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I agree that Apple's intentions are not beneficent, but that's also not the point. There is a strong bias in tech/geek culture towards "decentralization" (it's even become something of a marketing buzzword thanks to recent technologies), but decentralization does not always result in more power for the individual. Look at the Android ecosystem. Do you feel like you're in control on your Android device? I used to think that. Maybe 2-3+ years ago. Today? Not so much. I feel like an Android device is just a means for any number of third parties to gain access to the most private details of my life. That does not make me feel like I have power. It makes me feel powerless.



> Do you feel like you're in control on your Android device?

Absolutely. I have hundreds of different independent ROMs to choose from many of which are completely FOSS. I get to add or remove any app I want and don't even have Google Play services installed.

The only software I don't control on the device are the proprietary drivers and boot loader. But that's no different from my Linux desktop.


While this is entirely true, it’s not effectively true for the average non-technical user. Balancing control of one’s personal content in a way the average user can take advantage of is something Apple, whether benevolent or not, has been an effective champion of as of late. And I (and many others) would argue that therein lies an important distinction at iPhone scale.


I couldn’t agree more. It’s quite easy for more technically adept users to forget how scary and daunting something like custom rom installs can be. Just because something is technically feasible, doesn’t mean it’s accessible to many or even most users.


Wow cool


Rather than complete decentralization, maybe what we're looking for is having opposing large organizations, as popularized by John Kenneth Galbraith?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countervailing_power




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