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2010-02-07 15:44 (UTC)
That allusion to Wells' Morlocks and Eloi is much too close to the truth in my view. That's exactly what I mean about what the oversimplified and "directed" interface does to the end users. We have to remember what the Morlocks and Eloi really were. The Eloi were helpless sheep, the prey (and food) of the Morlocks and utterly dependent upon them for survival. Indeed, the corporate world of both Apple and Microsoft is something like that of the Morlock, as both strive to take advantage of the ignorant Eloi for their own profitability. And that's the bottom line, literally. Profit wins out over quality, appearance over function, and they continue to invest heavily in promoting this situation as "good."
What I see as a result is lines of people trooping into the library wanting to file their income taxes or handle their banking transactions online, with no conception of the inherent security issues of doing that on a public machine over the public internet... AND who walk away from the terminal to use the rest room, leaving their bank account logged in an vulnerable on the screen. Why? Because they have no idea of the mechanisms that underly what they are doing, and they've been taken in by heavy publicity campaigns to encourage this behavior as "easier" and "faster."
I see corporations requiring ALL job applicants to file a resume electronically over the web, even if the job for which they are applying is housekeeper or bus driver and has no connection to IT at all. They are turning away their best candidates, who will do the job well and be happy doing it. Those candidates have never used a computer in their life, and find it frustrating and incomprehensible IN SPITE of the supposedly wonderful GUI that is supposed to make it easy as pie. (Hint: many of them are utterly disconnected from the idea of typing on a keyboard, reading instruction or responses from a screen, or using a mouse or other pointing device.)
I do not see how this is improving anything for anyone other than a few fat cats who make cash profits that they don't need. Meanwhile we have the computer and entertainment giants (who are more and more the same people) thundering "You need a thneed" at everyone continuously, and making sure it's true by creating situations that are untenable for anyone who isn't carrying around a megapowered computing appliance connected by ultrawide bandwidth to a network filled with garbage. This is not progress, it is devolution.
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