2015.03.28 scatterings

Monday 2015.03.30

As I start this note, it’s not much surprise to me that I’m typing these first words as I find myself, once again, waiting.

I was just trying to say that this is a state of things that has become more and more normal, and endlessly time consuming and time-wasting, when the software I’m using, Microsoft Word, crashed. This happened, as far as I can tell, because I committed the terrible mistake of pressing keys to type words into a document in a word processor. Silly me.

This is just one item of many that contribute to the general nature of what this particular note is going to be, a somewhat random scattering of items.

It’s a bit of a question to know for sure how much might be due to malfunction of that particular software, on its own, as it’s running on the system here along with the Mozilla software I have going, the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client program, bith very popular and now long-running programs that were once very good indeed, and have become, inexplicably, bloated malfunctioning pieces of excrement. In mentioning these, I should mention that both of these are versions that are now many version numbers old, but the reason for that is simple. I realized some time ago that each version of both programs was getting worse and worse with each new “upgrade”, and so I stopped downloading “upgrading”, even though it became a constant annoyance to have Firefox popping up notifications of a new version that I simply must install, or major trouble will result.

People using this software will have noticed some time ago that the version numbers (of both programs) began climbing at a ridiculous rate, with somebody apparently deciding that every little change in programming required a whole version number (e.g., like going from version 1.0 to 2.0, rather than, say, 1.0 to 1.01 or 1.1), and, interestingly, it seems from my observations that this trend started around the same time as the turn of both Firefox and Thunderbird down a path going from being fine fine functional well designed software to garbage).

Things are waiting, working (supposedly), and that gets into a whole saga that, skipping a long story, involves the corporate behemoth known as AT&T and their chronic massive failures, long running massive chronic failures. I’ve mentioned this before, and that’s a saga that just keeps running, like a health ailment that just never gets better and seems as if it is just a permanent condition, even though there is a cure.

In some TV channel grazing a few days back, I came across one of the commercial broadcast network prime time entertainments sometimes thought of as “newsmagazine” shows for lack of a better term. These things are increasingly trashy and useless, often more like the grocery store checkout line tabloid trash periodicals than anything resembling journalism, frequently featuring maudlin story themes (cue the sad piano music) or sensationalized trivia, or just plain petty stupidity.

I came across this program and watched a few minutes of a segment that was about the subject of contemporary American corporate business and “customer service call centers”. In what I watched, there was no revelation to anybody with any sense andpaying any attention. It was the theme of “customer service” phone operations making the idea of customer service into a euphemistic bad joke, where service of a customer is the last thing happening, to be avoided at all costs, frustrating people until they just give up, thereby relieving the business in question of the problem of actually taking responsibility and correcting their faults and problems.

This is certainly the case of the operation known as AT&T, making their current advertising meme of “Rethink Possible” into some kind of sadistic bad joke. Rethink possible. The farcical operation of AT&T certainly forces one to rethink possible, and the general conclusion is that it’s not possible to get them to so much as even comprehend and acknowledge their malfunctions, never mind taking responsibility and diagnosing and fixing their failures and malfunctions.

[As a relevant side note- It might be interesting to some people to note that despite the familiarity of the name AT&T, the corporate entity known today as AT&T has little relevance to what was historically AT&T, what was basically the national telephone company in the United States. In a long convoluted story following “deregulation”, and the breakup of “the Bell System”, eventually it all went through a saga of corporate Borg assimilation until the name AT&T was taken over by what was once Soutwestern Bell, later known as SBC, which, from what I can gather, developed quite a reputation as an extraordinarily shitty company among the Bell System operations that were generally known and respected for solid competent service. This might be a profound point to ponder about how things work now, that the worst of the Bell phone companies ended up taking over everything nationally.]

I was flipping around through the channels, and that segment was one that I stayed with for just a few minutes. Another segment in the same hour program was about people and their dramas revolving around having major problems because somebody decided they didn’t like their online activities, their “digital footprint”. In the short bit of time I stayed with that, among other things was a clip of an interview with somebody behind a desk yapping about rooting through the internet for a person’s “digital footprint”, scrutinizing it for signs that, God forbid, the person might have thoughts and opinions, maybe even not in perfect conformance, have an actual identity of their own, maybe even living like an actual human being.

Elsewhere, in media slightly more interesting than the faux-news infotainment found in things like the American commercial television network “news magazine” entertainment diversions, the radio show This American Life had an interesting segment about a guy struggling with the amazing problems encountered by people who actually talk honestly about, well, seemingly anything. That was interesting substantial programming, I thought. It really did cover, very well, what I think might be one of the most important actual stories of the here and now, in early 21st century America, which is how much of a problem we have in people really not wanting to know, to put it simply. It’s a vital, crucial question. How much running through everything in life in the contemporary US revolves around sheer bullshit, from the level of personal lives and circumstances and encounters right up to the biggest items and issues on the public scale?

Need To Know Basis | This American Life

The show segment was more or less about individual personal encounters, but it struck me as pretty profound and worthwhile food for thought about us becoming a people, for lack of a better succinct way to phrase it, bullshitting our way through everything.


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