Hola, GS Homeslices,
I hope everyone's Summer of 2013 is going smoothly. Mine is going pretty good. Looking forward to my 3 day weekend (Summer courses at Seattle Central are only 4 days per week).
Well, Gmail has officially p___ed me off. This morning, as part of my waking ritual, I did the usual: take a leak, brush teeth, shave, put on a cup of coffee, and fired up the laptop to check email. Upon checking my email, via Gmail, I noticed their new interface. It separates your email into 3 catagories: primary, social, and promotions. How would Gmail know what email fits into what catagory? They're snooping through your email.
I'd always figured the ISPs and web service companies did this sort of thing. And now they're pretty overt about it. Hell, how many times have I mentioned something in a personal email...only to see the same contents in ad banners shortly after? The governments are basically just middle management bozos for big businesses, so I don't expect anything to actually be done about it. In fact, they've probably inacted laws allowing these pricks to do it. Hell, former Vice President Dick Cheney is Haliburton's head honcho, and the Bushes' big oil interests got America into 3 wars (Iraq twice, and Afghanistan). Now, corporate manipulation has intensified to the point of them practially doing it right out in the open.
On a similar note: Level Up Labs are throwing an update for Defender's Quest on GOG. Well, this update improves mod support...and comes with a "license agreement". Yep, even though it's DRM-free, Level Up Labs are treating the game as a "purchased license" instead of purchased property. Knowing how the corporate machine works, and its will to control, I knew GOG couldn't keep it up forever. Which is why I copied my purchases onto my external hard-drive -and I encourage y'all to do the same.
Over the past few months, I've been steadily unplugging from the machine. I've gotten back into lifting weights and writing song lyrics. My blogs are far shorter and 2-4 weeks apart. Aside from research for school, and a bit of L4D2, I don't game online anymore. Though, UT2004 and Open Arena (free, legal, open-source Q3 clone) occassionally becon. These latest events have pushed me farther away from the internet.
In a recent paper for Cultural Anthropology, I addressed issues that have played a part in my 'disengaging':
"While I enjoy entertainment quite a bit, I don't care much for the industry that has been allowed to control much of it. I enjoy watching DVDs and playing video games on my laptop PC, and listening to music on my smartphone (used to do so on a cheap, 2GB MP3 player), but I haven't owned a television set in years. Nor do I want to own a TV. I hardly bother with radio stations either. Video games? PC games (usually non-DRMed) from the 6th generation (1999-2007) or earlier. I prefer to pick and choose my own entertainment, which is usually very hit-and-miss with what the industry big wigs throw at us.
Why bring up entertainment? Because it's supposed to reflect our desires and values. Unfortunately, it's often used to attempt to dictate our desires and values to us. Once I get the feeling that that's what's going on, I shut down.
At this point, though I prefer the internet over cable or radio, I'm growing weary of the internet as well. It's turning into all the things I don't like about TV. The forums, where people exchange views on certain issues online, have become a cesspool of snide remarks and baseless claims thrown around by people who seem to severely lack social skills. Above the forums and to their left and right panels, we get bombarded with advertisement banners. Just like TV: reality show X has participants treating eachother like $#!+ and making asses of themselves, and it's just filler for time slots between advertisements. The internet is now like TV: ad dollar gluttons with human dysfunction as filler. Pass."
These latest events only further enforce those sentiments. I'll occassionally pop my head in to read some of y'all's blogs and even drop a comment here-and-there. But my activity on the internet in general is gonna dry up quite a bit due to alotta this crap.
Take Care & Get What You Can Outta the Machine -'Cause It's Gettin' Quite a Bit Outta You
-nate1222/hare122 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube