My Future With The Web

I have been thinking about my future on the web.

The two most prevalent operating systems are designed specifically for data mining: Android and Windows 10. I use neither operating system but the design attitude nonetheless affects all computers users to one degree or another.

Social media sites, which I never use or succumbed, are all about data mining. Not to forget mostly useless.

Web sites continually grow more bloated. The idea of a simple web site seems beyond comprehension to most web designers these days. And to think that 25 years ago those of us on the web thought blinking text was too much to bear.

Web site designers seem incapable of designing a web site without the bane of the web. Overlays are a nuisance on all web sites using them.

Web site designers continue to design on monitors the size of TVs and then fail to test their font sizes on traditional desktop and laptop sized displays.

Web site design caters to smart phone usage. Anybody using a wide aspect ratio monitor suffers.

Web site designers use and embed data mining and tracking tools provided by the masters of data mining and tracking — Google. They naively think the Google folks are nice people offering these tools for free.

Web browsers are designed nowadays to accommodate tracking and data mining. Even the alleged privacy-protecting Firefox enables third-party cookies by default.

Advertising revenues and click-bait seem to be the primary motivators for many web sites. Actual value in content seems a secondary concern, if at all.

Click-bait headlines skewer news, even when the news articles seems to be factual. Regardless of the content of any news story, nobody these days knows for sure what actually to believe.

Modern journalists seem incapable of fact checking. The only thing that counts is the spin factor.

Search engines continually get worse. These days I spend far more time searching for meaningful computer solutions than only five years ago. Search engine spiders are not designed to separate the wheat and chaff. Instead they grab every single character on a web page even when the content has nothing to do with the actual search keywords. Search engine design seems more focused on ad revenues rather than providing something useful.

Searching for computer solutions often leads to stackoverflow or one of the offshoot web sites. Sometimes there are answers but almost always the discussion includes at least one anal pedant more concerned about soap-boxing and points than actually helping. When people post informative questions some anal pedant quips about the quality of the post, treating the poster like some of pet, “Good doggie!”

Computer hacking is now a full-time and lucrative business. Keeping pace with security information has grown beyond control and is no longer manageable. Everybody now is a target.

Poor and lazy design with the idiotic Internet of Things exasperates security efforts.

Gadgets and devices marketed as the Internet of Things are designed for tracking and data mining. Almost every device is designed to pierce any veil of privacy. Continual surveillance is now the norm.

Seems to me that much of what happens on the web these days is almost everybody trying to shout louder and louder.

The general attitude on the web is treat everybody as a product. As a means to an end. Legislators embrace the same mentality.

The war on general-purpose computing is alive and well. The overall push is towards more copyrights, more patents, more DRM, more lock downs. The goal is to push most people into walled gardens and keep them financially imprisoned for their lifetime.

With each passing day a part of me desires to retreat from the web. Perhaps go off-grid with respect to the web. Possibly 90% of what takes place on the web is crap. Meaningless noise.

Perhaps people have always been like this and the web only amplifies the nonsense because of the ability to connect almost instantly. Perhaps the problem is me.

Posted: Category: Commentary Tagged: General

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