Notes on Interface


View of NTT Docomo tower from Shinjuku Gyoen, 26 March 2017. (Detail of photo by bd)

Okay, so, here’s the thing:

▸ The software feature that you want me to use requires that I select a photo.

▸ There are hundreds of photos in the uploaded library.

▸ Therefore, I am only allowed to see twelve photos at a time, in reverse chronological order.

▸ If the photo I would use happens to be, oh, way the hell down the list, that I must simply keep clicking and clicking in order to ask you to please show me more of my photos, that I might eventually select one to use for the software feature you really, really seem to want me to use, since, you know, you won’t shut up about it, I’m probably not going to bother, and would you please, then, shut up about it?

↳ Because your interface really, really sucks. The most obvious question in the world is why you would refuse to simply open the entire album. These pathways are deliberate; you do not accidentally design such an inefficient method, as the extraneity is by definition extraneous unless, of course, it is not actually extraneity. That is to say, there must necessarily be something you get out of it, but it would seem really, really obscure. (Hint for the gallery: To wonder why a publicly traded company would show off its incompetence or inefficiency is to look at it wrongly; the idea of efficiency on which such an outlook depends is consumer oriented. The wasted clicks make some other point.)

Anyway, yeah. It’s pretty stupid. Just sayin’.


Image note: NTT Docomo tower, from Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo, 26 March 2017. (Photo by bd)


Is This Thing On, and Why Would You Care?

Brook, the jolly Humming Pirate who also happens to be a skeleton with an afro. (Detail of frame from 'Shonen Jump One Piece'.)

It occurs to wonder what actually happens when the written word is dismissed from duty and argumentation is carried out via social media with links to other people’s YouTube rants.

No, really, I just don’t get that bit about how someone wants their voice to be heard so they send you a link to an hour-long YouTube rant. Honestly, they’re like really unskilled salesmen; getting you to sit through an hour of their favorite bigot is the point. Seriously; they know they’re not going to convince you. They just want to demand that you waste a bunch of your time in order that they might feel special, and then despise you for accommodating.

Sometimes it feels stupid to post these notes, but then we might recall the godawful narration explaining poker to a James Bond audience; and something goes here about the simpleminded moralist explanations in Hunter x Hunter mixed in with the sexual molestation scene and the nostalgic bit with the guy standing there in the middle of an emergency sniffing the scent of a woman from his fingers.

No, seriously, at first it’s a combination of Dragonball and Boobah―(“Look what I can do!”)―with infantile moral lessons describing character motivations, and then ....

Which actually might prove useful, for once. Perhaps the proper response to, “Here is a long-assed video in lieu of me actually doing any work to post a proper argument,” would be to simply post episodes of Hunter x Hunter and One Piece, the latter of which actually has the courage to denounce sexual harassment by its name.

The Internet and the Attention Span

Just once, when people are arguing online, I would like to see someone complete whatever rhetorical maneuver it is they attempt.

I happened to witness someone I’m not especially sympathetic toward seemingly attempt a windward tack in order to bait an opponent. Naturally, internet discourse being what it is, there are plenty of peanuts in the gallery lining up to shell the one. The weird thing is that if they wait, this maneuver can go one of two ways, and the most obvious reading is that the early critics would be pleased by the outcome if the other actually takes the bait.

And, yes, just once I would like to see someone actually complete this maneuver. Or pretty much any other rhetorical maneuver, instead of sound-biting from one moment to the next as if nothing anyone is saying has any relevance to anything.

Does life imitate art, or is it the other way ’round? Observation suggests it’s a dynamic interaction, but if we all are supposed to loathe politics and politicians, why does everyone seem to want to behave like politicians in a political spat?

Kind of like the people who disdain or disbelieve psychology trying to psychologize.

And pretty much as vapid.

I tawt I taw a … oh, never mind

Some friends have finally given me a reason to play around with that social networking phenomenon known as Twitter, and for the time I won’t knock it. Nor will I encourage it.

But Twitter, indeed, brings me today’s great betrayal. No, no, it’s not anything profound. I’m not talking about the Obama presidency. Nor would I deign to comment on Disney’s posturing as a family-oriented company. Rather, it’s just a small thing:

What passes for reality in these United States.

As we contemplate the complexities of the reality check presented us by the proposition of a bunch of Hollywood A-listers getting gaga over British royalty, we also note with quiet and passing dignity that social networks are just one more way in which the internet allows truly clueless people to feel important.

I don’t know. These people are following me. Likely because I got myself one o’them Tweedledee thingies. You know, so I can Twit my grocery list to … oh, never mind. It’s a stupid joke, anyway.

But, yes, apparently some rich, famous folks in southern California were made slightly uncomfortable by having to think about eating under regal scrutiny.

One of those stupid robots that follows you on Twitter to make you feel important so you'll come to the site and make them feel important, too.Yeah. I needed to know this. Look, if a robot is going to “follow” me, can it at least be an intelligent one? I’ll even take sinister. Yeah, like those slow-assed shiny things from the original Battlestar Galactica series, with the Vocoder talkboxes? Yeah. I’d love to be chased by one of those. I can outrun it. The damn thing can’t shoot straight. And it sounds really groovy when I’m stoned.

Oh, right. Betrayal. Yeah. Reality check. Tinseltown and royalty. Those two sentences are very nearly mutually exclusive.

Rule number one of Twitter: If you want to Tweet, get used to looking like an idiot. Well, in the first place because you’re Tweeting. And, in the second, a lot of stupid people will follow you just because they want you to think they’re somehow important or admirable, yet they’re just morons who would suggest that some manner of “reality check” can be achieved by giving a damn about what Tom Hanks thinks about Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.