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Desktops (Apple) Operating Systems Windows Politics Apple

Mac Users More Liberal Than Windows Users 638

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-needed-something-new-to-fight-about dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "A recent survey conducted on 400,000 people — in which 52% of respondents were self-described PC (Windows) people, 25% were Mac users and 23% were neither — showed that Mac users are more politically liberal than their PC-using counterparts. 58% of Mac users were 'liberal,' as compared to 38% of PC users. Amongst other things, the survey also indicated that Mac users were, on average, more urban, younger and more educated than PC users, which could potentially be a contributing factor toward being more liberal."
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Mac Users More Liberal Than Windows Users

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  • by chrisG23 (812077) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:18AM (#35920240)
    Oh god, conservative vs. liberal with ((mac vs pc) vs linux) on an Easter Sunday.......I'm gonna go steal eggs from kids or something.
    • I am a moderate who is part of the Modern Whig Party [modernwhig.info] what Operating System can I use? Plan9?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:19AM (#35920250)

    Seriously, who the fuck cares?

  • by alispguru (72689) <bane@g s t .com> on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:25AM (#35920282) Journal

    There is at least one notorious outlier [rushlimbaugh.com].

  • Mac User
    Older
    More conservative than anything you've ever heard on radio or seen elected to office anywhere
  • Distasteful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 2ms (232331) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:27AM (#35920302)
    I find these kinds of comparisons between "liberals" and "conservatives" distasteful. For me, what my political leanings might be are about making the world better in the little way that I can as a person who can vote. They're not about sitting around and deciding I am "an X" and comparing my lifestyle etc to "the Ys" in order to find differences, feel that I'm superior, blah blah blah. Would it be too much to ask for "liberals" and "conservatives" to try to focus on finding things had in common and little less trying to find things that different from one another?
    • Re:Distasteful (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s4m7 (519684) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:39AM (#35920350) Homepage
      You're either with the people who have polarizing world views, or you're against them.
      • There are two kinds of people: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't. I'm one of the latter. (Jim Blinn)
        Then again, I'm an idiot....
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by houghi (78078)

      What is even more distasteful is that somehow some political views are viewed automagically as "bad". Having different options should be a GOOD thing.

      • Re:Distasteful (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday April 24, 2011 @11:47AM (#35921322) Homepage Journal

        What is even more distasteful is that somehow some political views are viewed automagically as "bad". Having different options should be a GOOD thing.

        Some political views are bad. There's no way around this. There are policies which are generally good for people, and supporting these policies is good; there are policies which are generally bad for people, and supporting these policies is bad. Holding different political positions is not akin to liking different flavors of ice cream.

        Your .sig illustrates this nicely. I'm guessing that you, like I and (I'm going to go out on a limb here) the majority of /.ers, understand that the PATRIOT act is a bad thing, a policy which hurts a lot more than it helps. Supporting it is therefore also bad. Anyone who supports it, no matter how good they may be in other ways, is to a certain measurable degree lowering themselves down the moral scale. They have the right to their opinion, to be sure -- and the rest of us have the right to criticize them for it.

        • I'm fully opposed to the PATRIOT act (well, that may be a mistake to say--it is a fairly lengthy piece of legislation that doubtless has merit in places, even if just by chance), but I fail to see how someone supporting it "is to a certain measurable degree lowering themselves down the moral scale."

          First of all, you've set yourself the privilege of defining the of the moral scale. Is safety greater than liberty, and to what degree? Depending on how you answer those two questions, you may or may not be a

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:27AM (#35920304)

    What's next, Fox News viewers are more conservative than PBS viewers?

  • by Oxygen99 (634999) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:29AM (#35920308)
    Christ. What a waste of time. A self selecting young, predominantly urban, affluent, middle class, college educated demographic is generally more liberal than the rest of the population? Well, I for one, am shocked.

    No, not really. What would be more interesting is in looking at what the distribution for those attitudes looks like. I'd guess Mac users would represent a classic bell curve while PC users would have a much less predictable pattern. But then I wouldn't expect the people who do this kind of "research" have any interest beyond trolling in the first place. No questions about conformity or deference to authority either. That'd be an interesting outcome...
    • Christ. What a waste of time. A self selecting young, predominantly urban, affluent, middle class, college educated demographic is generally more liberal than the rest of the population? Well, I for one, am shocked.

      Oh so THIS is the reason so many people lash out at Apple users anytime we mention something nice about Apple products. They don't like the fact we are affluent and educated. And here it was I thought they just didn't like Macbooks and iPads.

      By the way, not everyone who is liberal is in their 20s. They grow up (and for the most part remain liberal because of that pesky "college educated" tag they'll carry forever).

      • by hitmark (640295)

        Not sure about anyone else, but for me at least what tarred Apple products forever was an encounter by a internet asshat that used every chance given to claim the Apple way a better way. Something as simple as a irc file transfer that failed because the Mac side did not id the file type in the name caused a rant about how the Apple way of id-ing files where better...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 24, 2011 @09:38AM (#35920670)

        Oh so THIS is the reason so many people lash out at Apple users anytime we mention something nice about Apple products. They don't like the fact we are affluent and educated. And here it was I thought they just didn't like Macbooks and iPads.

        I believe you got that backwards. For a long time it's been very difficult to say anything critical about Apple or Apple products without hordes of very annoying supporters defending Apple, attacking you, telling you to shut up, telling you that you could just buy something else (an inane argument, as if you couldn't possibly be critical to parts of products/company policies and want them to change through public critisism).

        It has turned a bit back on the Apple supporters, yes, which they seem to be very touchy about. While this might not be you, as a group they created this themselves.

  • Suprising no. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300)

    Conservative (not to be confused with republicans, religious folk, or the other things that they statically are) are people who prefer that status quo. PC are the status quo for a computer purchase. If you are going to switch to a Mac, then you realize that you want to change.

  • by spidr_mnky (1236668) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:31AM (#35920318)

    That's not surprising at all. Here, am I talking politics or electronics?

    "Just spend enough to make it work. What's the most common solution? Let's do that."
    "I want to spend as much money as necessary to get what I'm told is the best and shiniest system possible."

    Then there are the Linux libertarians: disgusted by the major parties, trying hard (sometimes too hard) not to become cynical about their tiny minority. "Of course it's a viable solution! People will get it someday..."

    • If valuing the "most common solution" makes one conservative, than I'm a raging liberal earth hugging hippy.

      And here I thought Apple fans were the "sheeple".

      Seriously, anyone who buys anything based on its popularity is everything that is wrong with capitalism.

    • by pla (258480)
      That's not surprising at all. Here, am I talking politics or electronics?

      I do find it somewhat surprising that the Mac people's preferences basically fit every stereotype you can think of. They prefer a Vespa to a Harley, bistro-fries to normal french fries, hummus to a Hero, Indie films to blockbuster...

      I think the really telling point comes last... Mac people read Mac World, while PC people don't tend to read any platform-specific magazines. Mac people fit these stereotypes not by coincidence, but
    • by hitmark (640295)

      Not sure i like the sound of Linux and libertarian combined like that. But then i mentally connect libertarian to runaway corporatism, so maybe it is me that is the problem...

      • by sv_libertarian (1317837) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @10:44AM (#35921022) Journal
        That is the problem. Libertarianism isn't about run away corporatism, in fact corporatism is anathema to the libertarian ideology of maximum individual liberty and minimal government. Corporatism stifles the free market, which in turn stifles individual liberty and free choice. A little research beyond listening to the "I take Atlas Shrugged way too far and don't know what I'm talking about" crowd would show that.

        Or if you want to delve into Sci Fi geekery, read Heinlein's stuff, or for a fun read try Michael Z. Williamson's Freehold series. That will give you a decent dose of libertarianism.

    • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @03:32PM (#35923076) Journal

      Then, there are people like me, who use computers as a tool to get things done. I don't care which tool, just give me one that I can use to get the job done. I can use an open ended wrench, closed ended box wrench, or a socket attached to a ratchet on a bolt. Some are easier to use than others, and not one tool fits all needs.

      When all you see is nails, everything looks like a hammer. Which is the whole "left" vs "right" problem in a nutshell.

    • by greg_barton (5551)

      I'd say the apple attitude is, "spend more money if you get a well designed system that works really well."

      So if that's liberalism, then sign me up.

  • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:43AM (#35920366) Journal

    I had suspected for a long time that Windows PC's were easier to use than Macs - now we find out you actually even need a college education and a higher IQ to use one....

    lol......

  • by Epell (1866960) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:45AM (#35920370)
    52% Windows users * 38% liberal among PC users=19.76% of sample population are liberal PC users. 25% OSX users * 25% liberal among OSX users=14.5% of sample population are liberal OSX users.
  • Another factor. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder what percentage of mac users pay for their own machines. Almost everyone I've ever known with a Mac got it from their parents.Once they have a job and their own money the problem of spending $500 or $1500 on a core i5 laptop comes to light.

  • Otherwise Western Europe would have more Mac users on average than the U.S...

  • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Sunday April 24, 2011 @09:32AM (#35920634) Homepage

    52% of respondents were self-described PC (Windows) people, 25% were Mac users and 23% were neither

    So Linux has a 23% marker share? Is it that year already?

  • More educated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 24, 2011 @09:39AM (#35920676)

    I love the term "more educated". Without strict definition, it is completely useless. How is it measured?

    I have several dozen friends and associates who only have a high-school diploma, but are far "more educated" than many (most) who have masters degrees. They are self-educated, but still have a far larger body of knowledge, and integration of that knowledge.

    "more educated", as popularly used, has -zero- to do with intelligence. It has everything to do with opportunity, privilege, and money. Congratulations, wealthy folk are more likely to own Macs. They are also more likely to own a Rolex or drive an over-priced car. Sometimes the things they purchase truly are of higher quality or are inherently better. Sometimes the pricing is solely based on exclusivity and perceived status, and the product is inferior.

    BTW, I have a master's degree. I spent 10 years working full-time and self-educating, but needed to "check the box" for employment opportunities later in life. A complete waste of time and money, other than it opened some employment doors.

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @09:44AM (#35920700) Homepage

    Liberals love pretentious things. It's because they believe they're better than you, and know better than you. :-P

    *flaming mackeral* on my trolling line.

    • by mortonda (5175)

      Reminds me of one of my favorite posters - "Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us that do."

  • by DaveGod (703167) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @09:53AM (#35920740)

    Firstly, the sample refers to Hunch users only. This is not a general population sample and should not be applied to the general population. While they failed to spell out the implications of this important bit of context, Hunch did at least disclose prominently that the survey was of Hunch users, unlike PC Mag which seemed to reluctantly mention it once. The Slashdot summary however ignores it completely and thus implies reference to the general population.

    Almost a quarter of those who actually responded described themselves as neither PC or Mac. The sample is stratified and the terms "PC user" and "Mac user" no longer exist, you only have the (markedly different) categories of "self-described PC people", "self-described Mac people" and "neither". To their credit TFA not only discloses this, in the header no less, but makes it a theme of the infographic. PC Mag seems to mention it once then forget. The Slashdot summary, however, appears not to have even noticed that there is any distinction:

    52% of respondents were self-described PC (Windows) people, 25% were Mac users and 23% were neither

    These aren't relevant to each other, it's like a random collection of figures that add to 100% by coincidence. Or... Hmm. Subby appears to be promoting a Pro-Mac bias but perhaps this is really a subtle dig, intentionally implying the terms "Mac users" and "self-described Mac people" are one and the same? Have I had my own humour fail and underestimated the summary?

    There's some rather odd statistical presentation. For example "PC people are 33% more likely than Mac people to say that two random people are more different than alike". 33% looks like a big difference, but "more likely" is relative and says nothing about significance: the same figure is arrived at when 8 of the 202k PC people say that and only 3 of the 97k Mac people do (0.000040% is 33% more than 0.000026%). Why have they not simply said the full result, the almost ubiquitous way to present the result of a binary question? Any time you see statistics presented this way alarm bells should ring because it's a great way to grossly over-emphasise trivial things.

    Noted that there is no control group, no attempt to compare survey results with statistics of the general population simply in order to gauge reliability. This is despite the generally accepted view that questionnaires are utter horse shit and anyway Hunch isn't exactly a reliable scientific source.

    With the Hunch infographic, none of the above matters because the whole thing is presented as slightly tongue-in-cheek entertainment. Unlike PC Mag or the Slashdot summary which appears to take it quite seriously.

  • by Jacek Poplawski (223457) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @10:02AM (#35920808)

    Liberal by which definition? American or European? AFAIK liberal in USA means "socialist" while in the rest of the world liberal means someone who likes freedom.

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @10:23AM (#35920918)

    Once again researchers have a head up their ass by looking for correlations while ignoring causation, and then presenting the correlation in the wrong order. Don't they know that people never see the distinction and assume that the correlation translates to causation as presented? An OS is not going to influence your political views, but your political views may influence your choice of OS. If you are going to imply causation, may as well imply the right one.

    It would have been more appropriate to state that of the 308000 people polled, 44% were liberal and 56% were conservative. Of the liberals, 58% used a PC, 42% used a Mac. Of the conservatives, 75% used a PC, 25% used a Mac. A much more informative correlation, don't you think?

    • Once again researchers have a head up their ass by looking for correlations while ignoring causation, and then presenting the correlation in the wrong order. Don't they know that people never see the distinction and assume that the correlation translates to causation as presented?

      Please point to the causative claims made in TFA. Note that saying "members of group X are more likely to be in group Y" does not constitute a claim of causation.

      It would have been more appropriate to state that of the 308000 people polled, 44% were liberal and 56% were conservative. Of the liberals, 58% used a PC, 42% used a Mac. Of the conservatives, 75% used a PC, 25% used a Mac. A much more informative correlation, don't you think?

      Actually, the most informative thing to post would be the "crosstabs" as pollsters call them, a.k.a. a contingency table -- the number of respondents falling into each of the possible categories (Mac/liberal, Mac/conservative, PC/liberal, PC/conservative.) That allows you to estimate the joint distribution of political views and operating system

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