22 July 2010

Hubris: A case of a rotten apple

Recent events bring a concept to mind. George W. Bush and his neocon and neolib cronies had been the perfect illustration of that immediately after the invasion of Iraq. Now, it is Apple and its iPhone 4 crisis.

Firstly, a reminder from Wikipedia:

Hubris (also hybris; pronounced /ˈhjuːbrɪs/ due to the hypercorrection of the Greek spelling due to the incorrect transcription of /u/ for /ὕ/) means extreme haughtiness or arrogance. Hubris often indicates being out of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power.

Hubris appears in the terms "act of hubris," and "hubristic."

The recent Apple iPhone 4 flaw and the public relations fiasco after is a perfect illustration of the Greek concept of hubris. The derision which the consumers were treated by advising that they hold the sorry devices differently was an act of hubris.

From Dictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary):

hu·bris  (hyōō'brĭs)   
n. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance: "There is nosafety in unlimited technological hubris" (McGeorge Bundy). 

[Greek, excessive pride, wanton violence see  ud-  in Indo-European roots.] 
hu·bris'tic  (-brĭs'tĭk)  adj. hu·bris'tic·al·ly  adv.

Then came the second act of hubris. There was nothing wrong, the display of the signal bars would be corrected. Utterly dismissive.

From Encylopaedia Britannica:

in Classical Athenian usage, the intentional use of violence tohumiliate or degrade. The most famous example was the case ofMeidias, who punched the orator Demosthenes in the face when thelatter was dressed in ceremonial robes and performing an officialfunction. Hubris could also characterize rape. Hubris was a crime atleast from the time of Solon (6th century BC), and any citizen couldbring charges against another party, as was the case also fortreason or impiety. (In contrast, only a member of the victim'sfamily could bring charges for murder.) 

And the final act, act III, is where the other mobile devices were compared and run down. The fiasco certainly did not dent Apple's share price. Instead, a week after the announcement that rubber cases of sorts will be grudgingly provided, Apple announced their highest ever quarterly revenue, a staggering US$15.7 billion.

Whatever it is, at the rate the Apple juggernaut is steamrolling all before it, it will soon be the company with the highest capitalisation. Apple share prices are set to rise as will its arrogance, they have risen in tandem over the years. The drama of the evil empire of Apple and its servile Macheads will be one of the most interesting to watch in the years to come, especially when it has an iCon at its head. Enjoy the show!

No comments: