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I can't help but be disappointed in the direction that technology has directed us into, especially social media.
While I love my girlfriend, she more often than not spends her time scrolling away at the dumbest shit on Instagram, Facebook, .. reels. Reels everywhere. And she's not dumb, mind you. She's an engineer just as much as you (presumably) and I are. Just in a different field.
When looking into it online and stumbling upon more than one study, I learned about the term it had been coined.. technoference. That's the constant interruption of social media into our day-to-day lives, and the dopamine kick it gives -- more so than IRL peers do. Why that is, being the digital equivalent to McDonald's, that's beyond me. But somehow it seems to be better, all while the content isn't even useful. It doesn't allow you to learn anything, to gain insights, or to explore things that could serve you in the real world. Cat videos and random shit that's somehow.. funny? Having pretty much completely disconnected from social media years ago, I seriously fail to see how.
Maybe us nerds in the 90's and early 2000's telling everyone else how we'd change the world and prove everyone who called us freaks wrong, disenchanted as we were (and probably still are), were the catalyst for this social disaster. We had the cognitive skills to do it, but not the social equivalent. I feel guilty... Even though I've always been part of a big tech resistance in some capacity, I still feel guilty. Because I'm one of those people with the skills of those who created this trash fire of a societal status quo. Everyone glued to their screens, 95% of the time not for work. Not even to aid one's ability to function in the real world. Just to combat boredom. All day, for many hours on end.
Where is it going to end? When will people realize the dystopia we got ourselves into? Will anyone but a few fight it? Would those who don't fight it even care?17
Hi everyone, long time no see.
Today I want to tell you a story about Linux, and its acceptance on the desktop.
Long ago I found myself a girlfriend, a wonderful woman who is an engineer too but who couldn't be further from CS. For those in the know, she absolutely despises architects. She doesn't know the size units of computers, i.e. the multiples of the byte. Breaks cables on the regular, and so on. For all intents and purposes, she's a user. She has written some code for a college project before, but she is by no means a developer.
She has seen me using Linux quite passionately for the last year or so, and a few weeks ago she got so fed up with how Windows refused to work on both her computers (on one of them literally failing to run exe's, go figure), that she allowed me to reinstall both systems, with one of them being dualbooted Windows 10 + Linux.
The computer that runs Linux is not one she uses very often, but for gaming (The Sims) it's her platform to go. On it I installed Debian KDE, for the following reasons:
- It had to be stable as I didn't want another box to maintain.
- It had to be pretty OOTB, as first impressions are crucial.
- It had to be easy to use, given her skill level.
- It had to have a GUI abstraction to apt, the KDE team built Discover which looks gorgeous.
She had the following things to say about Linux, when she went to download The Sims from a torrent (I installed qBittorrent for her iirc).
"Linux is better, there's no need to download anything"
"Still figuring things out, but I'm liking it"
"I'm scared of using Windows again, it's so laggy"
"Linux works fine, I'm becoming a Linux user"
Which you can imagine, it filled me with pride. We've done it boys. We've built a superior system that even regular users can use, if the system is set up to be user-friendly.
There are a few gripes I still have, and pitfalls I want to address. There's still too many options, users can drown in the sheer amount of distro's to choose from. For us that's extremely important but they need to have a guide there. However, don't do remote administration for them! That's even worse than Microsoft's tracking! Whenever you install Linux on someone else's computer, don't be all about efficiency, they are coming from Windows and just want it to be easy to use. I use Mate myself, but it is not the thing I would recommend to others. In other words, put your own preferences aside in favor of objective usability. You're trying to sell people on a product, not to impose your own point of view. Dualboot with Windows is fine, gaming still sucks on Linux for the most part. Lots of people don't have their games on Steam. CAD software and such is still nonexistent (OpenSCAD is very interesting but don't tell me it's user-friendly). People are familiar with Windows. If you were to be swimming for the first time in the deep water, would you go without aids? I don't think so.
So, Linux can be shown and be actually usable by regular people. Just pitch it in the right way.12