The Terminator movie back from the Orwellian year 1984 talked about Skynet achieving a ‘perfect operational record’. Which implied that it by definition could not be beat. Beaten, yes, but not destroyed. Now there’s your Conundrum Sherlock! Keep in mind though, that it is perfectly possible to play the perfect game of chess, and still be defeated by a greater mind. Add to that an episode of star trek where Android Data is in competition with a human grandmaster at one of their most complex games, and loses…. He gets a rematch, and, brilliant as ever, gently forces the guy into forfeiting the game: by changing his tactic to prolong the game by going for even score, he foiled the competitive nature of his opponent, who eventually gave up quite explosively. Yep, that is what happens when you play a game and your partner won’t play along…..
Same shit, Different Day: almost as long as there have been computers, we have had to put up with grandmaster Bill and his microsofties. I observe he had the means, motive and opportunity to corner the market on operating systems, by pre-packaging deals with the hardware folks. Both profited, and got bigger. But in order to sell, they had to mess with a bigger fish: their millions of users, who weren’t always pleased with what the endboss had to offer.
One of the early adapters (no, not adopters) was Steve Jobbs. He saw a better computer, and founded NeXT. Their systems were better than Windows, but never became bigger. Apple did do a bit better, but still has cornered only a small part of the market. Various fully free Operating systems like BeOS and Haiku spring to mind, but to return to our fishing expedition, keep in mind that if the biggest fish likes little fish, and feeds on smaller fish, then there must be smaller fish to feed it, which automatiically means that the All is a bigger fish than the biggest fish…..
So any system existing, will by extension have a larger system in which it exists, and smaller systems to support it. We know from nature that the negative aspects also exist, like bigger and smaller systems battling the target system, but we probably agree that the sum total is balanced, right?
Same with today’s computer market. I came from a history where viruses targeted single systems through physical contact, which did not yet involve the Web. back then, 360K floppies were the norm. Even then, I hardly ever saw a virus in the wild, just heard the stories.. Networks came into the market, and spam, hackers and porn sites came: the Rise of the Computers!. Still, I heard the systems programmers complain about having to fight off vicious attacks, when I (on the very same network) had little or no trouble. I came to believe that there had to be a bigger picture to it, a type of BP oil spill. Lots of dead animals in the form of pages that didn’t show their stuff, or showed something different than expected, but my Antivir kept most viruses out, by occasionally warning me. Funny thing was, that I learned to be as good as Antivir in prophetizing when a virus would strike. I mean, you could literally see from the vibration of the link you were about to click, whether or not the guardian was gonna scream bloody murder.
Then, one day last year, something broke through my defenses, or at least the ones of Antivir. That moment, somthing clicked. It didn’t break, but I knew that Antivir had outlived it’s usefulness: the culprit had just stored a new program on disk without asking me, but did not do it unnoticed: instead, it started screaming that my system was unprotected. Same way Windows does, when nothing is installed to battle viruses. That did it. I’ve deinstalled Antivir, and have been running without protection for four months now.
Sure, the Quark, Strangeness and Charm (love that Hawkwind album) of the system has somewhat adapted itself, but working with it is becoming increasingly easy. It actually adapts to my needs without having to battle the endless confirmation dialogs that Windows Vista introduced, and Windows 7 is still somewhat ailing from. Talk about ailing: You all heard the Urban myth that only Windows has significant amounts of viruses, right? If you ask me, that is just one ingredient for the Complex Simplicity of Transpiracies that we call Personal Computer…..
Love the Collective Computing Coverup,