One of the underlying themes of UD is that we need to be aware of how big, powerful institutions and organisations can go wrong. A typical rhetorical response to that, is to dismiss such concerns as mere ill-founded, empty conspiracist theorising.
So, it is appropriate to point out a striking case that shows how easily institutions and organisations can lock in a group think mentality and march right over the cliff:
Before reading the Business Insider clip below, ask yourself, do you think that no-one in Apple ever paused and asked whether this was a sound idea? Then, ponder why the firm marched in lockstep right over a cliff like this:
>>Apple confirmed a longtime conspiracy theory — and gave regular customers a big reason to distrust it
- Apple on Wednesday admitted it had been secretly throttling the performance of older iPhones.
- The admission outraged even some of the company’s biggest fans.
- Customers have good reason to be distrustful of the company and to suspect its motives.
[ . . . ]
Apple has long inspired an almost religious devotion among customers and tech aficionados — but it just seriously undermined its fans’ faith and loyalty.
The company on Wednesday acknowledged what some people have long suspected: that it has been secretly stifling the performance of older iPhones.
Critics have accused the company in the past, based on anecdotal evidence, of purposely slowing phones to compel users to upgrade to the latest model. While Apple admitted to the practice on Wednesday, it sought to underscore that it had done so for a purely altruistic reason: to prevent older phones from shutting down unexpectedly.
The justification hasn’t mollified Apple’s outraged fans. If anything, the company’s statement has stoked the conspiracy theories, and for good reason . . . . If Apple didn’t acknowledge that it was throttling older phones until one year after it started doing so, what else is the company not telling customers? Why should iPhone users believe the company’s explanation for why it’s throttling phones? And why should they believe that it only started doing that a year ago?
Such questions might sound like the ravings of conspiracy theorists. But in this case, the conspiracymongers were proved right: Apple was slowing down its phones. And there are rational reasons to think the company may not be offering a full explanation why . . . >>
Does this pattern sound familiar?
What do you think will happen once the sort of domineering behaviour and ideological censorship too often found in institutions of science and science education as well as the media and government become common knowledge?
Will modern civilisation recover from falling off that cliff?
Food for thought. END
PS: Let me add an analysis of how marches of folly go over the cliff’s edge: