The Lite Side

Apple + Intel Spells the End of Western Civilization

, 2005.06.15

The mainstream press has noted the significance of the new Intel/Apple alliance, and the Mac Web is squirming like a bucket of slugs in a salt lick trying to make sense of it all.

You have your Maybe This is a Good Thing crowd, your Apple Is Doomed Because My Machine Will Be Obsolete crowd, the Never Mind It's Still a Closed OS crowd, the It's About Time You Morons crowd, and (my personal favorite) the Listen to the Mac Web Do a Hypocritical About Face Because Just Yesterday They Were Making Fun of Intel And Now They Think It's the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread Just Because Steve Said So crowd.

This last bunch is so excited they've had to change their underwear three times this week alone.

Of course, everyone says they're not hysterical. It's always someone else. Until now. You know how we like to fill these odd little ecological niches here at the Lite Side, so without further introduction let me be the first (and only) Web pundit of the Mac persuasion to officially, totally

Freak Out Over the Whole Apple Intel Thing

Because of this change, the imminent demise of the American economy is about to occur.

Sure, you say.

Let me explain.

See, this all hinges on the ability of the American public to suspend disbelief. It's the same skill that lets you think that some guy in a rubber suit and a big black car could actually hide from the cops and satellites of the world to fight crime. It's involved in the ability to choose a political candidate during the primary process. It has to do with the desire to buy a car even if you have to get Kleer Kote to do it.

You have to believe or all is lost. In this particular case, the specific suspension of disbelief you have to rebelieve is that . . . advertising works.

Apple's snail adSee, way back (waaay back) in the late 90s, Apple ran a series of ads explaining how much faster its processors were than Intel's. Something to do with a snail and a boiling hot chip cruelly glued to its back - or something like that.

Along with the cute visual (assuming you hate snails and slugs, it's cute) came a whole series of explanatory white papers, justifications, and Web pages which explained throughput, RISC processing, and used cute analogies like how Intel was faster but was like a guy in a three legged race - it didn't matter if you were faster taking steps if those steps didn't go anywhere.

And then there were the Photoshop bake-offs, carefully staged to take advantage of Altivec-this and multiprocessor-that and blah blah blah blah....

As it turns out, though, all of that was just hype, and Intel was faster all along.

Well, my point is (and I do have one) that if we drank the Kool-Aid and evangelized to some guy at CompUSA, we had to believe that the hype was, well, right.

And now I have my doubts.

(Sound of distant thunder)

And if those ads, those white papers, those analogies were wrong, then - my God, what else has Madison Avenue been lying about?

(A Flash of Light. A distant CRACK! followed by a peal of rumbling.)

Maybe that means that all other advertising campaigns are so much - how can I say this politely - hooey.

And if that's true, then perhaps all of the advertising dollars spent around the world is just wasted money.

Once people read this, they'll stop believing advertising. And then . . . then all the advertising revenue will end, and sales will plummet as people realize they've been had for lo, these many years, and the economy will collapse, and we'll all revert to cavemen or worse, because no one knows how to do anything any more, not even start a frickin' fire with two sticks or kill a rabbit for food.

Oh my God, we're all gonna die, and it's all! Steve's! fault!!!!!

(time passes)

There now, was that hysterical enough for you?

I think I can now be sort of a lightning rod for Mac Web criticism. Lord knows I have in the past. Just call me that Idiot Over At Low End Mac Who Thinks the Intel Apple Thing Spells the End of Civilization As We Know It. And link, link like crazy, for we must spread the word about the Truth about Hype, it is the only Hope for Us, we're a Lost Generation.

Besides, I need the hits.

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