Friday, February 03, 2006

The iPod Wars

There's a great new MP3 file, by Mark Thornton, that has recently been released by

An Introduction to Libertarianism - MP3 File

If you're in need of something to think about while journeying on your travels or while sweating through your post-Christmas fitness routine, it could be just the ticket for your iPod or iRiver device. As well as being a great introduction to libertarianism, Professor Thornton delivers an etymological definition to die for, covering the word politics. (My apologies if you've heard it before.):


Prefix: More than one; many; much; more than usual; excessive; abnormal.
Etymology: Greek polu-, from polus, much, many. See pel1.


Noun: Any of numerous small bloodsucking parasitic arachnids or various usually wingless, louselike insects that are parasitic.
Etymology: Middle English teke, tik, from Old English ticia for small insect.

This of course becomes:


Noun: Many abnormal excessive blood-sucking louselike parasites.
Etymology: See above.

Go on, you thought the definition of politics was more like the following:


Noun: The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation.
Etymology: Middle English politik, from Old French politique, from Latin polticus, political, from Greek poltikos, from polts, citizen, from polis, city. See pel2.

But now you know different.

All of which got me into thinking which is better, an iPod or an iRiver? In the iPod wars, I'm behind the iRiver barricade; half the price, twice the battery time, double the capacity, and twice the features. I may be losing it here, but why does anyone buy iPods? Yes, they're twice as stylish, but if like me you have to spend half your life in a hole in the ground, laughingly known as the Tube, when a Taxi ride would just take too long despite the success of congestion charging, this makes them twice as nickable, therefore half as good again; the iRiver just keeps winning even when at first sight it loses.

Are the socialists right? Is it evil marketing men who make us buy iPods, rather than iRivers which have much more intrinsic value? Or is all value truly in the eye of the Austrian-minded beholder, with intrinsic value being a figment of the neoclassical mind?

It's these kinds of thoughts which keep me awake at night.

Incidentally, I do unfortunately know a few socialists, and all of them who possess such things, seem to prefer iPods to iRivers . It seems the evil marketing men have got them again; the poor suckers.


cuthhyra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cuthhyra said...

That's because socialists are swayed by emotion (read 'want to look cool at all costs') rather than a rational appraisal of the product. A rather anecdotal observation I grant you, but looking at the Che Guevara 'cool' industry I think it must have some merit!

Personally I am very happy with my Zen, but iRiver certainly look like they're on the ball.

Very interesting blog. Cheers.

[edit: must remember to proof read posts first!]

Jack Maturin said...

Hey, they look good.. When my current iRiver packs up, or gets dropped down a French water closet, I'll have to take a closer look.

Next time I see someone in a Che T-shirt, wearing an iPod, I'll remember to send Steve Jobs an email congratulating him on his route to billionaire-hood.

I suppose using Bono to advertise iPods and iTunes didn't hurt make them 'cool' to socialists. I hope Bono's fee was over a million! $-)

Anonymous said...

"socialists are swayed by emotion.... rather than a rational appraisal of the product."

Austrianism tells us that there is no 'rational' appraisal of any product.

Personally I have no idea what these devices do or look like and would rather spend money on vintage port instead.

Jack Maturin said...

[I] would rather spend money on vintage port instead.

An excellent choice sir, based I hope on a completely irrational subjective consumerist basis, in the proper Austrian tradition.

I'm a Pinot Noir or Gewurztraminer man, myself, of an evening.

If I ever find myself stuck with a spare bottle of Dow's 1994, if you've got an Ata Rangi 2002 or an Abarbanel Alsace 1999, I'll swap you for it?

Anonymous said...

which iRiver has twice the battery length of an iPod? I used to have an iRiver and now I have an iPod. The iPod has better battery life, and no noticeable deterioration after six months, while the iRiver lost about 40% of capacity in a year.

The big advantage for me is iTunes. I have 12,000 tracks and it is by far the best management software.

Anonymous said...

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