Question of the day.

What is something that sounds safe but actually isn’t?

My answer:

Registering somewhere online. ANYWHERE! Creating an account. Especially when they want your email! 😱 It’s like opening yourself to evil because you let all them companies and big tech people invigilate and track you and eavesdrop on you and read your most important emails (even the ones you didn’t send ’cause they were too cringey but still keep in drafts) and probably even your thoughts because they always show you the ads of things you’ve been thinking about recently! It’s not just Facebook and Google (although of course Google is the worst and responsible for all the catastrophes in the world) but everything, even small businesses which want you to log in on their website, they actually sell your data to China and God knows what else they do with it. 😀

That’s what my Dad recently shared with me. My Dad is slightly, well, perhaps more than slightly, backwards when it comes to technology, but he has no shame about it, and he doesn’t have to because he has Bibiel to deal with that when it comes to his work stuff, and other than work stuff, he only uses his computer to watch YouTube (I don’t think he realises it’s actually Google), go on Marine Traffic, which is also kind of to do with his job as he delivers fuel to ships among others, browse the Internet (using Bing), “travel” (with Google Maps, which he’s perfectly aware of, but oh well), go on OLX (which is like a Polish equivalent of eBay (logging in from Mum’s account, or rather not logging out), and sometimes watching some regional online TV and stuff like that. He also has an (Android) smartphone (from China) and to his credit he had a smartphone LOOONG before I did, but the only smart functionality of it that he uses is (paradoxically) Google Assistant, when he needs to look something up on the phone on the web, because asking Google is faster than typing. Oh and he also uses some app for translating in real time when he interacts with people at work who speak other languages, which I’m sure also uses Google Translate and Google speech recognition system, so… Somehow when it comes to the phone it doesn’t bother him so much that he uses Google as the search engine, and although I tell him that repeatedly, he still doesn’t seem to fully grasp or accept or something that his phone’s system is actually from Google.

He does NOT have an email address, well, to be exact he has several and with different providers, probably even more than I do, which either Mum or me or Sofi or Olek helped him create, but he doesn’t use any of them because (a) he doesn’t know how and doesn’t have the patience to learn, and (b) he doesn’t remember his passwords, or he doesn’t remember where he put the piece of paper where he wrote the password down. Back when he was still somewhat motivated to learn to use an email address, he’d ask me what his password was, as if I could have any idea about that, and then he’d be mad at the whole world. 😀

Anyways, quite recently he was sharing with me some of his tech woes and how he was trying to buy something online from somewhere else other than OLX, but they wouldn’t let him, because they wanted him to log in, to even see the seller’s phone number. I said that it seems pretty reasonable to me, it’s easier to shop when you create an account, and why would the seller want their phone number to be visible to all the random peeps in the world? I also began to wonder why it’s such a problem for him to register somewhere. I mean yeah, it can be a hassle, I myself don’t like registering somewhere where I don’t really feel the need to simply because it’s waste of time and sometimes you can still come across surprises like visual captchas which are very annoying and discouraging, some bigger websites can also be pretty intrusive with all their nagging, but generally I don’t see much of a problem with registrations alone. He doesn’t have an email address but Mum lets him use hers for stuff like OLX shopping so he could use it for registrations. So I asked him what his problem with registering was, was it too difficult or something, and that was when he told me all that amazing stuff about how it’s unsafe and evil. Well yeah I exaggerated it a bit for satirical purposes, but even knowing his paranoid tendencies it was a surprise for me how skewed his idea of Internet privacy is.

And don’t get me wrong here, I don’t like big tech either, I hate Facebook, wouldn’t use Google if there were better alternatives for some of their services and I value my online privacy very dearly and some people would probably also call me a freak in this regard. I totally get people’s concerns over their privacy online, but the extent to which my Dad takes it is quite hilarious, especially given that he doesn’t really understand how Internet works and really enjoys invigilating all those ships, looking up where people live etc. and it’s funny how he uses so much stuff from Google without even realising it, while at the same time hating it so much.

So that was the first answer that came to my mind when thinking of such unsafe things that sound safe. Being more serious, food is an excellent example, it can make you vomit. And can make loads of other things to you. Allergies, poison, choking, cancer, diabetes, what fun!

Also amusement parks and similar, all the rides in them. They always say they’re safe, but accidents seem to happen regularly. Oh yeah and you could also vomit from it and make your vestibular system go nuts.

Your turn. 🙂

Question of the day.

What should exist, but doesn’t?

My answer:

Some kind of brain cloud or something like that. I mean cloud as in a server. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has such ideas. Plus something that would make the integration between the human brain and such cloud possible, of course. I’m not sure how exactly it would work in detail as I have little idea about such things, and this is probably not realistic to be a thing ever, but I’d like such a thing from which you could transfer things like information or skills to your brain so that it could process it and incorporate as part of what it knows and can do. Think about learning languages this way. 😀 There wouldn’t be any need for schooling or anything, you just sort of download whatever sets of skills and information you need and you’re ready to go and do your job. And also maybe we could incorporate new experiences this way without actually experiencing them physically so we’d know what different experiences feel like. But also, this cloud would be able to store all things that already are in your brain, if this is doable in any way, for example to somehow keep one’s memories in such a cloud and be able to retrieve them or something, for example when your physical brain gets amnesiac, or share them with people if you want. It would all be encrypted by default, and then when you’d die, you could state it in your will who, if anyone, do you want to inherit your brain legacy and people will gain access to whatever you let them have access to, or you can choose to have everything destroyed completely right in the moment when you die, or perhaps do some other things with it, like let your online brain copy keep floating there forever and think it’s immortal. I think it would be handy having a copy of your brain, and also having a sort of database from which you could pull things into your brain, but if such a thing would be realistic at all, I realise it’ll probably be also a great marketing/political toy and thus would have a lot of downsides to it in practice.

What is such a thing in your opinion? 🙂

Question of the day.

What has no reason to exist in 2021 and yet it does?

My answer:

Inaccessible websites, apps, devices, places, culture, formal procedures etc… I mean, I guess some things will always be inaccessible, even just because there are many groups of people whose needs are conflicting with each other, but at this point, when we do actually talk quite a lot about accessibility and when people seem to have more awareness, and, most importantly, when technology allows to make a LOT of things accessible, I think we should be way further than we are with it. Of course since I myself am blind, I know most about what is lacking in accessibility for blind people, but, after all, accessibility is not just for the disabled, or other minorities like people who don’t speak English. Accessibility is for everyone, as having, for example, a more accessible website, also makes it (or should, ideally, make it) more usable for everyone. So I don’t really understand why it’s such a marginalised thing, especially that, in vast majority of cases, it’s very easy to implement, especially if you begin to think about it right away as you create something, be it a device, an app or a museum, as later on you may need to end up starting everything from scratch. As for accessibility online, I think people often forget about the fact that, generally, the whole western society isn’t getting younger, and even if it did and we’d have more children and youth than elderly people, the elderly would still be here regardless, plus people live longer and longer, and think of all the people who are now 40-50+, most of whom are definitely familiar with the Internet and will certainly want to continue to use it as they get older, ’cause why wouldn’t they, and perhaps even more so because it’s comfy and who sane at the age of 95, with arthritis, varicose veins in their legs and bad vision would care about and risk going all the way to the nearest grocery shop when they can order their groceries online and know how to do it efficiently. Except I’m a bit worried that if the snail-paced development of stuff won’t speed up a little, ordering online might be just as cumbersome for the future’s nonagenarians as doing it in person, because not all devices, apps, websites and services may be accessible for those with hearing loss, low vision, impaired cognition or motor skills. And, as much as for someone like me, who’s lived my whole life with a disability, it’s normal that there are things that I just can’t do or that perhaps in theory I could do somehow but they’re not accessible so I can’t anyway, for a person who loses their abilities as an older adult, I can imagine being gradually or suddenly excluded out of things like that would be hella frustrating. So it’s great that we’re talking about accessibility more than ten years ago, and people like developers are certainly doing more, and I’m sure things will keep improving, and like I said I also do realise that there may always be problems because of the conflicting needs of people, or because for some people it might be plain difficult to make something fully accessible, yet I think the progress here could be and should be faster for this day and age, and also that people should have more of an idea that accessibility is for everyone. Covid speeded some things up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them went back to “normal” as the world goes back to its normal.

What is such a thing that comes to your mind? 🙂