I read this article, as I read dozens of others in a week, with a ready grain of salt alongside my willingness to be educated.
It's about internet marketing, as you can probably tell from the title of Is Search Dying – and Will Your Business Die With It?
First, I should point out that I'm unconcerned with the idea of the entire world going to the "cloud." Amazon's recent data storage misadventure combined with the PlayStation hack where a bazillion users had their data stolen tells me that this rush to cloud living is a bit ahead of itself.*
I don't doubt they'll solve the purely technical problems--data storage and retrieval within the near future but I also don't doubt that human nature will continue to be what it has always been and any encryption one person uses, another person (or their computer) can hack.**
Anyhow. Not to sidetrack myself or anything.
I was reading the article (about computer advances and the ubiquitous "app") when I ran across this paragraph, broken up for convenience of complaining about specific bits:
That day came barely three years later, with the debut of the iPhone and the iOS operating system. Gesture-based manipulation of objects on a touch-sensitive screen was suddenly within the reach of millions of people.
And now I'm full of so much rage and despair I don't know which to address first.
I've never handled or, really, paid any attention to the whole iPhone thing and had no idea what the big deal about it was. Now this paragraph explains that the interface relieved people of the need to just evolve, already by letting them to go back to getting through life by poking stuff with a stick.
Color me underwhelmed by humanity's progress.
Many of these had never used a personal computer, or had tried and failed to use a keyboard- and-mouse-controlled PC, lacking the time or aptitude to learn.
The idea that a mouse is too hard--that just oodles and oodles of people lack the aptitude to put their hand on what's essentially a rolling rock and move it to move a little symbol on a screen is manifestly absurd.
Even stupid. Anyone too stupid to move a mouse is going to be too stupid--excuse me--lack the "aptitude"--to learn how waving their arms around accomplishes the same thing.***
Even the real-world metaphor of the file folder is prohibitively difficult for most people to grasp. What is a file, anyway? How can a file be so many different things – a photo, a song or a book?
Now the author is reaching. I've never met anyone for whom the "metaphor" of a "file" was "prohibitively" difficult to grasp. If nomenclature had been this big of a problem, they'd have started calling files something else in the last 20 years.
And why do I need to navigate through folders to tuck my document in a safe place – one that I’m forced to remember or face the possibility I’ll lose it forever?
If you're that stupid, you deserve to lose it.
Anyhow. The rest of the article was really good but this one paragraph left me in despair over the future of our species.
It's possible I haven't had enough coffee.
* That might sound absurd coming from someone who needs only a laptop and a handy internet connection to do 99.9% of her job, but still.
** Cloud data simply isn't secure. The password protected file on your home PC is a more secure environment for your confidential data.
This is not because the security measures taken for cloud data aren't massive, because they are. It's because any time you put a million people's financial information in one spot, that spot becomes a huge target for hackers.
Breaking in to your home PC might give a hacker a single bit of negotiable information. There's a very good chance you'll notice the problem immediately and a 98% chance you'll take instant steps to change passwords and alert financial organizations that your data was stolen. That's because it's personal--they broke into your house-computer.
Breaking into PlayStation gives them data for millions of people and, unlike your personal PC, it's an impersonal crime. It didn't happen at your house--the break-in happened elsewhere. I'll bet only about half the people potentially affected bothered to take any steps to protect themselves after the news was released. It's--remote and consequently less "real" if it happens somewhere else.
*** Unless they sneeze, in which case they'll find they accidentally purchased three dishwashers, ten cases of dog food, and a subscription to Little Movements Mean Big Profits Monthly, all of which have already shipped by the time they finish blowing their nose.