Unpopular Opinions

Here are a few opinions I am currently holding-fast-to and don’t think will be proven wrong anytime soon… despite a bunch of blather from the Internet to the contrary.

I post them so often, and usually to calamitous disagreement, that I figured it would be time-saving to have them on a page on my own website for easy referral along with some justifications.

In order of unpopularity:

  1. America is really racist: as are Americans.  It’s like our original sin.  You don’t found a country on the lie that People of Color are so inferior that it’s okay to make them chattel without some corruption of the citizenry that lasts for generations.  More details here
  2. Apple is the new Sony: as desribed by This Verge Article Apple is no longer making anything unique. They are relying on “Nobody does it better” with a slew of product that are logical evolutions of lines from 5 years ago, or almost cynical “prettier” copies of things that have already been out for a year or three from other companies (watches, NFC payments, phablets, premium tablets that use styluses and keyboard covers).  Apple doesn’t have any services worth selling (iTunes/Apple music is awful on non-apple devices, and usually also on Apple devices) so they rely too much on Netflix and Hulu and Spotify and Google and countless other services that can be viewed from anywhere… All that needs to happen is one nasty spat where Netflix or Google Maps (or Facebook, Perish the thought) pulls their app from the app store and suddenly folks will realize they can easily consume those services without paying the Apple premium, they’ll move onto the next thing that makes existing services prettier and easier to deal-with. Also, Apples are neither more magically secure nor more noble than other companies.  They just have the best PR people right now.
  3. 90% of everything is crap.  Really, 7% is amazing, 86% of everything is sort of meh, and 7% of everything is just awful.  This is entirely subjective… and that 3% between 90 and 93% is the negotiated slush pile where friends can make suggestions.
  4. iOS devices are closer to iPods than computers. I was being kind to the iPad Pro when I said it was ripping off the Microsoft Surface. The truth of the matter is that it was ripping off the /Surface RT/; The Surface that was so stripped down it couldn’t download and install programs from the Internet but had to get them through a specific store. It, too, was secure and hacker proof… It, too, had great battery life… Nobody bought one because the available apps were crap and it felt like a really big iPod touch instead if a useful computer… And other than the derth of apps, they’re the exact same flaws that the iPad pro have, and why I think the iPad Pro is dumb.
  5. Volkswagen-Audi Group is a horrible company, especially in the US.  Rather than bring one of the cheaper brands (SEAT, SKODA) to the US, or partner with some American company, they kept trying to find ways to cheapen their main product lines to make the palatable for Americans… and in the process made them chintzy, squeaky, unreliable garbage that only lasts 80,000 miles before shitting pistons while paying lipservice to “Impressive German Engineering”.  The only thing impressive is how they were able to convince American auto journalists that auto up/down windows all around was more important than nasty plastics that only last 3 years and how they were able to convince the EPA that 2.0L TDIs can make 150 HP, 230 ft-lbs of torque, and 50 MPG without urea injection.
  6. Yes, Windows 10 is way better than XP/7/8… It will make your old laptop run better and faster and more securely than ever before with a few Google-able exceptions (with further Googling getting you fixes and workarounds). While annoying, forced install restarts that suddenly brick netherware are neither new nor unheard-of in Windows-world; Windows 10 did increase the effectiveness, however, which is why some people are cheesed-off. What you should be focusing-on is how nicely windows 10 integrates with cloud operations. It is literally what Apple wishes they could do, where you sign in and things Just Work. They have also handled bunches of edge cases like “What if I have created more than one account over my 10 years of computing” and “What if I don’t have a windows 10 phone and want to pull/backup pictures and songs and…” Sorry your relative’s old laptop didn’t upgrade easily. I could probably help you do the upgrade or recommend a natty replacement, but “three strikes and I demand/increase monetary compensation” rule applies each time you look over my shoulder, whine that ‘you shouldn’t have to [perform some well documented step]’, or snidely use some not-windows device within perceptive range.
  7. Android/Chrome-OS devices are closer to ATMs than computers: Relatively secure, network attached, prioritized OSs that only lets you do a few more things than an iOS device, occasionally lets you look at files and do computer-ey things (but only if you are used to *NIX environments)… susceptible to mal-ware and software attacks mostly because the update process is nebulous and boogered by a billion different vendor configurations.
  8. The easiest way to secure something against 93% of people these days is to put it in a zip file. The easiest way to secure it from 99.99% of people is to password-protect the zip file. The 0.01% of people who can crack into a password protected zip file can probably already read your email and can otherwise steal your nudes from the cloud… The only thing keeping them from doing it to you specifically is the same reason you have hundreds of Facebook friends but only talk to 16 of them with any regularity: we’re kinda boring.
  9. Concerts actually sort of suck… But concerts/Performances where people are seated and dressed nice > Concerts where people are seated > Concerts where rich people are seated and cheaper tickets stand behind them > Concerts with one band where everyone stands > Concerts/Festivals with multiple bands on multiple stages where everyone stands >>> Concerts/Festivals with multiple bands on multiple stages where everyone stands hosted in Georgia.
  10. I looked forward forward to seeing what the Surface and Windows 10 phones are like and as of October 2015 they’re generating a pretty good “These are better than macbooks” buzz and their stock is increasing.  Also, if the Surface RT was called the “The XTablet”, as in a tablet that could play Xbox games (hell, you could even Bluetooth the controller to work with them) … It could have been amazing.
  11. The fact that someone(s) raised $45,000 to install one Rainbow crosswalk at 10th and Piedmont… crosswalks that shouldn’t have cost more than $5000 for *really nice* ones… crosswalks that may be removed in two weeks… is Shady-as-hell.  Furthermore, when a several (formerly homeless, trans, minority, and their allies) people started sharing the strongly worded “What the hell” open letter to Atlanta, basically accusing the whole intersection of having screwed up, self-serving priorities… the majority response from several rich-white-gays I know was “I don’t like the tone of this article as it makes me feel bad, I’m going to imply that the writer and people sharing it are douchebags and accuse them of ‘being divisive’ and ‘not doing enough for the Atlanta community under our watch’.   It’s the textbook white fragility response.  Thankfully, engaging is the first step to becoming better people… so if a bunch of Rich White Atlanta is suddenly feeling really conflicted that things like this are going to start getting called out in public, well, welcome to the crucible.  You’re gonna leave it better humans.
  12. Atlanta does not, in fact, have the worst traffic. It has some of the shortest commute times (read: best traffic) for any city this size. What Atlanta does have is lowest Cost of Living of all the big cities, so lots more people buy spare cars and get caught in nasty traffic snarls and complain about it. I fully expect everyone to stop complaining when self-driving cars become an actuality and driverless Ubers get real cheap as a result.