My increasingly adequate website

Things that make me mad

A lot of people like to make social media accounts to meet others who enjoy similar things. There's, for people who enjoy manipulating their listening habits in order to appear cool. There's goodreads, for people who enjoy pretending to read weighty tomes and trendy novels. And there's probably other sites I'm too uncool to know about. All of these sites work on the principle of expressing your likes.

I have a better idea. Why don't we just use our web presences to say what we dislike, what annoys us, and then we'll let people be friends with us based on that information. I like it. Mine is the first page in this network.

The things that bother me, with reasons, are as follows:

  1. Saying "Hitler wasn't even German! He was Austrian!" Guess what? German can mean an ethnicity or a citizen of Germany. Austrians are just as much Germans as people living in Germany, even if their country has a different name. Austrians, if you don't like me saying that, explain why your ancestors liked it up until you lost two World Wars fighting alongside Germany.
  2. People who think they are power users because they use Android. You can put widgets on your home screen? Boy, you're a hacker. Wait, no. You're not. Android is basically the modern incarnation of whatever phony shit was run on those old vTech toy computers that cost 50 bucks in 1995 at Toys R Us. Even a DOS user was 100 times the power use you are. (In 2020 this one no longer rings true. But only because culture around Android seems to have changed as the OS became more polished and people stopped looking for strange justifications for using it.)
  3. Calling male pop musicians "rockers." I've never actually hard this term applied to anyone who rocks, only contestants on American Idol who play something grandma hasn't heard before.
  4. People who criticize other people for using words that aren't in the dictionary. If the sounds coming out of your mouth mean something to another person, that's language, and those words are every fucking bit as good as those sounds that are codified in a dictionary.
  5. People who say rap isn't music. Pretty sure the way vocals are delivered has no bearing on whether something is music. In almost every case the person making this statement has a deep-rooted fear of anything non-white.
  6. People who get on your case if you say you don't like a kind of music. Like I don't care for much rap, see, so people say I'm ignorant and narrow-minded because maybe they think it's something racist. It's not (see above). Strangely, nobody really would get on your case if you said you didn't like country, or industrial music, or grindcore, and if you said you didn't like sacred harp music, they'd probably just stare. I'd punch you, though.
  7. People who don't use an apostrophe and an s after a name or word that ends with S. If you think something like "Hey, that's Otis' car!" sounds and looks more right than "Hey, that's Otis's car!", you're wrong. Absolutely, certainly wrong.
  8. Shortened URLs. There are many times where these are okay. However, I also see them used in cases where there are no length constraints. I also see people use a shortened URL in plain text when a hyperlink would work better. I don't get it.
  9. Putting an @ in front of people's usernames when you don't need to. Seriously, this just makes you look silly or like somebody who wants to show they've used twitter, which is the same thing, basically.
  10. The Samsung Galaxy commercial that shows an office worker preparing a report on his phone... while sitting at a desktop. Who would do this? Fire them!
  11. The Library of Congress's decision to archive all tweets. This was announced around the time Yahoo took Geocities offline. The LoC made no effort to archive that, despite its historical importance both as a snapshot of the 90s and the early internet, and the fact that even a few geocities pages likely contained more interesting information than gigabytes of tweets about peoples' breakfasts. And if you still don't question the priorities of the Library of Congress, and you know a little about how libraries work, read Thomas Mann's excellent essay "What's Going on at the Library of Congress?" (PDF).
  12. Celebrating American Independence Day on July 4. So a bunch of rich dudes got together to make clear in writing what farmers pronounced in iron and blood months earlier at Lexington and Concord? I support celebrating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord as American Independence day for two reasons. It privileges action over deed, and it privileges small farmers over the rich landholding pricks that were the "Founders." Not that national states are something worth celebrating.
  13. 12 hour time. 24 hour time is superior in every way unless you can't count past 12.
  14. Putting the dollar sign after the figure, not before. 30$ looks so wrong.
  15. "Beautiful" as an adjective for software Seriously, shut up already. If you use a piece of software entirely or mainly because it's "beautiful" or "gorgeous," you're really missing out.
  16. People who whine about how software looks and think they're contributing by posting mock-ups of redesigns on their blog. That's a good first step, but who's going to do the actual development?
  17. Videos in Flash format. It is the 2010s. Stop this. Do your part to kill Flash. Don't just complain about it, but make it so your users don't need it.
  18. State and national park quarters. Seriously, quarters were so much cooler when there was just one design, and then for major events there were slight redesigns (like the rad 1976 bicentennial quarter). Now every time I touch a quarter it's some new design I never saw before and I have to figure out what the fuck I'm looking at.
  19. People who think you need to eat several types of food at one meal. As if bacon or scrambled eggs aren't enough work on their own, some people would have you cook both -- and more besides -- for a single meal. Not me. I will tell you that it is easier and better for your stomach to eat only one simple food at each meal. And I will be right.
  20. Ampersands in typed English.
  21. People who don't drop foreign or archaic characters from words that are reliably entrenched in the English language. It's cafe, not café; facade, not façade; and naive, not naïve. And never write encyclopædia.
  22. People who use Outlook's high priority flag. What a fucking insult the high priority flag is! By setting it, you are presuming that your mail is more important than the other email I get, and you're presuming that I won't read it unless it comes with a shitty red exclamation mark. When I used outlook, I made a point to read these emails last.
  23. People who say encryption doesn't matter because somebody could torture you for the key. That's a bizarre justification for their own laziness. It's akin to telling people not to lock their door in the morning because a thief could just bulldoze it open.
  24. Adults who call snowmobiles, etc., "toys." Grow up.
  25. People who think vi and Unix are synonyms for vim and Linux.
  26. People who spit in public. I don't want to walk on your bodily fluids, prick.
  27. Veterans. Because I routinely hear them say things like "we fought for your right to free speech" in the same breath as "if you say something about politics I don't like, I'll beat the shit out of you."
  28. People who believe voting is a neutral act. This often expresses itself as being told to vote by people or institutions who otherwise would never advocate or editorialize politically: "I can't tell you who to vote for, but do vote." The trouble is, voting means endorsing the capitalist system and surrendering your other political options -- hardly a neutral act. In this light it is no surprise that the media and huge corporations push voting in general far more heavily than they push voting for any specific candidate.
  29. People who believe they are radicals while complaining only about "late capitalism" or "neoliberal capitalism." Fine, so you don't like neoliberalism. But why not go ahead and admit the inverse? Admit that you're ok with capitalism when it has slightly different features, such as when more proletarians are exploited in the industrial sector or when the same exploitation is softened slightly by government social programs. Meanwhile, quit your radical pretensions. Real radicals are against capitalism regardless of the presence or absence of some superficial characteristics. Even a leftist like George Monbiot can say, "for most of my adult life I've railed against 'corporate capitalism,' 'consumer capitalism' and 'crony capitalism.' It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun..."
  30. People who use "reactionary" as a synonym for hasty, impatient, or reactive. Not that language can't change, but just know that "reactionary" has until recently had a very different meaning.
  31. People who are strongly against the death penalty but fine with prisons. If you are concerned that an innocent person might be executed, shouldn't you also be worried that the same innocent person might spend the rest of their life in some small concrete cell, cut off from the world, subjected to unimaginable mental and physical abuse? Yes, you should. Similarly, if you're one of the people that says "I'm against the death penalty -- besides, life in prison is way worse," then you're one sick son of a gun. For my part, however I feel about capital punishment or life in prison, I don't believe in the false dichotomy where one is better, or worse, or more effective at deterring crime. Both are fucked up reactions to problems that have already happened.
  32. People who open carry guns -- or carry at all. I mean, I get that you think it makes you look tough and prepared, but in actuality it makes you look like an old fatass who's scared of his own shadow and who can't protect himself any other way. Which is probably all true.
  33. People who play Marco Polo in stores. What more needs to be said?
  34. Men's jeans with fancy designs on the back pockets. I don't know why this bothers me, but it does.
  35. When people store small bits of text in a word processor file instead of a plain text file. Worse: when people store or share an image by embedding it in a word processor file.
  36. Undated garage sale signs. And it's not good enough to put just the day of the week. I see signs up for weeks and weeks. Which Friday was your sale? If your sign doesn't have an exact date I'm not bothering. I'm probably not going to bother, anyway.
  37. People who say "Ehhh" or similar as a statement of indifference or disagreement. Way to simultaneously look feeble, condescending, and apathetic.
  38. Windows 10. I've just had so many problems. For several months I couldn't change Windows's default text editor. Now Windows won't honor the fact that I configured it to do full shutdowns instead of these bullshit fast shutdowns. Settings are scattered between two totally different applications. Some fonts are absurdly small, others absurdly large. Shit installs itself and runs at startup without my permission ("Logitech Downloader"). You can no longer do an install without using a Microsoft account (well, unless you go offline for the install). I'm sure this list will grow.
  39. Republicans. To my dying day I will insist that in practice Democrats and Republicans are indistinguishable. Any political party, no matter its aspirations, is compelled to more or less similar policies: grow the economy by making a "profitable business climate." That means lower wages, destruction of the environment, imperialist war, adulterated food, unsafe working conditions, repression of dissent, stirring up superficial divisions between workers, etc. All capitalist parties are complicit in that. But here's the thing -- Republicans actually like that stuff.
  40. Saying "we" when talking about sports teams. You're not part of the team. There is no "we." Don't say "we lost." Say "they lost."
  41. Saying "it's always been this way, it will always be this way." Ironically, this appeal to history is by its very nature only uttered by people who don't actually know history. The statement also infuriates because it's meant to defend some disgusting aspect of the status quo (e.g., slavery, patriarchy, division of society into classes).
  42. Text banners on the top of gemini capsules. These are difficult to read, screenreaders probably can't handle them, and to my inartistic sensibilities they go against the bedrock principle of gemini, which is getting ornamentation out of the way of the content.
  43. RAR archives. I have to believe people who still use WinRAR are simply ignorant in the most literal, unoffensive sense. People, there are many free, open source alternatives that are as good or better. Please look at the 7zip or peazip clients and choose a format like .zip, .xz, .lzip, or .lrz. Anything but .rar.
  44. The disappearance of the middle mouse button on pointing devices. Time was, most mice and trackballs had a dedicated middle button -- but maybe no scroll wheel. To add a scroll wheel, most manufacturers opted to combine the scroll wheel and the middle mouse button. That was the wrong solution. Using this pseudo-middle mouse button is uncomfortable. You have to press carefully to avoid moving the scroll wheel, but you probably will anyway. I do have one mouse that has a discrete, dedicated middle mouse button and a scroll wheel, but it's like the desk equivalent of those jumping shoes that made people think Cosmo Kramer was mentally handicapped. It's big and weird looking. I also have an ancient PS/2 trackball with a middle button but no scroll wheel. It kind of sucks, too.