Nobody's making you buy one

Cory Doctorow thinks the iPad will take away your liberties, eat your children, and enslave you into its network of farmed humans.

Economist Joshua Gans explains why Doctorow needs to up his meds.

I’m with the economist on this one. Doctorow’s main complaint is that the iPad’s a closed ecosystem, and that this discourages innovation and exploration and invention. He’s got a point - and if you want to play in an open world, nobody’s stopping you from building your own PC and installing whatever funny OS you want. Heck, I’ve done that.

But the vast majority of consumers don’t want that. They want something that works when you switch it on. They don’t want to have to screw around with package managers or a command line. They don’t care whether or not you can crack the hood and upgrade it yourself. And that’s why the iPad is so popular - it’s simple. Complexity shouldn’t be a virtue.

Although there’s a point here in Gans’ article:

Huh? Did I miss something? Was there some little start-up out there who produced an iPad like thing while I wasn’t watching?

Yeah. They’re called FusionGarage, it’s called the JooJoo… and it only got ninety pre-orders.

For perspective: Apple will probably sell around 300,000 iPads this weekend.

Update: Gizmodo’s Joel Johnson has words for Cory Doctorow:

I’m glad the Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards. I’m glad it encouraged a generation of kids to tinker and explore. I’m also glad that I don’t live in the fucking ‘70s and have to type in programs from a magazine anymore.