Dave Winer makes a point about Apple and their ecosystem that is precise enough to inspire jealousy in the rest of us who have been seeking to make the same point.
... computers are meant to be more than DisneyLand, they are meant to solve societal problems and help our species evolve. That means we must have freedom. And freedom and control are exact opposites. So I'd rather have wire-cluttered desktops and TV stations, than have Apple decide what I can and can't watch.
The whole issue of Apple-good-or-bad is so tangled and thorny you could rip the flesh from your hands just trying to pick it apart. I like Apple's products and technology; I don't like the company's behavior as a whole. I definitely don't like their authoritarian approach to content. I esent the idea that buying into Apple ecosystem is turning into the techno-ideological equivalent of buying a condo in a development where there are no pets and nobody with funny last names. The PC is a mess, but out of that mess has come some of the best of computing as we know it. (And as of late, it isn't nearly as much of a mess as it used to be.)
The other side of this is the practical side — that there are plenty of people more than willing to pay piles of nice green money to buy into Apple's computing condo. They got sick of spyware-'n-viruses, or maybe they got started with Apple to begin with and everything else is just not where they want to be. I have no argument with that. I doubt anything I say would persuade them to leap back over the fence, and I'm not going to try because that's not the real point of posts like these. It's to argue that there is virtue in not micromanaging everything, that when you close all the doors you also shut out the things that make it possible to evolve in leaps and bounds instead of stage-managed turtle steps.
There is room for Apple's condos, but there should also be room for things that are not nearly as closed-ended. Or — better to say — things that strike a more generous balance between being freely changeable, and being a place where (as someone else once put it) a place where Man may romp but not bite.
Yes, Harry Lime's line about the cuckoo clocks comes to mind.