November 12, 2009

What are the odds?

I forget where I saw this, but Futurepundit talks about how "user interface researchers" are going to use cute stuff to make people do what they want them to do.
One experiment showed that when programming a washing machine, people were more inclined to follow energy consumption advice about different cycles when it came from iCat rather than graphs and numbers. That suggests the savings which simple awareness can provoke can be magnified by using more "social" mechanisms to deliver advice.

I wonder, which "people" did they use for this study?
Me? I don't like being told what to do, I would probably use extra-wasteful energy settings if some stupid iCat told me what to do.

I save energy as a matter of course. I turn off lights I don't need, I have a window office at work and if the Sun is up, my lights are off. Which means I almost never use them. I have a one bedroom apt and unless it's summer and I need the A/C, my electric bill is less than $50.
I take the bus to work and walk home.
Not because of enviro stuff, but because I'm cheap.

But if some stupid, cute little cartoon character tells me to do it, I'd probably start driving to work (2 miles) and leaving the lights in my office on even when I'm not there.
I'm actually surprised I still have a nose.

The problem with Americans is that we're assholes, we don't like being told what to do.
I flew to Vegas (duh), and all around me people were getting pissed. because the TSA people are idiots and mini-Napoleons puffed up with their own importance. The only reason I didn't get more upset was because they can make the next 10 hours of my life a total hassle.

It's like today's version of "customer service". I won't deal with AT&T or Comcast for anything and DirecTV is pissing me off. I don't hate Verizon as much, but I hate dealing with them. I tried to get a telephone in my house and spent over an hour explaining that no, I haven't had the same number for the last 5 years so I don't owe them for another guy's number. After the hour+, they agreed and then wanted to transfer me to someone who would set up my phone. I told them "no thanks".
I have a Sprint cell phone because their customer service even though their coverage area is the smallest of the big companies because, while not all that competent, they will fix what they've screwed up and usually don't start off with "You're wrong, now gimme your money", unlike the others listed above.

Our intellectual, social, moral and political betters are getting mad we're not EUnuchs who put up with that crap.
Me? I think we're reaching a breaking point. Pretty soon Americans are going to revolt. It'll start small, but the people who think they're our masters will overreact and it'll snowball until the chit really hits the fan.

I think things are about to get very darn interesting.
(comments are back on, when I go away without computer, I'm not in the mood to have to delete a million comments from some b00t company or whatever spam is filling up comments).

Posted by: Veeshir at 03:47 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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