One of the first things that I do after installing new software on my computer, is to disable Automatic Updates and if possible to also disable Update Notifications.
Obviously it’s nice to be informed when new – and sometimes critical – updates are available to the software that you use. Sometimes months could go by without you remembering that it’s wise to check.
On the other hand it is very annoying when you’re busy with online activity or working on your intellectual enterprises, when software that you’re using is ceaselessly reminding you of updates or simply updating itself without you even knowing about it.
This is for example the reason that I (almost) never use Google Chrome, not only that it updates itself often and always without your knowledge and you have no control or option to disable it.
The same for example with WordPress, which is a great software and drives a few of my websites.
In the past it was very annoying when I was publishing new material and suddenly I had to devote time to update plugins and customized solutions because it had simply overnight downloaded new updates into the server where I host my sites.
It’s possible to stop that behaviour with a simple tweak, but it requires you to be on the alert, which is a good thing. In general it’s great to use computers to facilitate creativity and to shape certain things in our lives, but if it channels our minds into drone’ism, then the computer revolution is degenerating us and not empowering.
As an intellectual being – or Homo Sapiens and not Mindless Primate – it’s anathema to me that software made by others, even when it’s good for its purpose, does things to my computers without my knowledge or consent.
In todays world it’s almost impossible to use Web Browsers who don’t update themselves. Lately I’ve tolerated Mozilla Firefox because you have the option to be either informed of updates or having them installed automatically.
The reason that I tolerated it is that you could install a JSON file in its installation folder to disable this completely, but suddenly even that doesn’t work. You simply cannot browse anymore without being continuously interrupted and annoyed.
Obviously I’m not really speaking about Chrome and Firefox but the consciousness of modern computing culture in general.
That’s the point: Modern programmers are so convinced of their intellectual superiority, much like the Humanist Worldsystem which has nurtured them since childhood in state run brainwash factories, that they – like their mothersystem – feel authorized to think on your behalf.
For us who learned computing before 1999 and where forced to adopt the minimalism and exquisiteness of Kernighan, Richie and Gosling; The 21st century computing environment is slowly suffocating itself in dumb overkill.
We check ourselves from time to time, if there are updates, security fixes, or new versions. Most of us always check them out and stay with them, but some of us resist, even if it’s mostly futile.
Gone are the days when website developers studied Jakob Nielsen and his friends in the Nielsen Norman Group, to facilitate great usability and excellent but classical design to enable great websites for both intellectual and visual elegance.
I will tolerate Firefox for a few more days, but it’s dead to me. Last year I spent a few days searching for a browser which I could use and respect and I deeply regret that I have to spend time on that enterprise again.