Little Synchroidiocies

A funny thought hit me while I was reading the details on a position I was applying for last week.

You see, I had to look up the term object relational mapping, which was listed in the experiential requirements bit of the job posting. Boringly, it just means moving data to and from objects in the code and relational databases.

This kicked around in the back of my head for a bit, then I had a little giggle fit that only someone who has spent their adult life stuck in IT could have.

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Stupid Ideas: Use the Latest Technology

When trying to promote one’s self, or one’s Website, it is important that one take advantage of the newest and latest technologies.

For instance, spinning, flaming logos.

Or, in modern parlance, embracing every new JavaScript framework and sneering at last month’s as passé. It proves you can do really neat things with really neat other things, even if everyone is just using the exact same Bootstrap template.

The latest technology is chic. It’s cutting edge! It’s all about the self-promotion of pushing the envelope beyond what your customer’s browsers actually support. They’ll update eventually.

But really, a problem that often vexes any good application development and design is getting so caught up with the newest toys that things like audience needs get put on the back burner in favor of cool toys.

Why? Usually because it saves us from having to think about it. We don’t have to think about what the audience wants. We don’t have to think about whether what we are promoting is worth the effort. We don’t have to engage with the product. We just make it look pretty, ideally with someone else’s canned solution, or make it appropriately shiny and jangly. Done.

Sometimes pushing out new toys succeeds, and you create demand for something where none existed before, or at a bare minimum you trend for a bit as everyone oohs and aahs over your cleverness. But most of the time it just adds unnecessary clutter to the final product. The really old IBM ad above nails it on the head. It looks neat, but how does it address customer needs?

Compare Google Docs to Microsoft Office. Google Docs has actually be reducing functionality in their office suite, not increasing it. Why? Because it is not meant for desktop publishing, it is meant for sharing ideas online, collaboratively, in the easiest was possible. Once something in finalized, then export it to Word, or better LibreOffice, and give it to the content experts to make it look sharp. Google are masters of using the most advanced toys possible to make things as plain and and simple as possible. Though they are far from innocent on the latest technology trap. They are so determined to keep things as fresh as possible that the tools you are working with can change from one day to the next without even a hint of advance notice. 

Socially Support the King!

A strong platform of humans rights creates an interesting conundrum: It assigns an arbitrary, idealized definition of self to all individuals that has no bearing on nor interaction with their role in society. This self is not a concrete social standing, but an abstract ideal. Such abstract ideals were formerly reserved for nobility and the clergy, the members of which represented the highest abstract notions of nobility and divinity.

So …

What happens when people lose strong, clearly defined identities to abstract and arbitrary ones?

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The Pirate Moot, Chapter 3: With the Spring comes December

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On a not-quite-so-cold day, late in the spring, Seji practiced her martial arts with the Sisters of Kril in the rocky flat outside the monastery. It was an easy place to slip, stumble, or fall, making it an ideal practice ground. She has been practicing with them for nearly a year. At first the acolytes had much to teach her and she has much rust to shake off, but today she was leisurely fending them off as they came at her in waves. It had taken some time to convince them to not hold back, but today the rocky plain glistened with sweat, blood, and the deep scoring of deadly magicks. The blood was mostly hers, she was going easy on them, but their healers would still be getting plenty of practice when this was done.

She was about to call for a break when she was nearly taken down by an especially agile acolyte as she was distracted by two people walking toward them from the north.

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