Category Archives: Ranting

US v. Apple Inc.

Read the complaint here.

Good rid- I mean, here’s my data point.

The whole app store mentality feels like a cartel. As a small(er) business you can try bargaining with the richest publicly traded company on the planet. Arbitrary rules, whatever works for them forget whatever works for you.

DOJ has been working on this for some years so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Certainly not a surprise to me given how Apple App Store worked as a developer who tried to bring new tools and products to market. We had no idea what Apple was doing, it was opaque and generally uncooperative, and treated you like nothing. Rules for them are meant to be just cover, even if you follow all of them they’ll make up new ones and arbitrary nonsense. In retrospect, at least you can bribe the Cartel, so App Store is worse in some ways.

My current employer, years ago, tried to make some new business using our mobile knowhow in-house. Both of them ended up basically dead due to different reasons. One of them died due to the App Store. It couldn’t survive the review process. We literally had the most advanced geofence/tracking child monitoring app at the time (this was around the iPhone 4 era). It didn’t even do anything dangerous, at least no more than very basic geofencing tools did.

There’s a whole bag of bones with that use case which is nowadays kind of a side car to the countless things you can do with a smartphone, as parents to young children. The irony is not lost on me when Apple launched the AirTag, which they’re facing a class action lawsuit on by stalking victims. This is always the societal ill Apple has to balance. I really don’t buy it from people who now have an easier time to track things, especially those people who have medical-grade level of forgetfulness. Like, there are other tools not AirTag long in existence but you couldn’t use those?

These $20-a-pop things are not very loud and it’s only been about a year since they baked in the anti-stalking stuff in there. The two-sided-ness of it all is galling. If there’s no profit they will protect the law and their consumer to death. If there is money to be made, here’s the health and safety of our users on a silver platter.

You can also sign up for the other complaints from the DOJ like the green bubble thing (here is another case where selling more phones is more important than anxiety of teenagers on Android devices). Or the Epic third party app store thing. Or the annoying smart watch lock in thing. Anyways, there are myriad sins for such a major entity in the market, and it’s about time a liberal western government did something.

NJ to ME with a Trailer on the Lightning

It takes some planning and extra time, but we were able to drive to Acadia National Park with our F-150 Lightning Lariat ER with a travel trailer in tow. Facts at the end of the post, but well, the post will say nothing new here: Charging infrastructure for non-Tesla EVs suck in the USA, even in the relatively-densely populated part of US that is New England.

What might be new is, more specifically, how it is like charging while towing a travel trailer. Also what might be new is what serious advantages you can get out of this rig for those doing the travel trailer life. What might also be new is that you can even do it…without that much difficulty.

So for the longest time I wanted to revisit Acadia National Park, having previously visited 20+ years prior. It’s scenic and a cool place to visit during the summer. The views are great, and so are the seafood. Maine is known for the lobsters but also, I guess, a nice tea time at the Jordan Pond House. For this trip we stayed at the Schoodic side of the park, which is quiet and much less crowded compared to Desert Island and Bar Harbor. It all worked out as I was traveling with two retirees (Mom and Pop) and I was working remotely during the non-travel days anyway. What I am thankful for was that, besides the trip having worked out without much issues, but the great weather also that week. The sun came out and the stars was a nice change from the urban light pollution that I am used to.

After some online battles I was able to score a campsite reservation at the Schoodic Woods Campground, which is one of the few RV parks (well it’s more like a campground) in the Acadia region managed by the National Parks Service. It’s an unbeatable value if you couple it with one of the senior passes that they sell. Anyways, these electric/water RV sites also book out really quick so you have to do the online reservation thing right when they release the sites at 10am every day. The sites offer a lot of space and a lot of privacy (by RV park standards), plus it comes with 20/30/50 electric and water connection. Again, it’s also super cheap.

We were up there for about a week. What we would do for most days was, we get up for breakfast, then my folk would take off in the truck while I worked at the site. Later on we’d go out for meals (or cook in) or go sightseeing. Signals are strong enough with LTE Verizon and T-Mobile (Fi). My Verizon sim died literally the night I got there, so I couldn’t work off of it, and TMO can get congested when the site is crowded (like at night). But it was fast enough to work…fast enough for Zoom but not fast enough for Discord VC. I played multiplayer Gloomhaven one night with some folks back south and other than VC not dong well, it worked fine.

All of that driving fuel after we got to Acadia? Complementary to the camp site because we can plug the truck into the 50 while our 30 amp trailer use up the other plug. Of the two places we plugged in for RV, both had 50/30 (and 20) and neither had an issue drawing power for both the truck, the trailer, and our appliances. That said we didn’t run the AC, but we did run the heater and fridge and microwave etc. We didn’t really use our water boiler in electric though.

Rigging up the camper and the truck power connection can be a little tricky so we just have to plan correctly when we back in or pull through. I guess this is not too unusual, and it does mean we have 30 and 50 extension cables just in case. We didn’t need to use them on this trip though. The truck pulls about 10-12 miles an hour of charge when recharging, which seems about right. It’s so much electricity that we would not be able to drive far enough every day to make a notable dent in the nightly charge back into the tank.


The trip itself took about 2 days for us going up, and also 2 days coming down. We reserved a night going each way at a RV park/resort about half way, both to kick back after traveling each day and to fully charge the truck while we’re at it. I figured with the distance plus charging time, it would be way too hard to be enjoyable with two old timers in tow to do it in one day. I was initially expecting the travel trailer (rated 5000lb ballpark) to about half the total range of the Lightning Lariat ER with Max Tow (so up to 10000lb). That’s about 160ish miles MAX, but practically it’s more like 80% of that or about 130 miles, after taking into account margins and the charging curve. This also means I can probably get away fine without a weight distribution hitch and just rely on the built-in electronic trailer stability feature. In reality that was pretty much the case, but a WDH would have helped somewhat in the driving part. Still, it probably would be kind of a pain when you run into a situation where you have to disconnect the trailer for charging reasons.

The towing experience itself is surprisingly good, most of the time on the highway I almost forget I was towing (which is lol a possible problem too). It’s fast off the line, which was appreciated when I was pulling out of a rest stop in Connecticut that had a stop sign on the merge. Like, you are going to be faster than most cars, let alone the average half-ton towing a trailer.

When handling bumpy roads though, you can definitely feel it. This EV is not magic. The suspension does float some, which is the big drawback with the Lightning in general IMO (software aside). You can also feel the electronic trailer stability going when it gets windy, rainy, and getting passed. That last thing happened a lot, if you want to get good range while towing, which is just a fact of life I guess. Gotta drive 65 in a 70? I think our trailer is right up to about half of the towing capacity, so a WDH will be a tangible benefit, just not a requirement.

Range calculation (or the computer in the truck anyway) is quite conservative while towing. We were pulling about 1 mile per KWh or so on the highway, and up to 1.2 on slower roads. Typically we stop for charge every 90 to 120 miles, depending on where the charging station is. (Also, old people needs to use the restroom.) We stayed, typically, 45-70 minutes at each DC Fast Charging stop. Well, “Fast Charging” because we stayed at a couple technically DCFC places that went up to 62KW, which is quite slow, and I didn’t count that one time. We were suffering from range anxiety when we were going up north around Bangor, and there are basically no good chargers around there. The ones on the map are all at dealerships. So we went to one and got a bit of juice.

Driving it on one pedal worked pretty well, you can definitely feel the regen breaking work differently with a trailer so make sure to set up the electronic trailer break too. There are definitely games you can play to try to capture as much kinetic energy as possible, on longer stopping distances.

I drove about 80% of the time with my dad taking over the other 20%. I used BlueCruise most of the time, which seems to work fine with the trailer. It does enforce hands-on-wheel by torque, and it’s annoying you can’t dismiss it the same way you can do it on a Tesla by changing volume. On a long drive I’m not going to be applying that much force on the wheel all the time you know? I also like to put both hands on the wheel, which counters out the downward force on each hand. For the most part BlueCruise worked well, although sometimes it would nonchalantly disengage which probably is a tad dangerous. The emergency stopping assistant also falsely triggered once on this trip, which is unpleasant every time that it does.

On that note, this truck was running on old software because of the bug with installing the November 2022 update. I contacted Ford once over the online chat who told me to go to the dealership, but I didn’t get to do that until after the trip. FWIW, the dealer didn’t quite fix it, but it made the update prompt go away on the truck (but not on the phone app).

The trip planning side was mostly via ABRP. ABRP was a baseline, rather, which provided a pretty solid list of charging stations and what they were, and what overall routes to use. After pulling up the route, I reviewed the charging stops to make sure they work. I also had to look up some alt charging locations in advance and wrote them down. Given that we needed a lot of space, we erred on the side of Electrify America. A lot of them have parking slots on both sides of the charger, which made it possible to drive up to them from the side, avoiding blocking the roads in the parking lot. There were a few pull-in chargers, like the ChargePoint ones in Maine. There were a few that were installed just this year, so we got lucky in that sense.

The most clutch of them all is the rest stop between 495 and 95 at West Gardiner. It goes up to 250KW and there are 2 of them, plus 3 slower 62KW ones. Too bad I didn’t find out about this station until I got up to Maine. Our trip back down was much smoother thanks to this one stop. What’s really neat as we found out is that none of the charging stops required us to disconnect the trailer.

The Scarborough, Maine Electrify America station is kind of broken, with only 1 out of 4 chargers working. We had arrived there in the morning and was able to beat the weekend crowd, so to speak. We made sure to skip that one on the way back. Massachusetts and Connecticut have plenty of chargers, so it wasn’t until we cross into NH/ME that it becomes a bit dire.

Other than ABRP, we also modified our routes using Google Maps. The built-in EV charger finding feature works okay, it’s better still than the one built into the Ford Lighting’s Sync4, so take that as you will. The only catch here is that while GMaps show more locations, not every one is vetted. The one in the truck didn’t show a lot of them, but I think it erred on the side of “what works.” Well, even then, it didn’t tell me that this one ChargePoint system was out of commission in Bangor, but that’s more a ChargePoint issue.

Here are the list of charging stops we made on the way up:

  • Walmart supercenter 1201 NY-300, Newburgh, NY 12550 (EA)
  • Walmart supercenter 420 Buckland Hills Dr, Manchester, CT 06042 (EA)
  • Pine Lake RV Resort Sturbridge, MA 01566
  • Walmart supercenter 700 Lafayette Rd, Seabrook, NH 03874 (EA)
  • Walmart supercenter 500 Gallery Blvd, Scarborough, ME 04074 (EA)
  • 206 Center Rd, Fairfield, ME (Irving gas station)

On the way down:

  • 392 Lewiston Rd, West Gardiner, ME 04345 (CP)
  • Walmart supercenter 700 Lafayette Rd, Seabrook, NH 03874 (EA)
  • Pine Lake RV Resort Sturbridge, MA 01566
  • RT. 15 New Canaan SB Service Plaza (GreenApple) (There is also DCFS on the NB side)

It feels like we did much better on the way down, also partly because we drove locally through Maine which provides a much better mileage per KW. Time-wise I think we were about 2 hours faster on the way back, and that’s including traffic (about the same both directions). And no I am not listing which dealership we charged in Bangor lol (and because, in retrospect, we did not have to stop there, it was just range anxiety).


Watching Monday Night Football last night, we saw a bright young man of 24-years old gets pounded in the chest while making a tackle go into cardiac arrest. Prime time television! What was more sobering is the collective response at the scene. Imagine a near-murder at your party, and this was one at one of America’s largest type.

I want to just say that this is trauma. It’s definitely for Damar Hamlin, his family, his friends and acquaintances, his teammates, and the people in the organizations affected by his injury during the game. It’s for sure trauma for the audience at the game, having to see it happen that way, having to see the (seemingly excellent) paramedic and medical staff at the game taking care of their business. It’s trauma for the press members covering the game. It’s trauma for the audience at home. Nobody wanted to see this.

So it’s not really about softening of hits or anything. It’s about realizing it takes strength to actually “get smart” about realizing NFL is a time bomb or Russian roulette of injury. I still remember Ryan Shazier, who had his spine contused during also a MNF game in 2017. Thankfully he recovered and was able to live somewhat normally a few years later. Sure he didn’t need CPR, but it occurred to me as strange that the 2017 game still played on 15 minutes later as if things are OK? That’s kind of messed up! The dude just got carted off without any ability to move his lower body. Is football worth this kind of injury?

Hopefully Damar Hamlin will pull through and make a full recovery. But what if he makes a partial one? Is the NFL just going to sweep this yet another negative externality under the table like it did with all the CTE stuff? How about the rest of American society who was traumatized by this? Will we forget and not demand the NFL to do more?

How about, let’s first recognize the trauma? While I was researching on the life of a dead 26-year-old seiyuu a couple weeks ago I realized it’s precisely the same mechanism that we can really truly live and remember, and honor those who paid the price. That mechanism is to research, to rigorously recall and remember, and retell, how these people lived. It might be triggering at times, but it’s also therapeutic.

Ford F-150 Lightning: Early Impressions, Purchase Journey

We purchased a F-150 Lightning this past weekend. My dad is the primary driver of that vehicle, but I think I drove it more than him so far, by mile at least.

Of course, now that the truck is on our driveway, I can exhale and focus on writing the purchase journey. As people who know, knows, having one of these in your garage or driveway today is part luck and a lot of work/skill. Most first-hour preorders have been converted, but unless you splurged like we did, odds are you are hemming and hawing between buying the 2023 Pro or dropping it entirely. Probably less than 30% of the intended Pro trim buyers from day 1 were able to get a 2022 order in, since it has the highest demand.

Before I get too far, we purchased a Rapid Red (metallic clear coat) Lariat Extended Range (511A) with Max Tow and Tech Tow package. We got the stock spray-in liner but that turned out to be a mistake (because it delayed delivery and it’s better to do it aftermarket).

Anyways, enough inside talk. The hotly demanded F-150 Lightning is the first real EV pickup truck for the masses (sorry Rivian/Hummer). It’s huge just like all the other F-150s today (more on that later). It packs a standard range battery of 98 kWh, and goes to 131 kWh for the extended range. For a point of contrast, my Model 3 Long Range has 75 kWh (and goes about as far as the ER truck on a single charge, maybe 5% less?). Demand for the truck was so high that Ford stopped preorders at around 250k. There were 20k preorders as of 24 hours since it started. They also announced the production numbers for 2022 to be up to 25k units or so.

The ordering process for this vehicle is different than most. First you register with plus a $100 refundable deposit, and this is called a “reservation.” During this time you need to associate the reservation with a dealer. Then you wait until your dealer figured out this new preorder process, and then invites go out from Ford to reservation holders (in some secret order) to make an order. Once you get that email, you can go into the order portal and config your truck for order directly from Ordering also takes a $500 non-refundable deposit and your truck is locked in to be purchased for all practical purpose (and for tax rebate purposes). At that time your dealership is locked and can no longer be changed. If you had read up on all this you would know to talk to the dealer between reservation and order period to confirm the price and if ADM is going to occur. Some people made the dealer do it in writing (which is a good idea). Ford has said that they are going to go after ludicrous ADMs and dealers have the option to enter the ADM into Ford’s system so it shows up before you complete ordering the truck.

I picked actually one of the closest dealer to me, who turned out to be champs and took that MSRP deal and got us in and out with zero hassle and zero dealer markup. Well, zero as for paperwork purposes, but I think the doc fees are a bit higher than what I expect! I’m not bothered by an extra $100 or whatever in this 2022-inflation-minded economy though. More over, the horror ADM stories and shady dealer behaviors are what is truly worrisome and we were spared all of that. Probably a good half or more dealers in NJ are charging a markup today on the Lightning. Part of the luck was picking that dealer in the very early minutes of the reservation process (we were 3rd in line at the dealer and they honored our place in line).

Still, we preordered the hour the Ford keynoted ended on May 20th, 2021. And I ordered the truck the same day when the email for ordering came in on April 16th (a very memorable moment because I happened to be with my dad in Texas lol…and for other reasons). We were “wave 6” orders so the Pro and XLT standard range had already been sold out. In fact, for the 2022 builds, they were sold out since late March if I recall correctly. Lariat Long Range is actually the third most cost-efficient model I think, so we went for that one despite the higher cost (I mean it’s literally 2 2022 Pros).

According to Ford, they had a certain number of allocation for each trim in 2022, with maybe 20% going to the standard range XLT and Pro models. They were saying people would buy the Lariat trim the most, and they show us this afterwards. It’s only because you would only allow people to buy them based on that allocation… As you can see the number of Pros did not meet the demand. Standard Range XLT was in the mid 50ks. The 40k Pro 2022 model is now a unicorn, in that while it exists, nobody can buy it. It’s literally a half-luck, half-skill lottery, and probably involves bribery or something, or living next to a large Ford dealer (for allocation purposes) that doesn’t rip you off.

People who didn’t want to order the more expensive trims can defer their order for the 2023 model year. As we know recently, 2023 order emails have now starting to go out. Holdover reservation holders who got to defer their order, in the USA, get a private offer for their deferred trim that takes the price down to 2022 levels, but they can’t change it to a different trim in 2023 and maintain the same 2022 price. Everything went up by about $6-8000 in 2023 so it’s what it is. (Canadians got shafted since they didn’t get to have the private offer.)

It’s mid-September. When we picked up the truck, we were just the 3rd Lightning our dealership delivered. I don’t think they’ll be delivering too many more this year. They still have 20+ reservations in line when I checked in June. Again, we were also 3rd in line. Sometimes, it’s literally mostly about speed.

For those who aren’t familiar with the auto market in 2022, cars are expensive. Supply chain woes means many dealers are now selling fewer cars, but at higher prices. Used cars are going bangers, there has been many articles about this. It also means F-150 Lightning has some production issues. As I was following the news of this very expensive purchase from May 2021, I’ve seen the following rock others who were also following:

  1. The various EV tax credit changes from the President/Dems in power, BBB (or the chance thereof) and now IRA (more on this also later).
  2. Supply chain woes holding back power/massage seats in Plat trims; onboard scale for late 2022 builds
  3. Nonstop dealer horror stories, including a family friend who got sprung the ADM after ordering (but he didn’t do diligence)
  4. People flipping lol

It’s not surprising–the Lariat and Platinum ER trims are very expensive and you can’t even buy them unless you are a super lucky and savvy shopper, tracking these vehicles in their pre- and mid-production cycles, taking up all the Ford news and the buyers discussions online. Oh, you had to have ordered them in mid-2021. The Ford F-150 is a perennial best-seller doing many hundreds of thousands of units in North America every year, so lots of people buy these trucks. It also turns out these are one of the best, if not the best F-150s Ford has ever made (to date, of course), and as an aside they don’t even run on gasoline. The markups on these trucks are significant in the open market as a result.

So yes, I can confirm personally that these are great trucks. I have really only daily-driven a Chevy Silverado, a Honda Ridgeline, and now this truck. The Lightning zips, it has no right being this fast–at all speeds–for a half-tonner. It’s literally faster than my single-motor LR Model 3 by quite a bit. Unlike the Tesla it’s easier to spin out on the F-150, but the fresh all-weather tires tried their best. It’s “blink and you’re at 80mph” kind of fast–at least while you’re on the on-ramp to the freeway. Maybe the best way to put it is how some people say “once you go electric you never want to go back” and it’s super true for the Lightning, at least mechanically and in terms of pure driving characteristics. This much more drastic to me coming from a smaller truck even; and much more than when I swapped to the Tesla the first time.

That said, it’s one thing to enjoy the electric drive acceleration that we all have some experience with now in smaller cars, but the EV F-150 flies not like a roller coaster, it feels like a truck still. The lightning handles like a full-size truck unlike the Ridgeline, which drives stiffer and corners better actually, but not at this speed, acceleration and this weight…

We did like the Ridgeline a lot; it’s a light truck that did everything, easy to maintain, reliable, and easy to drive. It was getting very long in the tooth and it would have been on the weak side to tow the travel trailer we got some time ago. We sold the Ridgeline in anticipation of the truck in late July to a friend who needed a used car fast, hoping for a late August delivery. It took till mid-September. I think we definitely lost 2 weeks on the bed liner work, compared to other owners who were tracking their orders together with mine with the same blend date (the Ford factory build date basically) in late July.

Just to finish my thoughts on first impressions, here are all the real negatives on the truck so far. I think these are not critical on a practical sense, but they are all real problems that should be fixed.

The Ford Sync system you have to deal with is kind of bad. It’s not quite at the level of broken and unusable, but it definitely feels like a product that ought to have stayed in the 2010s. In terms of usability, UX styles, touch detection and input lag, and what you can even do with it. It’s got some signs of unpruned tech debt when its fairly extensive menus are stowed away in different places that you have to tease out. Most of these problems are not unique to the Lightning of course, but you do have to lean into its GPS for EV-based route planning if you’re going long distance. You still need to struggle through its menu to do basic things like program the radio presets a certain way, or to remember the driver profile presets, and what have you. The various towing features need this UI. The EV driving settings need this UI. The basic vehicle configs need this UI. Even with Apple Carplay and Android Auto it’s at most taking over half of the screen. At least they made it a bit easy with full wireless Carplay/AA and it’s easy enough to disconnect/reconnect when needed. Did you know the built-in GPS map searches using Yelp? LOL. Works fine if all you’re going to are public-facing businesses but it failed at searching a handful of things we wanted to go to–that is already one strike too many for its usability to be considered “good” in 2022.

The truck has a lot of buttons, you can probably get away with not using Sync much as long as you master the touch screen-based climate controls (which…I still quite have not yet? It’s not suppose to be this unintuitive). The companion app for the truck, FordPass, has some remote features like turning on/off the vehicle for up to 15 minutes, locking/unlocking it, and other basic stuff. I barely used it but they do work.

Lastly, there’s the charging situation. I’m guessing Ford made the whole battery management thing super simple. The only options you have are 1) a one-time charge limit, 2) preferred charge times (absolutely needed for TOU benefits–when utilities offer lower rates for late night charging), and 3) departure times for warming up the truck before you leave the house. (As an aside, I wonder if you can use Alexa to do the same, since this has Alexa integration.) Even where you can check the battery states is limited (and this is often called out by youtubers reviewing this vehicle).

What I really need is a current limiter, and a battery capacity limiter. A limiter because this truck is going to draw as much as the outlet is going to let it (up to 30 amp with the travel charger) and that might be too much depending on where I ended up charging. You don’t want to be unable to charge at a site because you trip its circuit. You also kinda want a charging limiter since the truck levels out on charge rate at 80%. Maybe Ford held back enough of spare battery capacity from you being able to “overcharge” it, so this is less of a problem to me. By “overcharging” it’s simply that fully charging these lithium ion batteries increases the rate of the battery degradation slightly. Tesla allows you to set it to max and gives you a warning (it recommends 90%). Ford lets you set a 1-time limit via the Sync console, which maybe it’s enough. I suppose there are the rare chance when your bank balance doesn’t pay for the price of electricity while you’re doing a DCFC session so you want to cap it? Anyways, these are 2 basic features needed features needed in any EV I think, and it is weird that Ford decides to omit them.

What we do know is Ford will eventually go to Android Auto completely and sunset Sync, and that’s good on them. What we can also infer from all the PR is that the 2022 F-150 Lightning is a first-to-market play where Ford tries to shoehorn all of that good EV engineering in the body of a gas F-150, complete with its last-decade infotainment system. It is not the future, and it’s a product that’s one foot planted in the present and one foot kind of in the future. That’s why things like CoPilot Active 2.0 or whatever they call their driver assist/safety suite, has a weird name like that, as it doesn’t even have full hands-free BlueCruise until sometime later this year after a software update? Yea, you buy the hardware first and wait for the software features later, so much for a legacy company’s way of doing business. It’s half-assed just like the way I had to go about buying this truck, I guess.

PS. Tax credits. With the Inflation Reduction Act, the old 200,000 cap and 7500 Fed income tax credit is gone. What replaces it is something similar but different in some key ways. Gone is the 200,000 cap. In are the “where it’s from” schemes, which applies to where the car is assembled (USA only), and where the batteries comes from (US allies), and even more so, where the material for the batteries come from (US allies). In addition there are cost and income caps to who can buy what car with what incentive. It is also a straight credit that eventually can be claimed at point of sale. The old system should still apply until the end of 2022 as far as tax credit goes. The new law while replaces the old one immediately after 2 weeks being signed into law, not every part of the new system kicks in at the same time. For 2022, only the made-in-the-US law kicks in. There are some other stuff that’s not clear for these transition times. It does mean Kia/Hyundai/Genesis EVs loses out on this, as well as some BMW/MB EVs. It’s great that VW has that US plant up and going strong already. What isn’t is most EVs made in the US use Chinese batteries (like the F-150 Lightning), except Tesla’s. Trucks and SUV gets a $80,000 limit meaning expensive SUVs/Trucks like Rivian are now out of luck most likely, as well as Lariat/Platinum Lightnings.

Files, Files, Files

Sometimes it feels like the world is a small place, and sometimes it feels like we live in different universes. Sometimes it might just mean that most people really don’t know what they’re even talking about.

It is good that you first read or skim the article linked in the tweet if you have not. It won’t make a lot of sense until you do. In short, it’s about how college professors are now unable to explain to freshmen students on how to open files, because a lot of younger folks never really had to learn it.

This is the kind of content that is perfect for trolling, personally, because some people feel strongly about tree-based filesystem designs, for reasons that has to do with a serious answer I’ll provide to why it’s even happening in the first place. But that’s like having emotional attachment to, say, a mesh based gutter guard versus a flow based gutter guard just because at some point you had to hire someone to put it up on your house. It makes sense if you are also a gutter technician or a home improvement pro of some kind, but random professors who are just trying to get spreadsheets opened?

So yes, I think it’s because software tools have changed over the decades, and middle and high school curriculums have also changed to keep up. Thus tossing the filesystem out. In my experience you learn this kind of “hard” UX experiences in school–along with QWERTY typing and using a spreadsheet. Blaming it on new tech advances is fine too, but that’s like complaining about Java garbage collection taking away programmers who are skilled in indexing memory manually. Not having to manually assign memory has its pros that translate to, well, now most things are done this way for various reasons.

It’s just to say some college professors are still running C on their grey matter and are now complaining about node.js running somewhere else. Do you, too, prefer to allocate memory manually? In short, this is the “we don’t care about punch cards anymore” argument.

There is another take. The file system tree and concept of files and folders, or that I may have 100s of icons on my desktop, are what forms the basis of etiquette, but they aren’t actual etiquette. You can complain about my work desk being a mess, but who cares if my Desktop folder has so many things in it? The whole notion of data and files in folders is, at some level, a thing in computer science and engineering, about an abstract concept on how to index data. How is this at all a concern about what people know? Are you suppose to be upset if people don’t analyze their tables in Oracle DB? No? Maybe you should join these boomers and ensure the fastest performance? LOL.

Which is just to say this is perfect trolling fodder–mostly white, out of touch old people complaining about kids for no reason? Sure, complain about how Apple and Google made us dumb. Because it’s at least something that boomers can do that we don’t have to worry about.

PS. This confluence of boomers realizing what has been happening to children is probably equally eloquently put by this series of insurance commercials. Same energy, basically.