You have probably overheard conversations between laypersons bemoaning their interactions with some shiny new tech. “It’s good but X forces you to Y” is a common clause peppered throughout the dialogue. Perhaps also variations of “B prevents you from C” such as “Ow My Balls Live™ prevents you from sharing passwords now”. This is their recognition of barriers they’ve run up against. Constraints they may not even realize are artificial. And that is their best effort to articulate this recognition, force… prevent…, the language of the subjugated.
I want to highlight some other anomalies found in tech language.
This one is industry-induced. They’ve popularized the term ecosystem to describe an entirely controlled collection of vendor-approved software or [dis]services. But ecosystem, when used in it’s original ecological context, describes natural systems that are open, generative and self organizing. None of which are found in practice among proprietary walled gardens. So I propose instead we describe those closed hellholes as zoos. It is a software zoo.
Phone drones tacitly recognize just how confined phones truly are through this valid comparison to prisons. When one replaces the operating system on a laptop or desktop, it is not thought to be breaking free from confinement (at least not yet). But phones, often requiring special exploits to even initiate such a procedure, can be credited for this very apt terminology. Somewhat related is rooting a phone.
When you advise a normie “Don’t use Google”, what they actually hear is “Don’t search with Google”, completely missing the point that Google encompasses so much more than just their search engine. But the fact that Google it has become part of everyday lexicon shows us just how far the situation has deteriorated. It’s as if they struggle to conceptualize people who find information from anywhere else. I always make a conscious effort to say “look it up” as a more abstract suggestion to explore information online.
While I’m on the subject, I would like to propose a new term: Software Sluts. Hedonists who will use literally any piece of software so long as it is convenient, gratifying or simply popular, regardless of how detrimental it may be for their autonomy, health and freedom, or to that of the people around them.