I can only hope that they don’t see fit to “resume” any time soon, given the present circumstances.
This evening, I sent the following email message to Tim Cook at Apple:
Dear Mr. Cook:
I have been an Apple user since 1981 and a Mac user since 1984; my first iPhone was an iPhone 4, but mostly because AT&T didn’t have good coverage in my home town. As I sit at my desk composing this email, there are eight Apple computing devices literally within arm’s reach, not to mention a couple of HomePods and a pair of AirPods.
Professionally, I wrote my first Mac program in 1984 (for a company mentioned in the first issue of Macworld magazine), and my first publicly released Mac software in 1987. My career path wandered a bit after that, but I have been developing Mac software for pay since 2006 and it has been my full-time job since 2009.
I write all this to establish some bona fides for my long relationship with, admiration of, and support for Apple Inc.
Like many people, I was driven to leave Twitter soon after its change of ownership, disturbed at first by the way he treated his employees and third-party developers, and afterwards by the increasing amount of hate speech and abhorrent messages being posted there, apparently not merely tolerated but encouraged by the new owner.
I have been somewhat dismayed that Apple continues to market itself there, but I am not naive, and I recognize that the goals of a major company are quite different from those of a private individual, and that it is necessary for a company to engage with potential customers on a variety of media.
But now I find myself driven to write this letter in response to news items from the last few days:
- Media Matters: “As Musk endorses antisemitic conspiracy theory, X has been placing ads for Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity next to pro-Nazi content”
- Financial Times: “IBM pulls adverts from X after report finding they ran next to Nazi content”
- New York Times: “X Races to Contain Damage After Elon Musk Endorses Antisemitic Post”
… to mention only a few.
I cannot believe that it continues to be in Apple’s best interest to have its valuable brand appear adjacent to such virulent, hateful content. Apparently, the leadership at IBM has reached a similar conclusion. I hope that you and the leadership team at Apple are already giving careful consideration to the effect of continuing to financially support such a platform.
At the top of Apple’s “Ethics and Compliance” page, above your name, is the statement: “We do the right thing, even when it’s not easy.”
I urge you to do the right thing.
Well, I’ve finally managed to get my blog up and running again. It appears to have been offline since August of 2021 — at least, that was when the last automated backup arrived in my WPBackups mail folder. To be honest, my shouting-into-the-void needs had largely been met by Twitter (at least until last November), so I wasn’t in much of a hurry to investigate. But it seemed to make sense to self-verify my Mastodon profile, which meant getting this website back online. I took the opportunity to update my Linode instance from Ubuntu 2016.4 LTS to something newer, install the latest WordPress, etc.
It turns out that the plugin I had been using to get those regular backup emails was only sending me the contents of the database as a SQL file, whereas most of the online guides to “restoring” or “migrating” a WordPress site assume you have an XML-based export file. After a couple of false starts, I found this article which had the key to success: namely to create a new database and populate it from the SQL file, then install WordPress and point it at that database during the “five-minute install” process. At this point WordPress will say “You appear to have already installed WordPress; let me just bring your database up to date” and then you’re ready to go, more or less.
(I got an immediate error that included the name of the theme I had forgotten I was using. Reinstalling that was much more pleasant than trying to get something I liked out of the default WP themes that are based around the WP block editor, which seems like overkill for a simple text blog.)
Now that I’ve done all that, will I begin blogging regularly again? We’ll see; if so, it will likely be more articles on macOS and Swift programming, and fewer hot takes on hot button issues (which frankly I don’t have the energy to deal with these days).