Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Mass disability - dysfunctional web sites, apps for everything

I last wrote about "mass disability" and the Left Behind in a 2021 post. The concept has sometimes seemed on the edge of going mainstream but it's never quite made it. Maybe we're getting closer; a recent Michael Tsai post (No App, No entry) reminded me of my Mastodon thread from a few weeks ago:

What is the crazy that drives Trumpism and the many global equivalents?
It is that the minimal IQ to function well in the modern world is now about 120 and that eliminates most people.

This is both the most important fact of our time and the least palatable. It is the thing that cannot be said and it will be ruin of us if we don't say it ...

I've been saying this for years. Today I was reminded of it while doing some travel booking.
During the bookings I encountered:
1. A web site that didn't work with my older version of Safari (I knew what was wrong and switched to Chrome. 
2. A Delta web site bug (I recognized it as a bug and knew what to do). 
3. Place that was out of rental cards but I new Expedia would have some contracts that would let me find one. 
4. Travel web sites that all needed new credentials...
... These are all routine parts of modern life including maintaining flaky computer systems (let me tell you ...) and phones ...

It was not like this even 35 y ago. Travel agents handled travel complexity. There were no smartphones. Computers were very limited. There was no internet for most. By necessity everyday life was much simpler. Most people could cope with it.

Now most cannot cope.

This is the most important feature of our time. And nobody can talk about it. 

I remember some good discussions on this thread but I can't find any of them now. Perhaps by design Mastodon has a limited memory. (My home instance has no search, so I had to download my archive and search it to find the date of the post. Then I could slowly navigate to it.)

I expanded on the theme a bit later:

Hotel laundry year 2000

1. Insert quarters to buy detergent, operate washer and dryer.

IQ requirement: 65 (my son could do this after a demonstration)

Hotel laundry year 2023

1. Scan QR code to download app whose profit comes from unspent funds.

2. Install app, create account with Apple ID

3. Figure out cryptic UX so can deposit funds (several odd unintuitive steps)

3. Deposit funds, paying just enough to cover this sesh. Pat the 25 cent low transaction penalty... 

4. Spot the scam behind app and avoid it (eg find at minimum)

5. Diagnose why after paying money and confirming machine it’s still not working

6. Authorize specific transaction

7. Start laundry.

(My son could not do this)

8. When complete delete app. 

IQ requirement: minimum 110, higher to spot the scam. 

This is why America is burning.

People are scared and angry and feeling left behind -- and they can't come out and say they are unable to manage their tech. Because that's the ultimate shame.

See also:

No comments: