The lemming trends

There’s that thing that I find irritating in technology (and in society in general), that one could call the lemming trends. You know, the lemmings, the tiny rodent thingies that supposedly jump over cliffs in herds, because if everyone does it, it can’t be all that wrong, right? The way it happens in technology is that someone, either the tech journalists or users on the fora accept some arbitrary criterion by which they measure devices as either “good” or “bad”, and when this criterion is off, the entire industry goes off a cliff.

A notable example of that are the TN panels, that were lauded by the tech pundits in the media as the best because they had the least pixel inertia – a pixel could change its state much more quickly than on an IPS or PVA display. However, the TN display has shitty colors and even shittier viewing angles, and usually looks like a fluorescent negative image when viewed at any angle other than perpendicular, and since this type of a panel was “best”, it was widely adopted by technology manufacturers, because the buyers would not settle for the “inferior” IPS or PVA when they could get all those wonderful refresh rates. This went on for a while, until Apple started putting IPS panels on their devices and people started drooling after them, realizing fully what a horrid piece of shit a TN display really is, and now nobody wants to be close to anything that even resembles a TN display, except for the gamers and, presumably, the idiot journalists who brought that plague upon us.

Another example is the camera industry. In the 1990s, the camera manufactures started producing the autofocus cameras, which were advertised as the professional solution. Soon, most buyers went for it because they wanted a “professional” camera, and they threw away their manual focus lenses. A camera was measured by how many autofocus points it has, by how accurately it tracks a moving object, and by the ultrasonic-motor lenses it worked with. The thing is, those cameras were advertised for the professionals of a certain kind – wedding photographers, sports photographers and the photojournalists. For this target audience, the autofocus cameras are great. However, if you photograph landscapes, closeups and, basically, things that don’t move fast, a manual focus camera is as good. For things that require critical accuracy of focus, the manual focus lenses can actually be preferable, but you could never explain that to the people who just got into photography and trolled the photographic community with comments like “your camera is shit, it has only 3 AF points”, when you only wanted to photograph bugs and waterfalls and you couldn’t give a damn about autofocus in general. But an interesting thing happened lately. Some premium equipment manufacturers started producing series of brand new, expensive, super high quality manual focus lenses, such as this one:

BTW that’s a $800 lens, not an old beater from the 1980s that’s so behind the times it actually can’t focus electrically. And the tragedy is, the same zombies who used to praise autofocus are now herding around those “newest and best” manual lenses.

What I want to say is, people are idiots. They have a terrible fear of exclusion from a group, and if a group defines criteria, they will attempt to be “good” if not “best” according to those criteria. If a criterion is having a shitty TN display, they will have the shittiest of all TN displays. If a criterion is to have a shitty plasticky piece of shit lens, they will have the shittiest plasticky lens with a camera that has the greatest number of autofocus points and shoots ten frames per second, although they intend to take pictures of waterfalls. If the criterion of acceptance into a group is to bow to some psycho’s imaginary friend four times a day, they’ll do it, and make everyone else do it, and have them put to death if they happen to “offend” their bullshit. If the criterion of acceptance is to have your daughter’s clitoris cut off, they’ll have their daughter’s clitoris cut off, and slut shame everyone who doesn’t.

The thing is, it’s very nice to be excluded from most human groups, because humans are usually vile fucktards with no sense in their heads and no inherent ethics other than “I’m good and my tribe is good and if something threatens me or my tribe, it’s evil and must be destroyed”. Being excluded from a group that worships hallucinations of idiots or mutilates children is a great thing. Removing yourself from the company of idiots clears the mind like nothing you can imagine, because you no longer have to accept completely ridiculous and obviously false ideas just to fit in and not get into conflicts with fools. Just do your own thing. You can be wrong, but at least if you’re wrong you can correct yourself quickly. If you’re wrong because you want to conform with a group that’s wrong, not only will you be wrong forever, you will not be yourself. And if you’re not yourself, how can you ever learn? The groups never learn. They never, ever fucking learn. The bronze-age shepherd cults still dominate the intellectual discourse in the 21st century. People still believe in astrology, which was devised in ancient Mesopotamia together with divining from animal entrails. You just can’t make this shit up. The only way you can get rid of evil traditions, apparently, is to kill all their adherents or at least completely destroy their culture, which is why the Aztecs no longer perform human sacrifice en masse – there are no Aztecs. Is there really no better way to get rid of totally idiotic ideas and cults? Oh wait, there is: people would simply have to get rid of the concept of needing to belong to a herd. Then the need to accept the herd’s insane beliefs and practices would simply fall off, as necrotic mental tissue, because people would judge ideas on other criteria, such as usefulness, correctness and practicality. However, this is such a radically heretical idea it’s no wonder Socrates was killed for it. Accepting only what’s good, true and useful? Why, people might actually stop making human sacrifices to Poseidon! O heresy, o evil! As I said, you just can’t make this shit up.