Friday, 8 October 2010

Jonathan Franzen on Apple

I've been reading, and quite enjoying, Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (I've the first edition with the typos).

A section that made me laugh out loud was when one of the main characters, a not-quite-failed rock star called Richard Katz launches into an attack on Apple - "I think the iPod is the true face of Republican politics" (Franzen: 2010: 201) - as part of a bigger tirade against the fake subversive edge of popular music culture in response to a question about the "MP3 revolution".

Here's a short extract:
I've been given the opportunity to participate in the pop-music mainstream, and manufacture Chiclets, and to try to persuade fourteen-year-olds that the look and feel of Apple computer products is an indication of Apple computer's commitment to making the world a better place. Because making the world a better place is cool, right? And Apple computer must be way more committed to a better world, because iPods are so much cooler-looking than other MP3 players, which is why they're more expensive and incompatible with other companies' software, because - well, actually it's a little unclear why, in a better world, the very coolest products have to bring the most obscene profits to a tiny number of residents of the better world. [...] We're about the relentless enforcement and exploitation of our intellectual-property rights. We're about persuading ten-year-old children to spend twenty-five dollars on a cool little silicone iPod case that it costs a licensed Apple computer subsidiary thirty-nine cents to manufacture.
Strangely, as someone in thrall to the unhealthy consumerist fetishism of all things Apple, it struck a bit of a chord. I love the design of their products but, partly as a result of recent experiences with the iPad, am increasingly irritated by Apple's closedness, control freakery and ruthless pursuit of profit.


Franzen, J. (2010). Freedom. London: Fourth Estate.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Those 'not digital natives' references

Net Generation

This is me using my blog again as a dumping ground for my references. This time it's for all those lovely papers debunking the myth of the 'digital native':
Bayne, S. and Ross, J. (2007). The ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’: a dangerous opposition. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) December 2007. PDF format.
Bennett, S., Maton, K. and Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5): 775-786
Bennett, S. and Maton, K. (2010). Beyond the ‘digital natives’ debate: Towards a more nuanced understanding of students' technology experiences. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 321–331
Brown, C. and Czerniewicz, L. (2010). Debunking the ‘digital native’: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 357–369
Burhanna, K.J. et al. (2009). No Natives Here: A Focus Group Study of Student Perceptions of Web 2.0 and the Academic Library. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35(6): 523-532
Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the “Net Generation”. Sociological Inquiry. 80(1):92-113
Helsper, E. J. and Eynon, R. (2010). Digital natives: where is the evidence? British Educational Research Journal, 36(3): 503-520
Jones, C. and Czerniewicz , L. (2010).Describing or debunking? The net generation and digital natives. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 317–320
Jones, C. and Healing, G. (2010). Net generation students: agency and choice and the new technologies. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 344–356
G. Kennedy, T. Judd, B. Dalgarno and J. Waycott (2010). Beyond natives and immigrants: exploring types of net generation students. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 332–343
Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A. and Vojt, G. (2010). Are digital natives a myth or reality? University students’ use of digital technologies. Computers & Education. Article in press
Selwyn, N. (2009). The digital native - myth and reality. Invited presentation to CLIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). London Seminar Series. London 10th March 2009.

If you have any more please pass them on.

Delicious links.