Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Starbucks does Google

A couple of paragraphs taken from a comment at Crooked Timber in July, now posted again at TPM.
Another study someone should make: Compare Google to Apple. Google deals in information and money and in the the esthetic of the abstract and intangible. [On money and invisibility I owe a debt to my old roommate. I'm one of the two dedicatees for that paper so I'm returning the kindness.]

Apple is preoccupied not only with abstraction but with the material presence of it's products, not only with conceptual but physical design. It's an example of a boutique capitalism that's also as a result self-limiting. The only way for Apple to go beyond it's chosen niche would be for it to be joined under a conglomerate cf. Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. You prefer the latter because unlike Microsoft, it's a competent organization, but if anything that makes it more dangerous. Competent hegemons always are, yes?
Adding this:
Google is far more dangerous than Microsoft could ever be. Microsoft was once at risk of having some of its products put into the public domain. Google itself -in its entirety- may have to nationalized in the future, or put into an international public consortium.
Again, all obvious.

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