A Rant Against the Machine

"You know" - back when the XBox One was announced ... people got upset. It was such an enormous upset, that it ultimately drove Microsoft to do the impossible. Well, at least they tried to ... sortof imply that something was impossible and then it wasn't impossible anymore. Well, details shmetails.
The ... "discourse" ... around the Launch of the XBox One and the PS4 ... was like ... this insane cultural phenomenon - and much of how the world is today, can be somehow tied back to that "event".

Well, maybe not exactly. The world was about to change - and Microsoft thought it could ride this wave ... and yet instead they shattered at the rocky shores. Maybe Sony was about to do the same with the PS4 - and maybe they saw in time what happened to Microsoft and THEREFORE chose not to do it. Some say that that was the case, and I want to comment on the matter here.

So, as the story went, much of what Microsoft had announced - that got people upset - eventually ... happened anyway. So, people at the very least didn't want a Kinect in their living room; And maybe it is because of that, that a lot of the dystopian sci-fi still remains science fiction.
In a sense, Microsoft was ahead of the time. What we now have in terms of Alexa and Siri and these sorts of Smart Home, A.I. gadgets - the X-Box one was somehow intended to pioneer that. And by today, that would have probably spawned a far more advanced range of hardware solutions to connect your life with the internet of things.

Part of what got people really mad, was this push towards: You don't own what you pay for mentality. So in regards to games per chance, that if you bought it physically, in a physical store, you'd basically just get an mostly empty CD with some access code on it. And pretty much ... only bought the right to play it; While the Box also had to be connected to the Internet at all times.
A point to be made here is, that in terms of what is technologically doable - the dystopian nightmare is a lot closer than one might think.
What so happened was, that people didn't adapt to what was planned - and thus they had to change their plans - as, well, to cater to what we wanted. And yet, I would argue, they tried to push us further and further into the nightmare.

'The Internet of Things' - [scoffs] - I thank God that it's one of those Buzzwords that never quite took off. Maybe that makes me one of them "Neo Ludites" that some people may be talking about - but I like to think that there are right and wrong ways to go about certain things.

Since then, I grew extremely skeptical of Microsoft. I mean, from what was going on in my head - I couldn't help but basically see Ganon's face all over it - laughing at the world like in the Game Over Screen of Link's Adventures.

Now, at some points people might want to imply financial reasons. Businesses have to be sustained somehow - and we cannot be upset over corporations laying off people, while at the same time not being willing to buy their stuff. But between what Software Corporations ask of us and what we are willing or capable to give - there's a little bit of a disconnect it seems. But that is a different story ... one for another time.

Because ... just like "we", "the consumer" can be made responsible for their "dire circumstances" or whatever - there are yet words that capitalists like to throw at us. Consumer Satisfaction, per chance. Capitalism is weird ... because, sure, in theory it should work. People earn money by doing their part to the whole. Part of the whole is to design products and services - and if that happens to be something we want to pay for, the world keeps on turning. And yet, for a while, the whole Gaming Industry for instance looked more like a Meth Lab to me, than ... doing anything even just remotely resembling the production of 'good product'. But well ...

What I'm getting at is, that what we're being offered - ever so often has a chance to change our lives forever. And if that triggers some "XBone versus PS4" related PTSD in some, well ... "you're welcome" ... I guess.
The idea so being, that if people accepted a Video Games console that didn't allow you to actually buy and own anything other than the hardware - that would set a precedent. To lure people in, the console might be equipped with all sorts of stuff. TV, Digital Receiver, Streaming, A Heartrate Monitor, a Knock off of a Star Trek board computer - and of course some dubious "Family Friendly" label on it ... maybe.
On the one hand that might generate a monopoly, on another it might set new standards - revenue-wise perhaps. I mean, since Microsoft has the upper hand when it comes to capital - ... I mean, I suppose that the plan was alright. Doubling and Trippling down on striking deals that get people on board with their platforms. "Convenience" and what not.

It's a first world problem for sure. And per chance so niche - that it luckily passed by without phasing a whole lot of people. Thus being at all ... lost in the rubble of history - not even worth a footnote, it would seem. And so, what was meant to happen in one fell swoop - is in a sense, these days, a silent, ongoing process.
Well - if you ever hear someone speak negatively of "always online" - I'm sure there's a tiny echo from that event resonating therein.

If we were to get back to it - I'm sure we'd still have very relevant discussions. To just highlight, that ... we're not really in the clear yet. Though I guess there aren't many that'd really want to have those discussions.

And yea, things ought to level out somehow - as we'd adjust to what we want to adjust to. Which takes me to my grievance for today. I've recently started up the Amazon Prime app on my PS5 - and ... I was confused. That was right around the time where I noticed that the YouTube app also had changed a bit. Both used to be ... somewhat pleasant to the eye. Maybe not perfect, but alright. Each presented movie or show or video took the same amount of space on the screen - small enough so a good amount would fit onto it - and it was alright to browse through what was available.
Now however - there are like two videos that consume the upper bar, and at the bottom a second bar is seen - which seems to be like ... 2/3 of what used to be visible at a glance ... just gone. And Amazon Prime ... sheesh. That's like someone threw a grenade into a library.

It doesn't seem like much - but the extent to which those decisions are incomprehensive to me - I must assume something fishy to be the reason behind it. If we're feeling bold, we may wonder: Is it a co-incidence (yea, I'm not sure if any good question ever started that way) that right around the time where dystopian web-apps of various persuasion are encroaching onto the mainstream - anything that stands in its ways tries their hardest to scare its customers away?

I mean, I don't think that Elon Musk, as an individual, would have an interest in doing so. There clearly isn't any perceivable financial incentive to encourage people over into the Zuckerverse. Or whatever right wing fasco alternative there is. And we've learned that Twitter's hands were by no means clean in this culture war. Much to the benefit of those on the right. Like, as always - though sure, they need someone to blame for their ineptitude nonetheless. But what Meta has going on is a lot more in terms of analytical infra-structure, "algorithmically speaking". And whatever that would take us to - would require Twitter to be removed. Just saying.

It sounds silly. It's more likely that - so, concerning YouTube and Amazon Prime - we aren't "supposed to" have like choice, we aren't "supposed to" be under the impression that we're free. By that, we are to feed into what is presented to us.

Like so, I also sometimes don't understand why YouTube does what it does when it comes to playing Advertisement. Sometimes I'm so tilted by advertisement - that I flat out refuse to watch a video because I don't have the nerve to sit through the ads.
How often does it happen, that I'm sitting there chill enjoying a video - and right at a pivotal moment where some critical info is being presented ... |advertisement|. And it drives me nuts.

I don't want to claim to know what's going on - why - and how it is our own fault actually - but more and more aspects of this world that are meant to be to our convenience, to our leisure, have turned into torture. I mean, I don't tune into YouTube to get mentally Waterboarded. I select specific videos for that purpose. Well, not exactly - but ... it's an informed decision I have to make sometimes.

As for Amazon Prime, maybe they want to hide that what they have to offer isn't all that ... much anymore. Which however takes me to another thing. I think to remember, that PayTV, at least here in Germany, never really took off. Yet today ... it's like everyone and their mother just has to have their own Streaming Platform. Paramount+ really was that one straw that broke my Camel's back. I mean, what the fuck? "Welcome to 2023!"?

But, since we can imagine where these things might take us - we don't really need them to succeed in their individual schemes. Whatever they may be. We only need them to succeed as much as is beneficial to our cause.
I mean, as for what's on my mind there is a plethora of nonsense. And yea, how the USA for instance is pro-actively anti recycling and pro waste ... is a part of that.

And - I suppose, this whole ... "nonsense empire" (hmm ... "Meta Babylon"?) ... is what I chose to be "the Capital of Crime" ... just to provide a proper outlet to that "prophecy". I mean, it's inevitable anyway ... but ... I have to find a way to tell myself that I did what I could.

And sure - if you want to know what would really awaken the "Anakin turned Sith" in me - (you know, the whole "I hate you" thing) - it's this type of stuff. I hate it with a passion.
It's like cancer. Or an incredibly large, incredibly convoluted knot that is just an utter nightmare to undo. Especially when not allowed to take sides; So we can't just "shift+Delete" the internet. Which sometimes I really feel like doing.

Not that I could ... [sigh] :( ...
Or should.
Or actually want to.

But we need "sides" - eventually - in as far as there are things we want to save ... or maintain. And I guess we also don't want everything to become Chinese. I mean, that could be worse. Though, I suppose they too are a part of this whole thing.

So ... Welcome to 2023 - volume 2/2.