At Odds With Our Government

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

For posterity’s sake below is worst-writer’s transcription of Tim Cook’s tell-all, ask-all and all-around cute little keynote speech before he starts hocking gadgets to the world and thereby protecting the bottom line, March 2016. I’ve listened to this speech several times. Each time I listen it gets under my gander more and more. But enough of my anti-corpo cynicism. Or maybe not.

Thanks for joining us.

Blah. Blah. Krapp about selling a billion products. Blah Blah. More Corpo krapp. Blah. We’re the best in the universe. Blah Blah Blah. Amazing.

Before we get started today I’d like to address something. We built the iPhone for you. We know it is a deeply personal device. For many of us the iPhone is an extension of ourselves. About a month ago we asked American’s across the country to join in on a conversation. We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy. I’ve been humbled and am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve received from Americans across the country and all walks of life. We didn’t expect to be in this position at odds with our own government but we believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We owe it to our customers and to our country, this is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shrink from this responsibility. -Tim Cook, Apple Inc.

Is this churchillian? I mean, does it motivate one to fight or believe (in something)? Is this profound? Will we take it with us through life’s trials and tribulations? Is it the mind of a sage? Perhaps such wisdom will save us someday. Or is this a new level of bullshit-pure never before heard? Is it a mind that makes a movie? I don’t know why this churns a feeling of hostile indifference in me. It’s the same feeling I get when I hear conspiracy theorist’s churn about how a flag can wave (or not wave) when supplanted on the moon. Even though some people think this little diddi by Tim Cook was worth every brief word, I profanely disagree. Fu*k! I think Tim Cook and Apple are shameful and out of order and the company should be punished for insubordination (to humanity). I also think it is an example of how low the corporate world can go–without even knowing it’s reached new lows. But that’s the world we live in, eh! That said, I also think the FBI should be disbanded and should have never been created in the first place. The NSA is just another krapp government agency and also deserves to be in the trash heap of authoritarian, war-mongering government history. These types of law & order and war-mongering institutions, set along side greed-mongering corporations, should be proof enough of the neo-feudalism that so many are confusing with fascism. Yet nothing happens. At beast, all the hordes of corpo automatons think is that the government is not the same as a private corporation. Really? Private corporations deserve to make money, they say. Government is there to protect us, they add. Etc., etc. In fact, in a healthy democracy, these entities, these institutions, would look quite different. And there we have it, eh, dear worst-reader? Do we live in a healthy, functioning democracy? But I digress. §As I worst-said here, Apple taking a position where it tries to protect its bottom line–and let’s face it, if Apple were to lose its ability to secure and encrypt its iPhones the ramifications on its bottom line would be horrendous–and thereby turning the government into the boogyman seems like a stretch at best and yelling fire in a crowded theatre at worst. Who does Apple and Tim Cook think they are? And let me reiterate one more time. I’m not defending the FBI or the government here. It’s just that the reaction to this cute little bullshit speech about Apple’s bottom line has opened a door of sympathy when a door of hostile disapproval should be ripped off its hinges. But I guess with all the dysfunction ruling our lives, it’s hard to see through the mirror of self annihilation. So let Apple continue to move jobs abroad, hide tax revenues from the American people, have the poor of the world make its products in sweatshops and covering it all up in rose-gold. Rant on. -Tommi

Know Who You're Competing With For Life, Liberty & The Pursuit Of Spendable Income

the greatest

Competition is the opposite of cooperation and is perfect for sport, games and getting laid. What else has it proven to be good for?

Not sure if I got the right article. But I’m gonna go with it. See below. §Gave a listen to comrade Wolff this morning. See other link below. As usual, and unfortunately, Comrade Wolff doesn’t provide links to the articles he references during his podcast. That means I have to go out and source what he references myself. Good thing I worked in information services for a few years. I guess Comrade Wolff’s budget doesn’t allow for someone to just codify and post the info he references. I mean, through the first half of his podcasts he’s always talking about this article or that article or whatever thing he or his staff finds in the news. If you don’t listen carefully then you miss the source of what he’s referencing and it’s kind of a bummer to go back and fiddle though the podcast to find it again. Nomatter. §Today Comrade Wolff talks about how Generation Y, i.e. those born after 1980, is royally screwed because parents and grandparents are nothing more than a bunch of greed mongering schmucks. Well, he doesn’t quite put it that way. Comrade Wolff even goes so far as to claim that the progenitors fought and, I guess, died for things like worker benefits, pensions, retirements, etc. Did they? Whatever. The thing is, I agree with Comrade Wolff–except for one thing. It’s not only Generation Y that is screwed by previous generations. If you ask me, and no one should, there is a pattern in humanity that this situation follows. Or maybe not. §The generation that fought WW2 and the children of that generation, i.e. baby-boomers, are the ones Comrade Wolff talks about. I take issue with blaming only one generation. Reason? I was born in 1963. If I’m not mistaken I am right in the middle of the baby-boomer generation and Generation X. Being generationally positioned as I am, I can easily claim that I too have felt the greed-pain of previous generations. The problem is, according to The Guardian, there seems to be only figures and stats for Generation Y. It’s as though they’re the only generation that’s been screwed. And so I say: Where are my stats? Where’s proof of my economic demise? As far as I can tell, I’ve been just as screwed as Gen Y and Gen X and Gen forevermore. Or maybe not. §I should also include in this rant the fact that I saw the sinking ship that is also the train wreck that started in 1980’s #americant. I knew very early on that if you don’t inherit some money, have parents that can afford to support you, or find a way to get a clean education beyond graduate school–and then become an automaton programmed to live-to-work–you are gonna be screwed, screwed, screwed. Not only was it next to impossible back then to get a start in a career coming from the broken-ness of middle-class suburban hell, but the hoarding of life, liberty and consume-to-survive was already well underway. That is what Reagan unleashed! Heck, I remember my parents (born at the end of WW2) buying houses on equity loans in the early 80s. They also bought a second pool (because the first one wasn’t new enough). And then there were all the new cars every few years. And while they were consuming to their heart’s content, I couldn’t get student aide or even a student loan because Ronald (the dipshit actor) Reagan changed all the benefits for the underprivileged. Although I was raised in #americant’s low middle class, my stepfather never felt obligated to assist in my life start. Since I had no relations with my biological father, where were the resources for the beginning of life to come from? Oh yeah. It’s America. The land of opportunity. Dish washer to millionaire. The problem is, I never believed in fairies, easter bunnies or fucking santa claus after the age of six. Which means, once I turned eighteen and my mother wasn’t around to stop him (she was visiting Germany at the time) my stepfather literally threw me out of the house because I wouldn’t subject myself to economic conscription and go off to  support a war machine owned by rich people. As I walked out of the door of the house I had grown to hate anyway, the pseudo patriarch of go-nowwhere, suburban hell #americant said, to crown his grand achievement: good luck and thanks for all the fish you smart ass. I flipped the fucker the bird and was off to a life of happy failure. Boo f’n who, eh! But enough about worst-writer. §My point is this: both The Guardian and Comrade Wolff have it wrong. It’s not so much about whether a particular generation has less earning and/or consumer (cap)ability. The issue is: what is humanity capable of? That is, we are all competing not only against each other but against a globalised world owned and run by rich people. Because no one–at least I’ve never met anyone–can recognise their place on this planet, how are we supposed to circumvent our own demise? We’re competing with the same generations who never knew Starbucks, TV and Lego in India and China. Every time you buy a Starbucks, Lego or a TV you add to the weight of children unborn–which is no different than the weight I carried. We compete to our doom because we know no better and for some us–yours truly–it worked out fine. My parents generation, my generation, generation x and y, and generation unborn are all the source of what’s wrong. Does that make me a misanthrope? I hope so! If Comrade Wolff really believes that the world can be changed by a new generation just because they can’t buy enough krapp… Well, good luck suckers… And thanks for all the fish. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

Designed In Ain't Made In #Americant

designed in aint made in

Upon his death (or joining Elvis) Steve Jobs left behind one of the most successful companies the world has ever known. Almost five years later Apple Inc. is still a behemoth of cash and profits. Which begs worst-moi to ask the following: is it me or does it feel like Apple is riding on laurels? Every event, like the one yesterday, brings with it a swath of news and debate that has never before existed for any company. There are rumours and speculation about Apple’s products and services months before these events take place. Apple pundits and tech journalist in and out of silicon valley seem to know exactly what to talk about–and talk they do. Yet, what about the customers? The what? §You know, it’s one thing to be a crazed biker and put a Harley tattoo on your arm showing your devotion to a brand. It’s another thing for a brand to create a rumour-industrial-complex where everyone is waiting to hear what’s next, what’s new, how much money can I throw at you. With that in mind, would I rather tattoo a pic of a Harley Davidson low-rider (with Pam Anderson on it) or an Apple logo on my ass? For one thing, even though Harley’s are based on totally outdated technology, people are devoted to them as though they’ve never been warned about golden calves. Coolness has that effect, eh! What? Am I claiming that Apple isn’t as cool as Harley Davidson and not worth the/a tattoo? No. I’m not worst-saying that. What I’m worst-saying is that the buyers of big and loud Harley’s know that the suits running that business can only fuck with them so much. Harley was/is as much a company made by its customers (just study up on what it means to “chop” something) as it was/is made by #americant. Plus, Harley’s can still be associated with Made-In America, baby. Apple Inc., on the other hand, is Designed in California. Even though I know exactly what designing something means, why Apple had to go there is a mystery. But then again, when one considers who runs the show these days, maybe it’s not such a mystery after all. With all the ageing and über-lucky college-grads running Apple–who look more and more like slimy used car salesmen that discovered GAP or Banana Republic after winning the lottery–it’s no wonder they have no qualms about fucking with customers till the cows come running–by design. Hence, your products are not made with blood, sweat and tears–in America. Anyone jump to his/her death from a Foxconn rooftop lately? §Let’s talk some reality here. We buy Apple products so that Apple can make them obsolete. Period. Which brings me to recycling and robots. I can’t believe Apple presents a recycling robot yesterday as though it’s corporate culture of lies and compulsive behaviourism are two different things. Take my word for it. I’ve been one of Apple’s sucker customers for most of my life and I’ve work in compulsive behaviourism, too. I’ve tried to treat an old Mac Classic and a Mac Colour Classic as though they were a ’57 panhead. But I ended up throwing both of them away as though one day I saw the light. Obviously I would never have done the same with a Harley. And there, perhaps, is the difference between brand loyalty and brand suckerism. In the tech world, for me at least, Apple is the best of the worst and far from the best of the best! Harley is not even a fucking motorcycle–it’s a Harley! But I’m off subject. §After giving up on the corporate career dream-nightmare (compulsive behaviourism) and thereby adjusting my life so that my only major expenses are buying mostly used or refurbished Apple products, I feel comfortable claiming that for the last few years Apple is the same as mediocrity. On top of that, Apple is still riding the luscious wave its hippy guru Jobs left it (laurels). Which begs the question–even though it was one of his last wishes that no one ask it: what would Steve do? More on that in a sec. §I’m even more comfortable saying that since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, with a slight uptick due to the iPad, Apple has delivered absolutely nothing worth mentioning in years. Now that it’s brought back the iPhone 5s in the form of the 5se, I’m shaking in my old biker boots. The light at the end of this tunnel is shinning at me with the hope of a digital alternative to my/a Apple future. Come on, Apple! You couldn’t at least redesign the new iPhone 5se? You know, make it thicker, stronger, more battery life? And that’s not all. Why is the new AppleTV bigger than the old one? Where is a new Mac Mini with discrete graphics! I’ve even read that the old 5s cases will fit the new 5se. What? Heck, my mind started putting together the irony of Apple’s new recycle robot and the same phone they’ve been making since 2012. I thought: wow, now we know what Apple is up to. “Recycle” is code for putting new guts in old phone with a bit of added bang-boom-shazaam. Ingenious–for profits? Disgusting–for innovation! Boring–for customers. But I digress. §I suspect Steve Jobs was an Ayn Rand loving neoliberal. If that’s true, what would his reaction be to where Apple is today? I bet he would shake the fucking house down. The confusion of products (Apple makes watch bands!), the mess of iTunes (Apple Music), and most Macs sold don’t even have discrete graphics, says everything–if you understand the issues that customers need to face in the digital economy. Graphic capability is the reason Macs survived at all–with or without Jobs return to the company. But I suppose all that is beyond most sucker customers. §Which brings me to the issue of Apple reacting to the government in its fight against the FBI while trying to sell laurels. The fact that Tim Cook even addressed the issue at the beginning of yesterday’s event blows my mind. Are you serious, Apple? I wonder if Steve Jobs would have made such a lame-ass speech as Tim Cook did yesterday. Even mentioning government while trying to sell gadgets at this level is mind-boggling to me. Is Apple to blame for that or is government, failed democracy, The Donald, or college grads who never learned to think for themselves? It would have been just as good if Tim Cook would have said nothing about one of the greediest human entities in history and its greed-fight with greed government over something as stupid as an iPhone 5c which was used by a greed religious nut. Which brings me to reality. §Tim Cook, you lucky dog–for there is nothing else to call the college grads that behave their way to the top and when they get there all they can muster is mediocrity, #americant, and a whole bunch of nothingness. It cannot be said enough, dear worst-reader, this world is run by these college grads, i.e. joksters and fools in well tailored casual outfits. So it’s no wonder that the angry Harley guys out there are finally getting their voice in/via The Donald. But, again, I digress. Rant on. -Tommi

Worstwriter Anthem Or Creed?

The most incurably frustrated–and, therefore, the most vehement–among the permanent misfits are those with an unfulfilled craving for creative work. Both those who try to write, paint, compose, etcetera, and fail decisively, and those who after tasting the elation of creativeness feel a drying up of the creative flow within and know that never again will they produce aught worth-while, are alike in the grip of a desperate passion. Neither fame nor power nor riches nor even monumental achievements in other fields can still their hunger. Even the wholehearted dedication to a holy cause does not always cure them. Their unappeased hunger persists, and they are likely to become the most violent extremists in the service of their holy cause. -Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

Wirtschaftswunderkinder From The East Mix Well With Too Many PHDs

german borg flag

Having lived there for 20+yrs nothing shocks me anymore about the grand and delusional state of Germania when the buckles holding up its crescent moon start to shake. But then again, that’s why worstwriter.com is here. To provide a heads up. With that piece of self-promotion in mind, is Merkel getting what she deserves? Not that it matters. I mean, it really doesn’t matter who the chancellor of Germania is. It could be a Pfefferlinge or a Schweinehundleckerbissen. The only difference that Merkel makes as chancellor is she’s where she is so that other German females can’t go where they deserve to go. The corporate Germania freakshow is, without doubt, a boys club. For a woman to get a job running any part of the big business country-club, hell would have to freeze over or milk from a teat would have to become a qualifier (for the job). I mean, come on. A German female CEO running Mercedes? Are you f’n kidding me?

Vee heav z’ Kanzlerin!

The only other thing that matters (in Germania) is whether or not shareholders, ancient family money, over-zealous PHD grads that grow on trees, all have their day partying around in leased Audis and Mercedes and hoping that zero interest rates will save them all from certain Euro-doom as the bullshit, overpriced real-estate market that so many suckers bought in to on the promise of gettin’ by like their Wirtschaftwunder parents got by, crashes to the ground. I mean, that’s what happening on Merkel’s watch–whether she and her party suffer a state election or not. And so, let’s thank Margot Honecker for giving the world Angie Merkel. Thanks Margot, you old b*tch!

Rant on. -Tommi

Link that motivated this post:

 

Everyone's Day In Court Will Never Come

justice FBI apple

Subtitle: Juxtaposition of Hope v Change v Consuming v Survive v Gee, I don’t know, …Orwell?

You know, recently, before our move to India, I floated the idear that we should probably update our ageing digital devices. My wife’s iPhone 5S was looking pretty beat up and my iPhone 4S was almost a brick due to Apple’s draconian iOS updates. It only made sense to consider updating this stuff before our move as India is a pretty expensive place to buy tech krapp. My wife half-joked not to worry about it because we could just take a flight from Bangelore to Malaysia. “It’s a only quick flight”, she said. “Malaysia’s the cheapest place to buy tech krapp,” she added. But all worst-bourgeois joking aside, my floated idear was taken seriously and we ended up buying, without contract, new digital devices before our move. I bought my new iPhone 6S in the US during a recent visit and my wife bought one too while we spent a last weekend in Europe, albeit in London. All in all, with trade-ins, selling of old devices, exchange rates, we’re pleased with our status as über-consumers. And let me add that we got these devices without those crazy-as* phone cell contracts. Which means, we paid full price for this krapp! Does anyone know what full price is these days as we finance, lease, perpetually rent everything? But I digress. §Recent developments in the tech world have made me worst-think twice about our purchase. Conclusion (so far)? There is, obviously, another immense hidden cost of owning a piece of The Digital World. Let’s face it. Beyond the reality of there being a tech cabal out there made up of a few companies who have managed to monopolise everything–screwing consumers royally–what is the real cost we’re paying for having a connection to The Digital World? Enter the recent debacle of the FBI v Apple. It’s one thing that we are forced to pay such manipulated, unjustifiable prices for this krapp. I mean, come on! How much does it really cost to make this stuff? I’ll wager it costs next to nothing to make an iPhone. Considering that incremental updates to the device have been taking place since its intro, and the profits Apple has made since then, yeah, Apple has to create the illusion that it’s expensive. Apple is good at illusion (and distortions fields). But, again, I digress. §So what about the issue of whether or not government will use these devices as tools of oppression? I mean, how far are we away from the retina scanners of Minority Report? Isn’t that what the whole debate is about right now? In the movie Minority Report we see retina scanners doing their thing in order to sell us krapp. Of course, when a rogue agent is being hunted by religious and conservative nutbags, those retina scanners serve a completely different purpose. That “purpose” is so immense that people even gouge out or replace their eyes to prevent government spooking. And so. When I hear the FBI–the largest and best funded police agency in the frickin’ world!–bitch & moan like a spoiled girly in spring-time that it can’t crack an iPhone 5C, I start to tear up. On top of that, just watch the mongrels from the FBI laud their reasoning for breaking some seriously good encryption that the private sector has spent a pretty penny developing. Indeed. As much as I hate the technology cabal that manipulates markets, subverts free commerce, treats consumers like dirt, the encryption technologies that have been developed are worth every bit of praise. Encryption for the masses is supposed to be part of being free–not just preventing hackers from accessing your paypal account or your sexy selfies. And so. It’s not tears that come out of my eye ducts when I hear govt./FBI bitch & moan like only conservatives can, it’s puke that comes out. Or, put another way–after taking a deep breath–I’m flabbergasted at what’s going on between the federal government and a private corporation in the land of the free. Or course, as we all know, it’s the land of the free to be stupid, right Donald Trump followers? Which means, it’s not expected that the masses actually comprehend what’s going on in our digital world. That’s why I believe the FBI went public with this issue. The FBI knows that #americants are stupid and will react to this issue based on populism, patriotism or who yells the loudest. These lemmings have long since been driven off the cliff’s edge or rational thought. In fact, when you consider the forum in which a debate about privacy and freedom is taking place, i.e. the united mistakes of #americant, where The Donald, a psycho maniac, is leading the republican party down the path it was always meant to traverse, it’s no wonder that a legal precedence is about to be made regarding liberty and individualism? A precedence that favours government power and the collusion of big tech. Wow. With all that in worst-mind, I’m wondering if 2016 will go down in history as a moment of truth. Based on what we’ve experienced from government up till now, combined with the greed mongering of monopolistic industries who obviously haven’t paid off their government reps enough, we already live in the Minority Report future. Time to figure out how to remove your retinas, baby. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

 

Passage To India, Legal, House Hunting And Cat5 Ethernet

wall-mounted-ethernet.jpg

The first week in India has been a challenge. Not sure I can communicate it fully in this status update. But have no fear, worst-writer will try.

  • Big day today. Started very early where we had to go to immigration authorities to get legal docs regarding our visa. After about two hours of sitting around it all worked out. We’re legal till Jan 2017.
  • After legal stuff it is time to get serious about apartment hunting.
  • Better-half is in the middle of lots of work, getting initialised in her new position and new organisation. There should be some domestic travel between north India and our new home in Bangelore. But luckily that hasn’t started yet.
  • As far as worst-writer living in a hotel for up to two months, here’s what I can come up with so far. I’m a bit perturbed with the trepidations of taking care of a dog that finds our living quarters cramped. Luckily our room is attached to a basketball-size garden where he can run around outside as though he owns the place.
  • As far as the hotel goes, it’s a five-star facility in the middle of Bangelore. Although I haven’t the time or courage to try out the pool–it’s in the middle of main dining area, I have tried the sauna, the gym and the bar where there’s this cute India chick that loves Beckett the-killer-pug so much she’s offered to watch after him if we need a dog-sitter.
  • “But that’s my job, sweety,” I thought to myself. It’s not so obvious that rolls have been switched in our household.
  • Our über-friendly bar-maiden also serves a mean Kingfisher beer along with some seriously hot n spicy bar snacks–which I’m still struggling to avoid. And one last note on cute India chicks.
  • As you know, dear worst-reader, Indian chicks wear Sari’s and depending on their mood or their posture there is always something revealing in their dress. Why does that shock me?
  • Apartment hunting. After a week of delays we finally got around to some serious apartment hunting today. So far it looks like we’re not going to be living in a “expat” community–something we initial thought we should do. Due to travel times across the city, though, the preferred community is just too far out of reach. In Bangelore it’s not the actual distance that’a a problem. It’s the time needed to drive. Needless to say, traffic here (third world?) is horrendous–or should I say it’s almost as bad as traffic in Cologne (first world?)
  • One of our apartments favourites has its own pool. Can you believe that? I joked with the agent showing us the place that a pool is good, I like places with extra bathtubs. The bathtub comment turned into a running joke. In my heart of hearts, though, having a private pool is a bit too bourgeois and decadent. But my better-half liked it.
  • Another apartment, that was brand new, btw, was wired with CAT5 ethernet. Stop the presses! That’s some pretty modern stuff and would make any on-going, wannabe systems analyst and potential self-web-hoster like me, drool.
  • Yeah, I’ll take CAT5 ethernet over a private pool any day.
  • Enough for now. We look at more apartments on Saturday. Decision should be pending after that.

Rant on. -Tommi