CSotD: Schaedenfreude and Other Delights

Joy of Tech comments on the sort-of-sudden demise of Google Plus, and I find myself somewhat constrained to comment because I pretty much hated Google Plus from the start.

It’s not them, it’s me. Back at the dawn of time, when AOL was new, I got on their Instant Messenger service long enough to start to realize what a dreadful time sink it was.

There were all these Ned Ryersons who would buttonhole you when you were trying to do something else online, and then I began to wonder if maybe I was one of them.

Google Plus is — was? — not a real-time annoyance like IMs, but it did contain a noticeable pester-factor.

Besides, there was something about the “Now We All Have To Do This” in their launch that put me off. My response to “Now We All Have To Do This” tends to be “Wanna bet?”

Anyway, hearing Google is shutting it down is similar to the news that Sears may be going out of business.

I didn’t know they still were in business.

And my response to the Google Plus security breach is that I’m sure half their users were very upset and the other seven were okay with it.


In other tech news, Sherman’s Lagoon has been on a story arc about Alexa that reached this point today but began back here and is worth picking up on.

I have had Alexa since she first came out and have come to rely on her for my morning Flash Briefing and for music, since you can ask her to play some Memphis Slim or a Buffalo Springfield Channel and have good music for the whole working day.

My only problem is that I keep calling her “Eliza,” and if you catch that error, you are very old and kind of geeky but not in any practical sense.

And since my anti-Ryerson personality means I maintain a flip phone, not a smart one, I don’t have Siri or Google to compete with her, but I would note that Eldest Son not only has all three but knows what sorts of questions each is best at answering.

This may be the result of his being in the home stretch of having had three daughters in the house.


Speaking of whom — the granddaughters, not the virtual assistants — the current Doc & Raider seems worth following, though we’re only five episodes into what I hope is an extended arc. It began here and the above is actually yesterday’s episode, but brings up an issue.

If I were heavily invested in a college, I’d be getting nervous, because I’m not sure they haven’t finally overpriced and overpromoted themselves.

I’m starting to think the chickens are coming home to roost, because it’s not just that kids like Raymond might want more hands-on work, but because they may also be wising up to the cost-value ratio.


And as much as guidance counselors love to hand out those bumperstickers and push their juniors into contemplating their collegiate futures, this 2007 Speed Bump remains a favorite of mine.

There have long been issues with the whole “gotta go to college” issue. My boys, now in their 40s, told me how classmates with genuine problems couldn’t get the attention of guidance counselors who were far too busy dealing with college applications.

And I’ve often thought that, when the Superintendent of Schools gets up at graduation and talks about the wonderful percentage of the class headed for four-year colleges, he should also reveal how many kids from two or three years ago have since dropped out or flunked out or otherwise given up on someone else’s dream.

Now I have one grandchild a few years out of school, pursuing a nursing degree, having earned a certificate as an aide which kept her rent paid, while the next-eldest is a junior taking voc-tec courses instead of college prep.

I couldn’t be prouder of them for seeing through the hype, and I hope their classmates are similarly pushing back against other people’s Great Expectations.

But if I worked for a college, I’d be lobbying to bring back the draft.


Not that we don’t have plenty of careers, as Tom the Dancing Bug suggests in a cartoon that should particularly appeal to any grandparents who raised their kids on these books but then took a second look when it came time to pass them along to the next generation.

Ah well. If I survived “What do Daddies do all day? Daddies work while children play!” and my kids got through Richard Scarry’s colorful depictions of women cooking and doing dishes while men did more interesting jobs, I guess we can hope our kids pick up on how we live and not just on the stories we tell them.

That’s on you, by the way.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Sack)

(Stuart Carlson)

The complaints continue to pour in on social media that the New York Times produced a long, complex, technical breakdown of Trump’s fiscal misbehavior that only a forensic accountant on speed, with access to the NYTimes paywall, could possibly trudge through, and yet nobody is yelling about it.

This is the second grouping of cartoons I’ve run on the subject, because somebody is indeed yelling about it, while Jack Shafer has written a story at Politico that mirrors my thoughts on the NYTimes piece:

It was too long and should have been a series, and it was too complex and needed to be broken down for the non-MBAs in the crowd.

To which, on one thread I saw, people responded that Politico sucks, a bit of faux-snobbery so contemptibly silly that it would be beneath mention were we not in a war zone.

“Why aren’t the peasants revolting?”
“Oh, but I find them eversomuch so!”

You’d better tilt that nose back down, pal, because Donnie and JC and Squee aren’t on our side in this, but many of my high-school friends with dirty hands — the ones who know a cam from a rotor — are.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Schaedenfreude and Other Delights

  1. Yep, Google+ is gone as of this morning.

    I’m not sure I would compare it to Sears. It’s more like that coffee shop people used to go to because it wasn’t Starbucks, but it was a chain nevertheless, and its coffee was just like the stuff you can buy for $3.99 a bag at Aldi’s. And apparently Nigerian princes installed its wifi.

  2. Google Plus is dead, Glory to Google Plus.
    Well, it is not really dead, they want to get Google+ inside companies as internal messaging service.

    future will tell if it’s a good move … or not 🙂

  3. First, it’s always a welcome surprise to see my strip in your column. So many, many thanks for that.

    As for G-plus… I was once a pretty heavy user until I realized that — much as I see Twitter now — it was basically high school all over again, with impossible-to-break cliques. The only time I’d used it now was a weekly hangout with friends across Canada: we actually did a communal T’giving dinner last week. I’m not sure how we’re going to replace that, but we’ll figure out something, I suppose. G-plus just wanted to be the Facebook killer, and it sora kinda blew that within weeks of opening.

    And as for #CommanderBabyfingers… this confirms my belief that the reason he wont release those tax forms is because everyone will see that he’s anything but the billionaire he pretends to be. Those who are in the business to figure out such things have set his net worth in the high six digits, because everything else he “owns” is more accurately leased. His tacky condo at Trump Tower was part of the development contract in exchange for naming it after his father, not him. And from appearances, the man owns three very ill-fitting suits. This is a billionaire who cares about his public persona? Dont think so.

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