Which is like Gatorade announcing that it has some great new flavors and the basic green flavor simply isn't cool anymore, except that there aren't a lot of blogs dedicated to sports beverages and breathlessly echoing whatever new! improved! marketing messages come their way.
This latest announcement from the technorati greatly conflicts with their fear of governmental intrusion, Joe Heller points out, but I'd be a little surprised if that produces much of a speedbump in the rush to embrace the new.
That is, Heller comments on the disconnect between fear of data collection and unquestioning embrace of the new, while Toles seems to be a bit caught up in the paranoia himself, almost suggesting that the new development is part of a government plan.
The "almost" meaning that his message is ambiguous enough to be artistically problematic if it wasn't intentional. But the coda (you may have to click and embiggen to read it) certainly suggests a specific targeting of individuals that Heller avoids.
I've commented before on how irrational I think the response to NSA data collection is. It doesn't mean I approve of it, but I don't particularly fear it, either.
To start with, it's just plain silly to get all excited about how easily you can communicate your latest cartoon, your latest baby pics, your latest witty comment, your latest selfie to the entire online world without considering the possibility that some members of your adoring cyberaudience might be in Langley, Virginia. The "duh" factor is a bit staggering.
And, certainly, every advance in cyber wonderfulness seems to further erode our ability to control and direct our messaging. I have a Twitter account and readers are welcome to follow it, but I tweet once a day to offer a quick summary of the new episode and a link.
Meanwhile, when I go up there to see what else is going on, I'm overwhelmed by the flood of blogorrhea, and I only follow a handful of people.
Yes, you can drop them and block them and delete them, but, meanwhile, it's like trying to have a conversation on a busy street with Jehovah's Witnesses and panhandlers and streetwalkers and Ned Ryersons constantly coming up and interrupting.
And I was going to say that at least Facebook makes people knock on the door, but if they go through with plans to let people post auto-play videos, well, I'm gonna be doing a lot of blocking and un-friending.
Thing you left out is that, not only do people make morbid jokes about every 10th birthday thereafter, but they dismiss much of your perspective on the world as being old and scared of the new.
Goddammit, there isn't anything new. That's the perspective you get after you've been around a few decades.
We didn't get along with our parents' generation and we said "Don't trust anyone over 30," but we should have added, "unless they are way over 30," because we often had some good conversations with people in our grandparents' generation.
Our parents may have been a bit obsessed with making sure things didn't appear on your permanent record, but our grandparents had come of age just as the entire economy collapsed out from under them, and, while it wasn't the same as having the government trying to ship you off to a rice paddy to be killed, they understood the idea that, when you ain't got nothin', you got nothing to lose.
They often admired our independence of thought and willingness to seek our own solutions, as long as we followed up with some genuine effort in that direction.
True story: Got in a conversation in 1968 about generations, and somebody wondered aloud what our kids would do to reject our values and piss us off, and someone else said, "They'll probably cut their hair, put on ties and get corporate jobs so they can make lots of money."
And we all laughed. And then a dozen years later, Alex P. Keaton burst upon the scene and wiped the silly grins off our faces.
So anyway, the other day I got in a conversation with a guy who is totally paranoid about surveillance, and I tried to reassure him that the more they collect, the less they are able to analyze any of it, and that we should be delighted to shovel as much data as we can into their banks.
And he told me that I didn't understand the power of modern computers.
And I tried to tell him that I certainly did, and that modern computers have the power to collect far, far, far more data than anyone can possibly look at.
Which he didn't get.
I also tried to explain that, if they want to know what you are up to, they can find out anyway. Otherwise, you're hiding in plain sight, you're invisible, you're lost in a haystack of data.
To which he pointed out that, if you texted "I'm going to blow up the Capitol building," their algorithms would detect it and bring it to the attention of an analyst.
To which the answer is: "And it would go in a big stack of other similar flagged items and he might get to it six months from now, or a year from now, or maybe never."
And to which the other answer is: "Then maybe we should all text 'I'm going to blow up the Capitol building' to each other."
I mean, can you imagine? Can you imagine 50,000 people a day texting "I'm going to blow up the Capitol building" to each other? Friends, they might think it's a movement!
If nothing else, it could ease the unemployment situation, though Bill Holbrook suggests otherwise.