Good points, Arcelius, I mostly agree. My folks thankfully didn't fall into this trap.
Yet, these Indian callers were rather brazen, however, even after repeatedly requesting they stop calling, add us to the "do not call list," etc. But for a while they were persistently harassing this number, and their number changed every time they called. One time, the caller had the audacity to start yelling "WE'RE GOING TO KEEP CALLING YOU, AND CALLING YOU, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN..." adding (maniacal?) laughter behind it. It wasn't funny, just absurd. I answered "whatever" and hung up. They've called a few times since, every time trying a new tactic and approach to see if they can trick us, but not lately. Now, I do know these guys aren't officially Microsoft. But these days, you just don't "know" anymore, other than following your instinct. Read below for why...
If everyone did, they would save an enormous amount of money by not having to provide support for their older OSes.
Money, IMHO, is the least probable reason for Microsoft wanting to discontinue support for older products.
Again, this is not Microsoft. Simply put, people lie. Especially when they think they will benefit.
I agree, people without morals or conscience are scrupulous, and ought to be prosecuted. However, while Microsoft may not overtly lie, like humans do, the company has benefited in innumerable ways by hiring those who benefit from shady dealing, or encouraging delinquency to begin with. Now before you misunderstand, I'm not blaming Microsoft, as if I'm the victim, I'm simply going to state an observation. I'll post it as "fiction." Disclaimer: This is not an accusation.
Going beyond Bill Gates' own early mischief... One example, even though they would openly deny it, Microsoft certainly tolerated, and may have even enabled the spread of pirated Windows, especially in the early years, simply because it enabled them to gain marketshare over their competitors who were playing "fair," to establish a foothold which has solidified into the foundation for an entire industry. Next thing you know, you have entire countries such as India (Windows piracy rate of 63% last year) with users running Windows on cheap computers who otherwise couldn't afford it, but who are now being "brainwashed" into the long-term Microsoft OS strategy. Doubt it? How many weekends and days of personal free time and work, receded hairline inches, added pounds by poor diet from disempowerment, timezones, dates, fun with friends as a young adult, etc did you lose as a consequence of spending too much time fixing, repairing, re-installing, fiddling, and whatever troubleshooting Windows computers growing up, without actually feeling like you were learning anything? That's your energy, focus, and attention that's being harnessed for the sake of testing, tweaking, and becoming "attached" to a computer and it's operating system, and growing with it. That's not "normal" in the human sense.
Now fast forward a few years, and those kids who learned pirated windows like you did by fiddling, are now businessmen trying to make a profit, for their benefit "to grow into an advanced developed society," and they start call center businesses by offering Microsoft to outsource their operations to India for a fraction of the cost of keeping the "honest" business in the United States. Microsoft agrees, fires a large chunk of their workers, and next thing you know, the call center business is booming. Companies from all over the IT sector start exporting their operations to Bangalore, as more and more Indian operators learn to speak english, and pretend to sound American when answering calls from the US. Granted they're doing jobs that perhaps workers in the US would rather not, so on the surface, but only the surface, its a win. Deeper down, however, Microsoft is causing average wages to drop, by forcing US workers to compete with Indians who earn on average, comparatively "nothing." What's established then, by outsourcing, is "a platform" for Indians to call or receive international calls, with many of the operators being trained in the art of deception (ie. pretending to be American, other nationality), who are in a position to help if you're nice, or hustle you if you're not, from long distance without consequence of ever meeting you. I am generalizing, of course. However, for the sake of making a point, stick with me...
What happens next? Some of those operators, those a little more scrupulous than the others, perhaps born and raised without moral guidance and integrity, or "entrepreneurs" blinded by the potential for profit and bored with their tedious routine in the call center, or simply deciding they want power over others, find a way to "make it" on their own. The temptation to maximize profits, using the simplest means of doing so (ie. taking the short cut over doing the hard work yourself), overtakes any karmic consideration for the consequences of their actions. Perhaps they find a simple tool online on a hacking forum, which can be disguised as bait, and used to hijack someone's computer. They then steal (copy) the database of calls from their employer, and in their spare time, start calling the numbers to see who bites, and to discover whether unsuspecting consumers fall for the trick. Unfortunately, some do. And when you consider that a $40 charge for a simple (fake) support call means you've just increased your salary by 2000% for a few minutes of lying, well then, what do you do if you're no afraid of, or respectful of God? Why you turn this opportunity into a business, hire morally questionable staff by poaching them from your former call centers, give the business the veneer of being reputable by claiming your authentic Microsoft credentials (after all, who ever checks? And do you really think the Indian government will bust you?), hire a bigger location which you fill with cubicles and cheaper labor than your competitors, and get busy getting rich. Everybody wins, right? The contractors make money building your new facilities, the Telco gets money for your numerous calls, local businesses thrive because your staff buys lunch near the office, you wine & dine for bigger business accounts, employees buy a new or bigger house and property values go up, maybe they buy a car instead of riding in a rickshaw to work, etc, etc. That's assuming most cll employees are getting paid a fairly decent wage to "climb up the ladder," but which in all likelihood, are not.
Over time, your company bribes its way out of any legal difficulties (India is notoriously corrupt and bureaucratically inefficient), and once you become "established," you have power, and can now "diversify your portfolio" by investing in legitimate business, and acquire genuine client business from abroad, whose board members and shareholders don't begin to suspect that your company is built on deception. For if they knew, probably wouldn't engage in business with you in the first place, fearing the consequences of an honest society if it ever became public. The best part is that any suspicion of being conned (ie. "something smells fishy here"), is relegated to the back of the US manager's mind, because he's convinced any misunderstandings are due to "cultural differences." And as long as things as "humming along," and everybody's making money abroad, who on earth wants to rock the boat? ITM, Microsoft's stock has risen, and multiplied so many times, with possibly millions of investors getting "rich" along the way, because they've trimmed their costs dramatically and turned the company itself away from innovation and into a "services" focused cloud of hot air, desiring to lift off like a balloon and taking the world with it.
Yet the simple fact is that most of their growth has come as a consequence of turning a blind eye to, and encouraging illegitimate, or should I say, dishonest and deceptive business practices, which come back to bite you, the "genuine" Windows user, who has to fight the parasites taking advantage of your honest disposition, since you expect most "Americans" to be honest when they call, just like it used to be in the days you were growing, when people still had morals, and were genuinely good, and for the most part, conducted their business with integrity (if they weren't obvious hustlers). Welcome to the universal infinite feedback loop called globalization. Or rather, "how people the world over get stitched together into a frankenstein civilization." Or perhaps, "where the fractal fantasy meets human reality."
Anyway, something else comes to my mind, which perhaps takes the thinking into another realm...
And has to do with consciousness and "changing people's behavior," which is why I posted this in reply to the Mandela section originally, the topic of which was about altering people's reality through collective manipulation of consciousness. Computers, in that sense, are simply the externalization of human intelligence through the products of technology, enabled by the civilian control of resources and labor to manufacture them, as an extension of the desire to overcome the physical limitations of our biology, and perhaps one day find a way to evolve into pure consciousness (ie. the next octave), or live the utopian ideal where all disease is eradicated and people live a thousand years thanks to the miracle of techno-progress. IOW, the networked computers become the structure by which we cocoon our consciousness to evolve from being caterpillars into butterflies, through the use of artificial reality (eg. virtual reality headsets), to simulate the potential outcomes of our choices, so to learn to live in a more productive reality upon completion of our birth into the world... Or so it would seem is the science-fiction fantasy.
Well, what specifically bugged me about the article, and some of this is speculation, as I don't use Windows anymore, related more to the consequences of changing people's behaviors, by trying to impose upon them new "methods of operating," or of doing things, which would have been previously in line with the definition of terms, but are now being distorted, or manipulated, to try and discourage intelligence in the first place. I'll be more specific. In the article, it mentions users' frustrations with "clicking the X" to close the window, and assuming that meant they'd cancelled the upgrade. Simply put, because that's how the Windows operating system itself works (ie. close a window, and the window is closed, as in the program "goes away," and stops doing what it asked your permission for). But in this case, it would have been specifically designed in a way to mislead you from your conventional response, by changing the expected behavior of the program itself, not to be cancelled, but rather to be automatically scheduled instead, leaving only a fine print link giving you the chance to change it in time, which only the most savvy of intelligent users would notice. Hence, all the negative publicity surrounding the change, because so many users found their computers upgrading itself, in some cases, irreparably damaging their personal files or business process. That's simply evil. Or course, it wouldn't be the first time Microsoft engaged in such practices. Amongst the numerous examples, anyone who's had to deal with building websites for IE6 will understand... But this time, it seems it may have been taken too far.
http://tothedeathmedia.com/microsoft-re ... indows-10/
It all feels to me like an "all aboard" moment. Get on the ship, or get left behind... Is that really the only choice? What happens if we don't?
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
- J. Krishnamurti
Couldn't the same quote be written for a collective computer, centralized meme, or mandela fractal affecting our consciousness?
Bruce's example mentioned of SG1 where the big computer "adjusts everyone's memory as needed," is a good analogy for what I see happening on a microscale in the cloud and computer world now, as feelers for the future in the macroscale of civilization, through such simple changes of operating system behavior, to force users to change their own. After all, does the operating system run the computer, or does it, in its own way, run you? You have to adapt to how it works, don't you? It doesn't adapt to you very well at all... So what happens once you've "centralized" the operating system on a larger scale, say, that of millions of users running an operating system, well, then don't those users by default begin to "synchronize" themselves to its behavior as well? Over time, those that are ore independent getting "pushed out" in favor of a unified experience for all at once? ie. A Collective hive mind. This is one of the structures, I would imagine, that can enable that to happen. The individual question, however, is what happens when you don't want to participate in a "collective Windows?"
The eventual problem, and I suspect this is why they make sure there are always two companies competing with one another in a particular sector (eg. Google vs Apple, HP vs Dell, Microsoft vs Apple, etc) to prevent the following from happening... that once a practical meme, aka an "industry," in this case an operating system, unifies into a single centralized form better known as the perfect ideal (such as, every computer user in the world being upgraded to Windows 10, so that "now we can all be the same"), is that the consciousness behind it reaches its peak intention, and from that point on, can only mean one thing... It has reached the peak of its existence, and can eventually go only "downhill." I'm only speaking of the idea and consciousness that creates it, not of the company it represents. Because the company will be maintained, and will likely survive long after such an evolutionary peak occurs, as long as it isn't dependent on the very idea for its own survival, and continues to be financed. IOW, as long as the idea is to push for everyone to upgrade to the newest Windows which the company is pushing, now that all of its users are like drug addicts, and have been dependent on it since childhood, the idea/meme will continue to survive until all of Microsoft reaches its goal and all of its users are on the same and latest OS which they can control all aspects of without your input. At which point, it will begin to lose its energy and momentum, and will stop influencing those who control its destiny, to "desire" to coerce you to upgrade, even if it means using deceptive methods to accomplish its goal. Then, it will become stagnant, and remain "frozen," albeit perhaps with a few tweaks to make it appear relevant in the face of a competing alternative. Until then, it cannot die. For too many people's consciousness has been entangled in it, and users have too much emotional, labor, and financial energy invested in it to risk giving it up. In a sense, that is a Matrix too. And it's awfully difficult to free yourself.
For an example, I'll cite the Minitel, which was a pre-WWW computer system used throughout France, long before Microsoft and all. It was basically a "national internet," which started in the late 1970s... (In computer years, that's like a dinosaur surviving until the present to tell us about how life was like in bedrock). Quoting Wikipedia:
"From its early days, users could make online purchases, make train reservations, check stock prices, search the telephone directory, have a mail box, and chat in a similar way to that now made possible by the Internet. In February 2009, France Telecom indicated the Minitel network still had 10 million monthly connections. France Telecom retired the service on 30 June 2012."
The key here, is that about 35 years after its inception and propagation, it had to be forcibly shut down by its parent company, otherwise users would still be using it, and would otherwise never let go of it. Is that a sign that the Minitel was so successful? Or did France become paralyzed by this technology, until the alternative internet forced it into obsolescence. The advantage was, it was a simple system. It didn't concern itself with encrypting its internal data streams to prevent copyright, it wasn't full of holes like swiss cheese to be exploited by rats, it simply worked, when it did, for the majority of its users. And that's all that mattered. No one needed to be a PHD to learn how to use it, or prevent it from destroying itself. It was relatively "humane" (like it seemed many computers appeared to be in movies of the 80s), albeit perhaps designed for a simpler form of consciousness. Since then, with the increasing complexity of Windows, and the vast variety of hardware and numerous drivers and conflicts this caused, it all just got very ugly, very quickly. And maybe cost our generation the ability of "rapport," as in a more positive human interaction, which was taken for granted back then, prior to allowing the complexity of the global techno matrix to consume our attention, and replace what is real with what isn't. (Bruce Jenner?) And for that, I would imagine that yes, Microsoft, as a meme and collective consciousness, does share in the responsibility of facing the consequences of its actions.
And forcing everyone onto Windows 10 because "it's the best version yet," as a way to "make up for the damage" caused by Vista, IE, and numerous other mistakes in their bid to control the market, is not a convincing resolution in light of the past harm their behaviors have caused. Microsoft is guilty, and knows it, of at least creating as many problems as it claimed to solve with its products. And clearly, of those that are waking up, many haven't forgiven yet, and may never will. And so it will continue, by the time Windows 11 rolls around, I suspect there's a chance your old computer may be forcibly repossessed on a fake declaration bankruptcy, a "mistake" caused by a computer "glitch" which no one will understand how it could have happened. Ever since society was moved to run entirely on computers, and the paper trail providing evidence of your existence or property has vanished into bits. In the meantime, all of the computers in India will be running Windows 10, turning an entire country into an unofficial department of Microsoft.
I believe that he understood what computers are and what they can do for us as intelligent beings. However, this involves intelligent beings and unfortunately, most humans are not.
Perhaps, I would suggest some of that depends on how you define intelligence. Some who are intelligent with computers, are "idiots" when it comes to the other traits which make us a human, spiritual being. And even the most intelligent leaders, are capable of blindly committing the greatest of follies.
Ok, I'm done. Make of this post what you will. These are just my humble observations, shared to try and make better clarity of.
Ps. Perhaps I'm tiring of writing, but I'm certainly not dreaming... I noticed that when writing this post, after hitting the PREVIEW button, that some of the lines I'd written in my post vanished. More specifically, a line that was perhaps the most controversial statement I was making in the above post. Disappeared. As if the "computer" didn't want me to share it, for the benefit of "collective harmony."