The Tragic Death of Practically Everything
August 21, 2010 9:49 AM   Subscribe

The Tragic Death of Practically Everything -- a sad litany of technological defeatism and FUD.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (31 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
a sad litany of technological defeatism and fud...

Is clearly the best possible title for the memoirs of a depressive, womanising Scottish techie.

Context for the benighted non-Scots amongst ye
posted by Dim Siawns at 9:57 AM on August 21, 2010


Only posting because I also know what fud means.
posted by fire&wings at 10:00 AM on August 21, 2010




LONG LIVE PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING!
posted by carsonb at 10:01 AM on August 21, 2010


Unfortunately, using attention getting hyperbolic headlines over content-free bullshit opinion stories will never die.
posted by octothorpe at 10:02 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Repostfilter.
posted by clarknova at 10:05 AM on August 21, 2010


Death is dead!
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:28 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


They missed one! This list is not complete with the Death of Hyperbole.
posted by ambrosia at 10:29 AM on August 21, 2010


Chris Anderson is a tool. Or as Sarah Silverman described him "A barnacle of mediocrity on Bill Gate's Asshole".
posted by delmoi at 10:43 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what's interesting about that post? How hard it is to read with all the images of blog headlines interspersed in it.

It goes to show how accustomed I've gotten to the layout conventions for blogs. Each time I hit a new headliney-looking thing, I go "Whelp, that was a stupidly short post, but here's the start of the next one already, so I guess it's over" and I stop reading. Every single one.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:44 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


*beams at delmoi for his insightful observation*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:54 AM on August 21, 2010


I guess this is partially due to...

-The break-neck pace of innovation

-Old-media is trying to remain relevant (which lead to the strange irony of a print institution announcing that the web is dead over the medium of the web without having very many of the readers of the article actually read it in print), and up and coming media is trying to break out and distinguish itself from the legion of tech oriented opinion blogs

-A general cultural feeling of constant revolution and upheaval

-The nature of being popular on link blogs. "X IS DEAD" in 40 pt font gets you more diggs than "The nature of the web, and the jobs that it's being tasked with are slowly changing from primary content to platform"

-If you can get people arguing then you can get page views. Premature obituaries are a good way to do that.

-There's definite profit motivations in declaring something passe or dead. In Wired's case it's pretty obvious how having magazines be for-pay apps, instead of ad-supported web pages would be beneficial.
posted by codacorolla at 11:10 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I immediately thought of this, but I'm old and non-Scottish.

How hard it is to read with all the images of blog headlines interspersed in it. It goes to show how accustomed I've gotten to the layout conventions for blogs.

Yeah, me too. Jarring.
posted by Gator at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2010


> Context for the benighted non-Scots amongst ye

Here's the Dictionary of the Scots Language entry, which gives the first definition as "The human posteriors, the buttocks" (I love the first citation, from c.1715 Jacobite Minstr. 56: "We’ll wauk their hydes and fyle their fuds, And bring the Stuarts back again"); definition 3 is "The female pubes or pudendum." The OED has:
Chiefly Sc. The pubic hair (esp. of a woman); cf. sense 2 ["The tail or ‘scut’ of a hare, rabbit, etc."]. Also: the female genitals. Now coarse slang.
1771 ‘CLAUDERO’ Hen-peckt Carter in Misc. Prose & Verse 95 Each hair of her fud is the length of a span, What fud can compare to the fud of Joan? 1835 D. WEBSTER Rhymes 24 Ye could hae seen in curious cases, Their bits o' fuds. 1937 E. PARTRIDGE Dict. Slang, Fud, the pubic hair: coll. when not Scottish or dial. 1995 D. MCLEAN Bunker Man 23 It really looked like the cock was firing off into a big square fud.
As for the etymologyl, the DSL says to compare "Icel. fuð, the genitals of a female animal, Norw. fud, id., the posteriors, Ger. -fut, id." The OED agrees, adding "formally identical with Skr. putau dual, buttocks." So now you know.
posted by languagehat at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Netcraft confirms it.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:32 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wired wants the web to be dead so that their for-profit app will be successful. If the world bends in favour of paywalls and apps, that would suck for the average web user but would presumably support the business model of traditional media.

I was really shocked to hear that the web was dead, given how many really awesome web tools there are out there, what with the vastly improved Google docs, gmail and calendar in particular. The cloud is increasingly the better choice personally and professionally, and for the cost, the financially more viable one.

It seems fairly clear that while apps are in at the moment, they probably won't be in 5 years. The mobile web will likely supplant apps you have to download and keep up-to-date. I would have been much less surprised if the title of the article was "Apps are dead".
posted by Hildegarde at 11:40 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


So now you know.

More than I wanted to, Languagehat, more than I wanted to...
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:49 AM on August 21, 2010


Off to look for pictures of Elmer Fud with Google safe search turned off. Wish me luck.
posted by Splunge at 11:54 AM on August 21, 2010


TLIAD got it right, and I always thought FUD was Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

Now I am enlightened.
posted by sfts2 at 12:13 PM on August 21, 2010


[uppercased FUD, carry on ]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:37 PM on August 21, 2010


When Mr. skullhead said " So long Metafilter" he was true to his word. He's out there now, some 30 years later, lurrrrrrking.
posted by nola at 2:39 PM on August 21, 2010


FUD? You mean like Mexican sour cream? Yum!
posted by carsonb at 3:19 PM on August 21, 2010


Heh. Yeah, I wrote a bit about this when a colleague of mine said that the mouse was dead, and then again when Negroponte said the book was dead (in five years, but still). It's easy to say something is dead instead of looking at the conflict and making real observations. For instance, with the mouse, it was more about the conflict between indirect and direct interaction with the UI as a result of touchscreens reaching a tipping point in quality and price. With the book it was more that information no longer needs to be printed to be propagated - but the book as an object still holds a lot of value compared to an e-book or what have you. There's always more to say.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:00 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Punditry is dead.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:09 PM on August 21, 2010


It seems fairly clear that while apps are in at the moment, they probably won't be in 5 years. The mobile web will likely supplant apps you have to download and keep up-to-date. I would have been much less surprised if the title of the article was "Apps are dead".

I don't know how much I agree with this. If iOS is any indicator (and you kind of have to admit that regardless of market share, it is the defining player in this space), apps are not going anywhere. Web replacements for all the apps I use would have to do a hell of a lot. For all we like to talk about web technologies replacing proprietary platforms, it's going to be a long while until the standards bodies can agree on a way to get all the data needed in and out of the browser. And even then there will likely be things that you just can't do as quickly or as elegantly in cross-platform web standards as you can using a platform-specific app API. Yes, hardware and mobile OS vendors are somewhat to blame for this, but the standards bodies aren't exactly doing their part either.
posted by spitefulcrow at 5:01 PM on August 21, 2010


Declaring things dead? Very much alive.
posted by DU at 5:48 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gods, what an idiot - or what delmoi said.
posted by uni verse at 8:30 PM on August 21, 2010


"Call me when Wired is dead."
posted by nrobertson at 10:37 PM on August 21, 2010


Everybody here and everyone they know will be dead in 120 years. So what, we didn't already know that?

My theory about this shite I call chicken-little millenialism. (I know ... sounds like something Sterling came up with.) It's like we're looking for excuses to be glum, involve ourselves in nihilism. To forget that each moment is a gift.
“I think over again my small adventures,
my fears, those small ones that seemed so big
those vital things I had to get and to reach

yet there is only one great thing:
to live and see the great day that dawns
and the light that fills the world.”
posted by Twang at 12:05 AM on August 22, 2010


I don't know if melenialism has much to do with it. Rather I think that since the 80s there's been a tradition of technology journalism that involves making a ton of brash, unrealistic, and contradictory positions and then pointing to the few that sorta come true to say, "I told you so." John Dvorak has made a publishing career out of this sort of thing. And John Gruber has made a blogging career out of responding with "yeah, right."

The other flavor of technological punditry seems to involve saying that some interesting feature or technology is going to be universally adopted and change the world.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:47 AM on August 22, 2010


Hogwash, no technology or protocol ever dies. Now if you'll excuse me I'll be discussing the latest viral gopher memes on icb with my fellows.
posted by godisdad at 11:25 AM on August 23, 2010


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