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Why Can’t We Have a Pure Democracy? (For Computer Operating Systems)

So there’s been a lot of shit about the election and how democracy has failed us with our current choices. Now trust me on this, I have been building a wad of shit to unload about how people have painted this. Like a good stew though I will let that simmer for a while. Now I want to talk about democracy, but in this case when it comes to our mobile and pc OS’s which effectively boils down to this question: Why the fuck do designers get to upend our lives on a fucken whim without our input?

Now this came about because of a recent change to Windows 10 which moved around how one accessed or used the user functions to do things like logout. Now to a certain degree I understand the change, I can see how it makes sense in other contexts. I also fucken hate it.

Now here is the part where everyone with an opinion and an asshole comes out of the woodworks to say ‘muh Apple, muh Linux, fuck Win10 – WinXp4lyfe’ Now for the rest of the article let’s call these people morons and move along.

Because at the end of the day they all have the same issues – in that any update is bound to have changes. A process that has likely been used or stressed over by designers and engineers for months. There were lots of test groups and testing to make sure that moving things by just so would improve everyone’s life.

And at some level we want to beat these people with a fucken stick.

Listen I am a programmer, and I get it. I really do. This though isn’t something we use for work, or to complete a task. The OS on our laptops and our phone become our whole life. You can make claims that our contributions in the open source community or via apps can help to transform this, but at the end of the day the fact remains on all operating systems.

The decisions of a select few massively impact the lives of the many with little or no input.

Which in the year 2016 is quite frankly pure high octane bullshit. How many of you had to see and deal with the creative ways that Windows 8 had a popup to upgrade? It would be so easy create something that says ‘hey here’s a feature we are thinking to add, here’s how it works.’ and show us. Then we vote. Now common thinking would say that many of us would ignore it and that such a process of interruption would frustrate users if anything.

I’m here to say that on behalf of the users (which I fight for) that’s bunk. Would we initially be annoyed by constant requests about features – yeah. As times goes on though we would vote, because it’s something that impacts us daily for hours on end. To give us the direct freedom to say – yo fuck that idea I hate it, or hey that’s nifty I want it now – it’s a magical thing. We have the tech, and we have a userbase that knows what they want.

Think of it this way developers. Is it better to force a change and have people hate you as they begrudgingly accept that change, resenting you the entire time. Or is it better to give them agency, or at least the knowledge that others have selected the best way for their technology to improve?

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the option to know and vote about a change instead of cursing every time I go to do something like a blind man living with a 7 year old.


Anyway, I’m sorry, but that just happens to be how I feel about it. What do you think?

The Buffalo

The Buffalo is Nerdfit's longest active content contributor. Having helmed various podcasts (What's Nu in Animu, WritersCast), columns (I Hope Nippon Sempai Notices Me, Advanced Game Theory, Booze Reviews, Anime Season Previews, etc) - currently he writes a weekly article column of 'Buffalo's Shit to Think About'

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