In Which CD Showers Lavish Praise upon Lambert
And so, I take a bow, make a leg, tip my hat, and offer my profoundest and most sincere thanks to the man who makes it all possible, Lambert. My weekend started a few hours ago, so forgive me for this rant but I don't feel like doing any real work and this issue actually has a bit of political relevance in addition to just me being a fawning fan. Thank you, Lambert. And fuck you, JSKit, Disqus, Blogger, WordPress, Facebook and all the rest of you fucking lazy ass motherfuckers who have seen fit to deny me almost all of my other regular blogs. You suck. He rocks.
I am not rich. One thing I can't afford right now is a new computer. But I don't need one, god dammit! I use Macs (not trying to start the flame war here) for a reason- they last. I have two perfectly functional PowerBook G4s, and although I have to use a different machine to play DVDs (that was the sole issue with the G4s afaik) in every other way they work fine. I use them to do email, professional writing, blah blah what computers are for and they work fine. I had been using them blogging as well, but alas... it seems I am no longer welcome in the growing social networking environment. Simply because I cannot upgrade to the newest Mac OS, because my machines run on a different chip than the new ones and there is no bridge or whatever between the two operating systems.
One by one, over the last year or so, blogs that I read have gone dark for me. I either can't load them fully, can't comment on them, or both. It's really illuminating to behold, as a process. My favorite gay blog went dark yesterday. I literally experienced it as it happened. At 2pm I could still post there and load the page with full comments. At 5pm, I was shut out. It was eerie and odd.
I am not a programmer, so I don't understand what is going on here. I'm also not a computer expert, and the Apple download pages are sort of sucky, so I couldn't figure out how to even try to "minimally upgrade" to the OS Firefox says it still supports. And anyway, I love Safari. I'm used to it and that's what I want to use, and paid to use when I bought this machine. Whatever, I asked a Mac savvy friend and he said, "you're fucked until you get a new machine." Sigh. I contacted various programmer types at JSShit etc., and they gave me the standard "Apple doesn't support it any more so we don't have to." Shorter them: fuck off, loser. Get a job. Well, I have three. But I don't have a spare 2K for the Mac I'd buy if I had that choice. I guess I'm undeserving, or something.
Politically speaking, and in terms of socio-economics, this slow and inexorable fade to black is sort of fascinating to me. We have all discussed the "digital divide" on other threads and topics before, and how the poor are kept poor due to their inability to become computer savvy at a basic level. Anyone who has taught poor children has seen this up close, as I have, and it's heartbreaking. Every day that passes locks them further into perpetual poverty, because they won't be able to keep up with their richer, more technologically endowed peers. Even cell phones, for all they've become little computers, aren't enough. The way to stay in the game today requires that one is able to purchase a new machine about every 2 years. Those of us who can't can get stuffed. Why do you think that is?
The obvious answer: rent. The computer industry/software industry/internet and social networking industry have got us all believing that the rent model is acceptable when it comes to computer technology. This makes me see with the Red Haze like little else. The analogy I like to use is this: cars. You can still drive a Model T on today's roads. Sure, you're not going to win any drag races and you might have to go a bit out of your way to find leaded gas or whatever, but if the tires are good and the engine works, you can tool around just like your great-great Flapper grandma did back in the day. And even if we do some day see the long-dreamed of Flying Cars on the market, it's not like the government would tear up old-fashioned roads; flying cars would likely be a luxury item for a long time before they became a standard. Gas companies wouldn't want to let go of the market they have for traditional cars either; even people driving beaters need to buy gas and too much of our economy is related to oil.
But somehow, the "information superhighway" is different. One of my clients is working on this major tech project and we talk about this frequently, because he wants his product/service to be available to any computer user, no matter how outdated they may be. Of course it makes his life/work a bit harder, but the market he's reaching for is the entire market, not just middle and upper class tech buyers who can afford the latest computer woo. I honestly can't understand why JSKit, Disqus, etc., would not want the same thing. I don't have much money, but I very much practice "support your local blogger" by clicking the ads on their blogs. I won't be doing that anymore at many sites, and that will hurt the bloggers I want to support.
You can probably see where I'm going with this. Is this on purpose? Which is to say, are these changes to blogging/social networking technology designed to shut out poor voices, and affect the climate of social networks? I'm really starting to think it is. When only upper-middle class Obots can leave comments at political blogs, valid critiques of the administration's policies are lost and silenced. I have always loved Lambert's motto "If you have no place to go, come here." Well, apparently so do the people who make decisions about how blogs and commenting systems are programmed. There is a whole additional conversation about issues like registration, hosting, etc., that I'm not qualified to discuss but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Anyway, if you have any, give Lambert some money. The button is right over there. He fucking deserves it. And someday, you may find yourself in the same position I am, and you'll be glad of this place. I don't really have time for Serious Blogging anymore, which is why I haven't been posting much, but goddanm it's a nice option to have for the rare moments when I can blow off real work. Thank you, Lb, for making it still possible for this po negre chil.