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> Normal muggles care for none of this conversation.

If only because the same companies are training users to require all these extras, by effectively (and mostly inadvertently) erasing past knowledge. I'm sure Google would love it if their engineers could remove dialing entirely, what number could you possibly want to call that's not listed in Google somewhere?

A lot of those same muggles were/are fine before these services came along and many likely want it to stay the same.

> They want something that works, which is what modern smartphones do.

Ha! You're funny.

Look at one process I'm sure most of us are familiar with: getting a cute girl's (or guy's) phone number. With flip phones this was simple- pull up the dialer, punch in the number, hit save instead of dial, done (or just dial and save later). No waiting, no fuss. Now with my smartphone that same process is:

* key in my passcode / fingerprint / whatever

* wait for UI to animate, notifications to process, and for the OS to catch up (cause powersave is now off). 3-10 seconds on average of awkwardly staring at the screen and apologizing for the phone's slowness

* hit phone icon, wait another second for my touch to register than another 5-20 seconds for phone app to start

* enter number, hit Add To Contacts, meanwhile all inputs are lagging about a half second behind my actions. Wait for contact screen to appear (another 3-10 seconds)

* enter her name, maybe snap a photo (about the only real value-add in this process), hit Save, again waiting half a second or so for UI lag after each touch

If going out with a flip phone didn't make one such a large target socially you can be sure more would be rockin' it.




It sounds like you have a really slow smartphone.


This has been my experience with EVERY smartphone after six months or so. Unless a 2015 Moto Pure X is considered slow now? (It wouldn't be, IMO, if Android didn't somehow eat 60% of RAM with nothing running)

I have run all kinds of app loads, with stock and hacked operating systems, and things ALWAYS end up this way. The only way to avoid it seems to be to install barely anything.


> Look at one process I'm sure most of us are familiar with: getting a cute girl's (or guy's) phone number

People still get phone numbers? I just get LINE user names (which you exchange by scanning a QR code). I'm sure in other countries it's WhatsApp or Facebook accounts...


A lot of these people were fine before smartphones themselves came along. A lot of people were fine before phones. A lot of people were fine before agriculture or stone tools. Does that mean much?


It does when the replacements make life appreciably worse or more complicated, and it matters even more when the old ways are deprecated, made unfashionable, or just flat-out unavailable.

Look at John Deere.... we went from "software on tractors" to what is shaping up to look like a massive battle over intellectual property rights. Those new Deere tractors are superior in almost every appreciable way and yet we have another case of the OEM inserting themselves way too far into something that they do not belong in. Are farmers luddites for rejecting Deere's bullshit?


> the replacements make life ... more complicated

It's a long-held belief of mine that (what society considers) neurotypical people, enjoy making their lives more complicated. They pursue things that do so. (It's half the point of the societal encouragement to have kids the moment you get married: it keeps life challenging by adding complexity faster than the added stability of life-partnership can take complexity away.)

> Are farmers luddites for rejecting Deere's bullshit?

I'm not totally sure; don't know that much about this story. (Do you have a link? Maybe submit it as an article!)

My entirely-uninformed intuition is that agro-tech generally is such a different thing now than it was in the past, that legal precedents from the past won't serve us very well.

We don't just have fancier tractors now; we effectively have "a crop-growing+harvesting system in a box—just add ops staff." The modern large-scale farmer is now doing a job that bears less resemblance to the act of classical subsistence farming, than it does to the act of being a feudal lord with serfs. The serfs are robots made by John Deere. Does that give John Deere some different rights than they had when they just made tools for humans to operate? I'm not sure. I can be certain that it's not an "easy, obvious" question, though.


But the farmer is purchasing physical property with a software component. John Deere is abusing the software industry's history of license agreements to further its business objectives of controlling repair revenue. While many here seem to take the notion of ownership for granted we forget that it is one of the few things that elevate us above modern feudalism. An attack on ownership is an attack on many of the freedoms that underpin modern life today.

https://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/07/25/farmers-fight-for-rig...

https://www.law360.com/articles/830803/farm-tool-dealer-can-...

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/08/17/432...

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/04/09/523...

This looks a lot like the relationship between Apple or Google and their customers.


Like I said, totally uninformed—but I can see the analogy to, say, driverless cars. I don't expect that, in the long term, people will really "own" driverless cars—they require too much dealer-side maintenance, and Bad Things can happen if the "owner" of a driverless car prevents a software update from happening (things that can take the car from road-legal to not, where the law would place the blame for that status on the manufacturer.)

More likely, I think driverless cars will just be rented to people. And most of them won't even be that; the manufacturers will just build pools of them and hire them out, in the mode of taxis. The owner and "driver" will be the manufacturer; the people benefitting will be purely passengers.

I don't see what invalidates that logic when translated over to agro-tech: there's no reason John Deere will end up selling tractors, when they could instead contract them out, just as a temp agency contracts out their employees. They'd be the owner and the operator, insofar as they programmed the things and they're mostly running on automatic. The control buttons on such robots would just be for making "requests", and the owner would be free to ignore them. ("Don't like it? Hire someone else!")

Of course, for now, they're trying to get the benefits of being in that hypothetical world, while still existing in our own, which seems a bit silly. :)


It is my hope that there will be a contingent of people that can effectively resist, or maybe even destroy, this coming wave of rentals. If not, people will more often find themselves at the mercy of far more, and far larger, organizations that are not likely to care about them. You can see this already with Apple's App Store and the like


You guys have digressed a bit from the original topic, but I wanted to jump in and say that I agree with you, and so do a lot of other people.

I go to great lengths to keep Google and the like out of my life, and I find it really strange how accepting, and even defensive, people are with these intrusive services. It's a Brave New World, and Stallman was right.




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