Feeds

back to article Simply viewing Apple kit provokes religious euphoria

A team of British neuroscientists has confirmed what IT atheists have known for years - that the brains of Jobsian cult members respond to the sight of Apple products in much the same way that religious believers respond to religious imagery. In a recent BBC documentary, Secrets of the Superbrands (BBC iPlayer), the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

How pathetic.

What a bunch of Lemmings.

19
6
FAIL

Yeh...

Now go watch the documentary, and observe that followers of other brands at least behave similarly... Unfortunately, they didn't subject them to the same testing. Bias at all?

7
10
Alert

Brilliant

I think you just proved the theory.....

9
3

Indeed

The same applies to lots of things, car owners are particularly subject to this kind of behaviour, but also HiFi. Try and tell a BMW owner that a Merc is better, or vice versa.

Sadly, I'm not afflicted by this kind of behaviour, which actually makes buying stuff more fun, you can actually work out what's best for your needs.

2
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

FAIL

Who?

The poor dimwits who get sucked in by the marketing hype or the braying morons that are going to post the same soporific boilerplate shite 180 times?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Also dead salmons understand human emotions

The same type of technology (fMRI - the "f" bit means functional and quite different from "normal" MRI you'd have in a hospital) has been used to find that a fully dead salmon can perceive emotional state of humans from photos.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/09/fmrisalmon/

So take this "research" with a pitch of salt :-) (and herbs in the case of the salmon, yum)

6
3
Anonymous Coward

Denial doesn't help

The first step to recovery is admitting you're an addict

12
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Headmaster

Also dead salmons ...

Is it something specific to the University of Warwick that they keep producing "research" like this ....?

1
1
E 2
Stop

@Roger Varley

Pointing out the deficiencies in eg MRI is just as valuable as designing MRI in the first place.

If they can measure a dead salmon's responding to pictures using an MRI, that implies we may be taking MRI a bit too seriously.

0
0
Silver badge
Jobs Halo

I'm Surpised!

Not at the research but that Vulture Central took so long to notice it (or print it). :)

Of course what other icon is possible?

3
0
Bronze badge
Pint

I was in the cult!

I was in the apple cult for years. But the glory that was the '5300c' laptop finally cured me.

We did get an ipod for the car (it only had an ipod dock so we had no choice). Each time I want to get music on to it via non-jobsian sources, it is like sticking pins in my eyes, so I won't be joining the cult again anytime soon.

5
2
Thumb Up

Hack/modify it the audio pins

Get a pin out diagram of the connector and modify it to get access to the audio output pins. Then wire a 3.5mm jack to the wires and then you can use any portable media player.

Why's there no light bulb icon.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

To be fair

If he can't even get other music files into his iPod, which really couldn't be more easy, do you expect him to be able to faff around with his car audio connector?

2
7
Silver badge
Linux

To be fair...

The car audio connection should be a standard input and you should be able to connect the iPod to your computer in a standard way too.

Real standards versus the Apple version of that idea.

He didn't seem to be saying that he "can't" use iTunes but rather than he would rather not.

I can't say I disagree with him.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

RE: To be fair...

"He didn't seem to be saying that he "can't" use iTunes but rather than he would rather not."

Oddly enough, I just read an article in the Guardian about someone who bought an Ipod shuffle, but when they connected it to their computer, an message came up saying the iPod "cannot be used because it requires iTunes version 10.0 or later". When they downloaded iTunes 10, another message popped up: "Open Failed … This package type requires Mac OS X 10.5."

So basically, they had to pay to upgrade their software to run iTunes on a computer that wasn't very old.

Original article here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/may/21/apple-upgrades-itunes-version

0
0
Jobs Horns

iTunes Fail

SharePod on the PC makes an all day conflict with iTunes into a 30 minute walk in the park. Google it.

0
0
Pirate

Loving the...

...Blackberry ads on this article :D

Pirate: because there's no poacher icon.

2
0
Silver badge
Pint

If Apple is Church...

Then I shall avoid Church religiously.

3
1

Ouch!

That's the tingle I get in MY brain when I see Apple kit - the bit that controls the wallet!

3
2
FAIL

Wallets ...

Are for grown-ups.

3
1
Jobs Halo

Isn't that standard?

Isn't that standard with most cults?

0
0
Silver badge

Who are you calling a cult?

Church of Apple =Church of Scientology, discuss

1
2
Paris Hilton

"... the brain areas that have evolved to process religion"

So, ahem, God doctored it's own existence ? (if you follow the circular logic of creationists).

Paris, for that special tingly feeling.

6
2
Thumb Up

Well spotted...

is that what they call 'begging the question'?

5
1
Anonymous Coward

That might be a little bit backwards

"This suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion,”

I think perhaps religion may have been invented to fill these holes, and that some people use other things to fill the hole such as consumer goods be they fashionable ideas, clothes, cars, houses or big tech brands.

I seriously doubt that deep within the offices of apple there is a secret research laboratory studying ways to full fill peoples need to elevate something to a level beyond mortality with shiny shiny igoodies. No matter how much I would like their to be a false idol department.

6
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Neurobiology, creationism and naturalism

"So, ahem, God doctored it's [sic] own existence ? (if you follow the circular logic of creationists)."

Though I don't wish to start a creationist/atheist flame war, this does bring up an interesting issue:

An atheist/naturalist can only assume on a basis of faith that logic and mathematics (both neurobiologically determined precepts) are representative of the real world. Logic cannot be proven empirically, because it is primary to perception and therefore determines the very standards of evidence. Using derivative evidence to prove logic is a formal logical fallacy by circular reasoning. Logic cannot be proven using rational arguments as that would be a tautology (ie. using logic to prove logic). Moreover, the perceived meaningful utility of logic is determined by evidentiary feedback, and risks circularity if it is used in support of logic.

For a creationist who believes that the brain was designed for the purpose of understanding ontologic problems, it's a much easier proposition to assert that neurobiological processes are reflective of the real world. Though this argument regresses to the foundational belief that a primary metaphysical cause had designed the brain, it remains a formally valid logical argument, and much more elegant in line with the Occam's razor tradition.

I'm sure it's ironic from your point of view that it is actually the atheistic position that is prone to circularity when it comes to the epistemology of neurobiological precepts.

5
9
Paris Hilton

RE: Neurobiology, creationism and naturalism

Unless... there really is no portion of brain exclusively devoted to devotees ? That should preempt

the debate.

PS: I wish I was as smarter and counter argue in a constructive manner, but as you can see I am the sort who gets tingly feelings by looking at a 2x2 of Paris.

0
0
Silver badge

Just a minute...

Digging through your very impressive word salad has left me with the distinct impression that you think the argument for an intelligent Creator fulfills Occam's Razor more than the argument that mathematics and logic represent the real world. Since Occam's Razor is a statement about creating the minimum possible entities to explain a phenomenon, how does positing a Creator more uphold Occam's Razor than explaining it through commonly observable natural forces?

Bear in mind that any physical object exists in and of itself, and exhibits the same behaviour in relation to the universe reqardless of how it is observed. For example, a rock falling from a high place will accelerate towards the ground even if nobody or nothing else is there to observe it. Just as 2 plus 2 equals 4 to any sapient creature in the Universe. By this commonality of perception, which must by definition represent the real world since the phenomenon will have the same predictable effect upon anyone influenced by it, we can accurately predict such things as the motions of celestial bodies and the behaviour of certain materials under stress, which is something your creationist cannot do anywhere near as reliably or accurately by appealing to his creator entity.

7
4

Axioms and foundational beliefs

"By this commonality of perception, which must by definition represent the real world since the phenomenon will have the same predictable effect upon anyone influenced by it"

There are a number of problems with assuming that a commonality of perception is reflective of broader validity. At the level of basal sensory integration (ie. lower perception) this may hold some truth, if one excludes pathologically altered mental states. However, interpretive processes in higher perception are subject to numerous idiosyncratic axiomatic assumptions (ie. individual systems of "world view" beliefs which by virtue of their relationship to perception are unprovable/unfalsifiable and can only exist as faith-based assumptions.)

Among such axiomatic assumptions are the neurobiological precepts (logic, geometry and mathematics as mentioned before), the metaphysical doctrines (naturalism, atheism, theism, uniformitarianism), and the axioms of perception (the philosophies of direct realism, indirect realism and representationalism.)

Regardless of whether you are a naturalistic/atheistic empiricist, or a creationist with belief in a first ontologic cause for all existence, you require faith-based assumptions in order to be capable of thought. There must be a system of unprovable/unfalsifiable first principles to perception itself, because without this, perception would simply be impossible.

These are fairly run-of-the-mill epistemological problems which can be traced back hundreds of years, in the philosophies such as foundationalism and the Munchausen trilemma.

2
6
Bronze badge
Boffin

@Steven Roper

"Just as 2 plus 2 equals 4 to any sapient creature in the Universe. "

That's a common mistake, 2+2 actually equals 5 because someONE has to have been counting.

As in the Quantum world, observing a particle will alter it's state.

1
7

Creationism and science

I recall that it was a certain eminent creationist by the name of Isaac Newton who formulated the systematic basis of knowledge that allowed us to understand the movement of celestial bodies.

Creationism is the belief in a primary ontologic cause to all existence, and does not abrogate the empirical or rational methodologies which underlie the scientific process. The secular counterpart to creationism is not science, it is the principle of naturalism, a belief which is as unfalsifiable and non-empirical as creationism itself. The claim that creationism is at odds with science stems from the critical misunderstanding that scientific methodology is only valid under a naturalistic premise.

Whereas in the past, science was upheld by individuals who maintained a primary theistic belief, scientific progress is now maintained by those who operate under a doctrinal assumption in naturalism; many of whom are not aware that it is an axiomatic or faith-based assumption akin to any religious system. There is no more rational basis by which to exclude a theistic premise in science than there is to exclude the naturalistic position, as both are unfalsifiable foundational beliefs, and the essentials of scientific methodology do not differ under either premise.

To put this into context, most contemporary scientific research is observation-based study that, at an essential level, has no requirement for naturalistic assumptions. The majority of the evidence-based findings in peer reviewed journals are compatible with both theistic and atheistic precepts. The discrepancies arise when scientific methodology attempts to address issues pertaining to the study of origins, at which level differences between the standards of evidence maintained by theism and atheism become pronounced enough to provoke a conflict of religious opinions.

2
4
E 2

It's a rondo

Maybe God exists and put those holes there deliberately.

Also - of course Apple has an office where they study ways to fulfill peoples' need to elevate. All serious retail crop have such an office. It is called the marketing department.

1
0
Ru
Pint

Re: Axioms and foundational beliefs

Creationism may or may not be valid, but faith in and worship of a creator seems pretty futile and baseless. Colour me agnostic.

In the meantime, I'll content myself with reading this sort of thing on the internet, the result of a couple of hundred years of the application of mathematics and logic and science and engineering that may or may not reflect the real world but seems to have quite tangible results.

1
3

Meaningful utility and validity

"a couple of hundred years of the application of mathematics and logic and science and engineering that may or may not reflect the real world but seems to have quite tangible results."

This is ostensibly a valid point, and don't get me wrong here because I am not in any way undermining the validity of logic and mathematics. As you'll note earlier, I stated that the dyad of empiricism/rationalism at the core of the scientific method is not undermined, but reassured, by belief in a first existential cause.

One has to be careful though in validating precepts (such as the logical axioms) on the basis of their perceivable utility, because in the history of science, perceived utility has very rarely correlated with broader validity. For example, proponents of a flat earth theory derived considerable utility from this idea in the form of navigation, military coordination, construction and resource allocation. Admittedly, flat earth theory is falsifiable, and logic is not, but the epistemological restrictions I've described are valid in either case. This pertains to the idea of perceived utility and perceived scientific progress being direct indices of empirical feedback.

On the converse, consider, hypothetically, that besides logic and mathematics, there were alternative modes and precepts of perception and critical thinking which allowed far broader appreciation and understanding of natural laws and processes.

2
1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Religion was then,

created to fill the hole that was waiting for Apple (pbui) to emerge.

2
0
Bronze badge
Alert

Nope.

"Creationism is the belief in a primary ontologic cause to all existence"

No, creationism is the belief that we and the world (and by extension, the universe) around us were created as we are now in all our current complexity and contradictory absurdity deliberately and, from the point of view of scientific timescales, fairly recently. This is directly at odds with the scientific determination that all things have developed over time according to natural forces.

The consideration by scientists who still hold to religion, that outside all we can observe scientifically there is a supernatural creator responsible for kicking it all off in the first place, is a philosophical position that admittedly science is ill-equipped to address. But that is not the creationist's agenda.

1
3

Naturalism

"creationism is the belief that we and the world (and by extension, the universe) around us were created as we are now in all our current complexity and contradictory absurdity deliberately and, from the point of view of scientific timescales, fairly recently."

You're refering to young earth creationism, as opposed to the more broadly inclusive definition I've proposed. Though it seems you've approached this exchange of ideas with your own narrow preconceptions, and reacted in a coping manner characteristic of those who cannot argue on intrinsic merit, let me explain carefully how the rest of your argument is incorrect.

"the scientific determination that all things have developed over time according to natural forces."

This is the metaphysical doctrine of naturalism, ie. the absence of belief in metaphysical causation. Despite your claims, naturalism is unfalsifiable and it is certainly not derived from scientific "determination". There are also numerous formal logical problems associated with such an ontologic belief. If you'd like to demonstrate otherwise, you can provide an empirical argument that proves it to be correct. Indeed, if you can, it would make you better than any other secular philosopher of science that has ever existed.

Any philosophical position regarding the metaphysical, whether it is a belief or an absence of belief (as in naturalism) can only exist as a presupposition before perception. This means that an observer must either commit to a belief or a disbelief in metaphysical causation before one experiences the real world, and that belief then determines experience accordingly. It also means an empirically neutral position in metaphysical causation (ie. "I'll believe it when I have evidence") is not possible.

To demonstrate this idea further: One analogy to naturalism would be with the philosophy of direct realism, which asserts that one's senses are accurate, comprehensive and exclusive in rendering our experience of the real world. Naturalism, is in essence, a directly realistic assertion that the physical modalities of phenomenal experience and measurement are accurate, comprehensive and exclusive in rendering the real world, and that there is nothing else (eg. a metaphysical reality) besides this experience. In either case, it is clear that such beliefs can only exist as presuppositions before experience.

2
2

@citizen41

i have to admire your patience with these responses, but arent you taking it a bit hard on the numbnuts here?

the average readers--including, it seems, most of the people you're responding to--have trouble distinguishing arse from elbow

i'm not complaining, because you have some interesting ideas, but you could try and use simpler language

3
2
Bronze badge
Joke

Tear down the false idols

But I hear that Apple's profits are OK

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge
Pint

Have a beer

"Digging through your very impressive word salad"

Thats going to get some use me thinks

Beer

0
0
Happy

haha oh wow

I had to upvote you just for "word salad"

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Alien

Apple?

It sounds like I found my portable MRI scanner at last - I'll probably never be able to remember how I lost it but that doesn't matter now.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Love it!

good stuff

0
0
Paris Hilton

Can't say I blame them really

After all, good kit is good kit be it fine art, beautifully treated timber, ... or an incredible balance of hardware, software aesthetically combined into a form of beauty. (Well, compare it to beige box mentality).

4
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.