definition of IS...IS?"
SO..Like Kirk said,....He's harmless! Back in the sixties he was part of the Free Speech movement at Berkeley. I think he did a little too much LDS. ...
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rapid1 replied on Sun, Aug 1 2010 11:29 AM

Just like I said on the Apple Tech support subject, people in general do not know very much about a computer. A general user buys one of two thing's, first what they consider most financially in there target, second what they find most visually appealing no matter the draw backs to it. The general computer user want's something to do email, browse the web, and other general uses. They do not generally understand the hardware in the least except what some tells or has told them. So they are in many cases given what is a simple computer (an Apple) which is pretty. Much like designer clothes made in the same places and with the same materials, but sold at 3-5-10 times the price, an Apple is the coolest jeans in high school. So I could definitely understand the religion title now that they are getting a greater following at least temporarily.

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Haha - kudos to SuperRob!

 


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acarzt replied on Sun, Aug 1 2010 5:06 PM

rapid1:

people in general do not know very much about a computer.

Oh how I can attest to this.... *sigh* lol So many people are SO clueless about computers.

Many of them do not even know what the difference between their computer and their monitor.

I have to call the computer the "tower" for them to know what i'm talking about... and oh how I loathe calling it that.

Also many people do not know what hey desktop is... and it is very difficult to explain to them what that is over a phone.

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lol @ acarzt

Yea i'm in tech support and I hate when I have to tell people "please look on the desktop and look at "My computer" and tell me what the computer name is" *clank* the phone actually goes on the desk....wth are they doing?? LOL.

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