Wednesday :: Mar 2, 2005

Micro$oft $ocial $ecurity

by pessimist

Have I ever described how much I despise Windows?

My son, Bookseller, just bought a new laptop which came complete with an out-of-date installation of WinDOH!s XP. I already knew I reviled WinDOH!s,but I hadn't yet had much experience with XP.

What an education I got! Reminds me of the Social Security debate in some ways.

XP takes on fuctions that really belong to the user. It decides which computers it will allow you to connect to, it decides HOW you are going to connect to the Internet - as well as whether you are going to connect to the Internet. It 'blocks' programs that haven't paid tribute to the Binary Pirates and been rewarded with a 'signature' so that Micro$oft knows that the 'honorarium' has been 'donated'. Anything that doesn't have that signature isn't easily installed. And - which affected me directly - it locks up anything non-Micro$oft. I'm no longer running Micro$oft on my machine, which was turned on at the time of my participation in the establishment of an Internet connection, but because my machine doesn't bow to Redmond five times a day, ...

When it came time to set up our printers, Micro$oft was more than willing to allow is to go to the various sites where the necessary drivers reside, but since this laptop is an HP, and HP is in the printer bu$ine$$, and neither of my printers is an HP, ...

This got me to thinking about a Mallard Fillmore cartoon I saw last week. I happen to eschew Mallard Fillmore because of its haughty wrong-winged smarminess, but one recent cartoon which stuck in my mind was the idea that people opposed Bu$h'$ $ocial $ecurity 'reforms' because - and I quote - "... you're too dumb to handle your own retirement money!"

Now wait a minute! We're too dumb to handle the setups and operational choices in our own computers, but we're smart enough to handle our own retirement funds and the investment choices we make with them while being besieged by private sector advisory vultures?

Is it just me, or is there some kind of a disparity here?

It seems to me that we are being pushed in directions which put us in tosituations which are intended to be beyond our ken and thus inspire us to call in high-priced experts.

"You're Too Dumb!"

Take the price one pays for technical support for some software. Forty dollars an hour is often low. Micro$oft happens to be in the business of providing technical support for their crappy $oftware, so is it such a stretch to see that the promotion of helplessness would be in their advantage?

"You're So Smart!"

Now take the current cost of the administration of your Social Security account. I don't have exact figures (I'm sure one of you readers can point us to them!), but the cost per person for the administration of Social Security by the government is likely to to be less than the fees we'll be charged for the administration of our private, personal investment retirement accounts.

So as I've demonstrated, you are either too dumb or smart enough depending on which characterization is most profitable. You matter nothing in the general scheme of things as long as someone is making money off of you.

What say you?

pessimist :: 5:21 AM :: Comments (14) :: Digg It!