jenks

thread death
Just back from a supermarket- now removed all but two staffed checkouts. Of course the woman looking after all of us using self checking is rushed off her feet as the machines are forever telling us we’ve done something wrong. She was pretty sanguine but you could see she didn’t see this as progress

Now all the ticket offices are closing at train stations, cos this fucking machines never break down and have queues right out the door.
 

Mr. Tea

Let's Talk About Ceps
Just back from a supermarket- now removed all but two staffed checkouts. Of course the woman looking after all of us using self checking is rushed off her feet as the machines are forever telling us we’ve done something wrong. She was pretty sanguine but you could see she didn’t see this as progress

Now all the ticket offices are closing at train stations, cos this fucking machines never break down and have queues right out the door.
I hate all this shit. Hate it with a passion.
 

Leo

Well-known member
Now all the ticket offices are closing at train stations, cos this fucking machines never break down and have queues right out the door.

lots of trains here are now encouraging people to bypass the machines by selling tickets via phone app.

Machines replace humans, apps replace machines. Once we all get the Bill Gates chip implanted, we'll be able to skip the app and buy a ticket just by thinking about it, since our brains will be linked to our bank accounts.

@Clinamenic would call it optimization.
 

Clinamenic

Binary & Tweed
lots of trains here are now encouraging people to bypass the machines by selling tickets via phone app.

Machines replace humans, apps replace machines. Once we all get the Bill Gates chip implanted, we'll be able to skip the app and buy a ticket just by thinking about it, since our brains will be linked to our bank accounts.

@Clinamenic would call it optimization.
Well in a pure sense sure, to a certain extent, but when it outpaces the average user’s ability to comprehend it, then it’s simply out of touch with reality.

Also now having had a bit of experience in software product management, I can better appreciate both sides of the matter. On the development side, there is a temptation to create this sophisticated system which accounts for edgecases and which is difficult to game, but on the user side, it’s just another annoying process of downloading an app, making yet another account, remembering yet another password, etc.
 

Clinamenic

Binary & Tweed
Also, at least in my experience, I get the sense that a lot of this technological innovation emanates from ASD or ASD-adjacent mindspaces, where there is often a tendency toward hyper-focused and highly conceptualized solipsism. High “systemizing intelligence” as Simon Baron Cohen would say, and relatively low “empathizing intelligence,” IE difficulty emotionally relating to the end user.
 

Clinamenic

Binary & Tweed
Of course, I also think free markets tend to privilege systemizing intelligence over empathizing intelligence, which I also think is tightly coupled with the phenomenon of male-dominated society. Pretty sure males have non-trivially high higher rates of ASD diagnoses, but I’m not solid on the data.

Anyway, I think that sheds a light on why the bleeding edge of technology often seems so out of touch with the priorities of most people - it takes on almost a tone of pure innovation, designing sophisticated systems for their own sake, many of which ultimately result in the annoyance of normal people who aren’t ASDish engineer types.
 
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mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Now all the ticket offices are closing at train stations, cos this fucking machines never break down and have queues right out the door.
It took me a while to realise that the train ticket machines belong to particular operators and do not necessarily offer you the cheapest way to get from where you are to where you want to be. Not only that, but some tickets can only be acquired by going to the ticket office and specifically asking for a particular route and operator combination e.g. if you don't care about speed, you can get a Midland/Welsh Railways combo from the cashier £32 return to Manchester rather than £90 from the Virgin machines - and even then you have to 'remind' the cashier that this option exists because he won't offer it straight off if you ask for the cheapest option.
 

Leo

Well-known member
Well in a pure sense sure, to a certain extent, but when it outpaces the average user’s ability to comprehend it, then it’s simply out of touch with reality.

Also now having had a bit of experience in software product management, I can better appreciate both sides of the matter. On the development side, there is a temptation to create this sophisticated system which accounts for edgecases and which is difficult to game, but on the user side, it’s just another annoying process of downloading an app, making yet another account, remembering yet another password, etc.

agree, all of this is true. but a big benefit to the company (in this case, the railroad) is the cost advantage to developing and maintaining an app versus buying and servicing hundreds of ticket machines in various locations.

and honestly, most train riders would prefer to just buy tickets off the phone app at their convenience versus waiting in a line at a machine that may or may not work properly.
 

Mr. Tea

Let's Talk About Ceps
and honestly, most train riders would prefer to just buy tickets off the phone app at their convenience versus waiting in a line at a machine that may or may not work prproperly.
Not this train rider! I don't really want one app for each train company (which is exactly what would happen), which may or may not be working properly at any given time (thus cancelling any advantage over ticket machines, really - worse, in fact, since if there is more than one machine, then probably at least one is working), and which is also dependent on me having a working phone with adequate battery and enough signal. I was without a phone for a few weeks recently, and I don't think it's a great idea for us to build ourselves a world that you can't really do anything in at all when you're in that situation.

Plus not everyone owns a smartphone, or wants to, or can even use one (think blind people, etc.)
 

Leo

Well-known member
yeah, not saying an app should replace a person or machine, just that it offers a faster and easier alternative for lots of people most of the time.
 

Mr. Tea

Let's Talk About Ceps
yeah, not saying an app should replace a person or machine, just that it offers a faster and easier alternative for lots of people most of the time.
OK, sure, I'm not against them in principle. What I'm against is companies introducing them and then after a while saying "Surveys show that 90% of customers either already use our app or say they'd be willing to do so, therefore we can ditch the machines."
 

Leo

Well-known member
Right. Some cities and states here have laws that say there has to be a cash option for transactions, either via a person or machine that accepts bills and coins. Card- or app-only retail is now considered discriminatory.
 

woops

is not like other people
Right. Some cities and states here have laws that say there has to be a cash option for transactions, either via a person or machine that accepts bills and coins. Card- or app-only retail is now considered discriminatory.
i assumed you ride an elephant
 

sus

Well-known member
gus and stan will go, actually this is great boomers
It's not that I'm some shill for capital, but "Man bad" has been passe since the 70s.

To be interesting, critiques of consumer society must be turned inward: why do we want this hell-world. Why do we choose to live in it. How did our choices bring us to this place
 

Benny B

Well-known member
They tried to install those stupid self checkout machines in supermarkets here in Seville a couple of years ago but no one used them, so they've got rid of them now. Hopefully we'll hold out a bit longer - there are still things like fish and meat counters in supermarkets here, different food shopping culture.

But the banks are just as bad as in UK though - just 3 or 4 years ago I could pop down to the Santander next door and be attended to by actual human beings. Now I have to walk about half an hour to find the nearest ATM that doesn't charge me 2.50€ every time I want to get cash out, and most of the time I just can't be arsed so I pay it. You can't even do anything by phone nowadays, all you get is an endless succession of automated voices, so enfuriating.
 

Mr. Tea

Let's Talk About Ceps
They tried to install those stupid self checkout machines in supermarkets here in Seville a couple of years ago but no one used them, so they've got rid of them now. Hopefully we'll hold out a bit longer - there are still things like fish and meat counters in supermarkets here, different food shopping culture.

But the banks are just as bad as in UK though - just 3 or 4 years ago I could pop down to the Santander next door and be attended to by actual human beings. Now I have to walk about half an hour to find the nearest ATM that doesn't charge me 2.50€ every time I want to get cash out, and most of the time I just can't be arsed so I pay it. You can't even do anything by phone nowadays, all you get is an endless succession of automated voices, so enfuriating.
It's easy to fall into the habit of assuming that here in Britain we get the worst deal on just about everything, but at least cashpoints that charge you for accessing your own cash are now largely limited to late-night offies.
 
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