Saturday, February 04, 2006

Argument from Sample Defect

by Tom Bozzo

Behind the Times Select paywall, Joseph Nocera complains that deceased iPods in his household are bugging him, and wonders how many of the world's 42 million iPod users feel the same way. Never fear if you don't subscribe, because you can read the bulk of it for free at Crooked Timber, only it was written a year-and-a-half and a couple tens of millions of iPods ago by Eszter Hargittai.

I don't have an answer for Nocera, exactly, but the null hypothesis would have to be, 'not enough to establish iPod=lemon as a business destroying meme.' Which is not to say that Apple might not do better to avoid irritating NYT columnists and members of the blogiverse's A-list.

What's a bit more annoying about Nocera's account is that he describes rejecting the $59 AppleCare on the theory that it's too expensive ex ante — i.e., voluntarily self-insures — then complains ex post about the iPod-like $250 out-of-warranty repair price. Which goes, of course, to show just what a silly man Steven Landsburg is.
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