Friday, January 26, 2007

Start it Up

Today's launch of Windows Vista has already started bringing the detractors out of the Angry Nerd woodwork, roaring about bugs and patches, especially those hyper-paranoid internet denizens that constantly fret about being watched, or observed, or recorded, the ones that use the phrase "Orwellian" and genuinely do not expect you to stab them with a utensil. Though I've found that my friends of this type are typically the absolute last people I would expect to be performing any sort of incriminating, or even interesting, activities in their off-hours--I would be shocked if any of them even leave dishes in the sink overnight--I admit that it lends them a certain air of mystery, like they might come home after a long day at work, take off their cuff links and unbind their breasts, then sit down with a cup of cocoa and a snuff film.

Someone's got a case of the Mondays...

Now, I'm not against my webdoings being recorded for future use; at one point while writing my college thesis, the only thing that kept me from lashing the other end of my school tie to the overhead light fixture was checking my Ebay feedback for the brief buoy of being described as A+++++. But considering the fact that I am a moth to any NSFW flame that gets passed my way, I don't see how anything named a "cookie" would be the thing that brings the government to my door. When friends complain that they're worried that their work's IT department will pick up the use of swear words or references to actual social events taking place outside of their office, I apologize, then write a Tourette's-like stream of filter-trippers (fuck shit sex Hitler bestial heroin manga) in transparent text at the bottom of the email. It's not that I think computers aren't smart- Clippy's intuition as to when I'm writing a letter is uncanny, and Joshua figured out how to win a global thermonuclear war back when I was still writing "BOOBIES" upside down on my calculator- it's just I don't think the people monitoring them care.

Of course, I'm not saying that the new wave of recommendations systems are infallible-you post one sarcastic fake review of a friend's book on Java algorithms, and Amazon thinks you're Bill Gates for the next four years- but all in all, they're pretty spot-on about most of their suggestions. When I go to my Netflix account and find that they think I'd like some of my already-favorite movies , I feel momentarily validated, like I've done something right, followed the correct course of human existence or something. I think my ultimate fear is to login to Netflix and find that the "Movies You'll Heart" section looks like this:

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At January 30, 2007 5:52 PM, Blogger Garthmeister J. said...

I am too frightened to login to my Netflix page. I'm sure it's going to say something like "Dude, you've had 'Requiem for a Dream' checked out for 18 months. What are you, a psycho?".

Of course the jokes on them - I haven't watched one of their DVDs in months, yet I have yet to cancel my account. I am the worst (or best, I guess) Netflix customer ever. It's like I'm donating to them for having a great business model.

At January 31, 2007 3:28 PM, Blogger Joe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At January 31, 2007 3:29 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Whoa, RBaL! Did you know that you made it to the Gawker website with this post???

I always knew you'd hit the big time!

ha ha!


joe "TFKoP"

At January 31, 2007 3:48 PM, Blogger the girl also blogs said...


At February 01, 2007 1:35 PM, Blogger WD to Evers to Chance said...

You know, all of your technophile friends could avoid all the hassle and trouble of Vista, the upgrades, the hardware comparisons, the faulty drivers, all of it. All of it could be gone in a sweet, swift second if they did just one thing different. Just buy a Mac.

ps - greatest fake netflix screenshot EVER. yes, i have done research on the subject, thankyou...

At February 01, 2007 1:36 PM, Blogger Ryan Jett said...

There's nothing like a faceless, cyber corporation passing moral judgement on your soul. Well done.


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