World has changed

By | July 31, 2014

I remember even as recently as five or six years ago, I’d eagerly await software updates, glad of the new features and increased capabilities.

But gradually I’ve learned to dread software updates as these days all they do is to remove features, reduce capabilities and generally make my life worse.

Now a posteriori – that is, from so many observed instances in the wild – I generally try to do anything I can to minimize the amount of upgrades that occur since nothing good will come of it.

But why is modern software so user hostile?

There probably isn’t one reason only. There never is an human affairs. But as I’ve noted before, software can’t help but respond to and reproduce general trends in society. And society right now is much about removing control and self-determination from individuals – with NSA spying, decreased funding for social programs, increased credentialism, etc.

Mozilla’s now-cachetic Firefox is the example I use most, but there are many others.

If a software update happens to a regular user/consumer product these days, I can almost guarantee that it will get worse. (Interestingly, software for enterprise-class products which I also use extensively is still improving.)

I used to be firmly opposed to this, but perhaps there should be some sort of licensing that occurs – similar to a driver’s license test – before one can use a computer, tablet or smart phone.

Would this help? I don’t know. Probably not. But I don’t have any better ideas until someone creates a gene-inserting virus that raises IQ by 30 points.