What a strange word! Object + ification. In my dictionary, it means the process of turning people into objects. A process that has been going on for centuries, but has accelerated greatly in the our time – the time of the Computer, the ultimate object.
I had been trying to decide what people had become – but couldn’t find the right word. This morning, I realized I had had the right word right in front of me for some time – objects. They have become objects. And to see what this means, you only have to look at the people around you.
There is only one problem with this – once you become an object, you lose the ability to understand yourself, and others like you. That is part of what being an object is. You are no longer human.
For some reason, I have no idea why, this did not happen to me. I had no great desire to be human – in fact, I could see that it was a considerable disadvantage – and being human even made me suicidal for a time – but I landed in Costa Rica, where people are more human – and gradually got used to being this way.
Which is definitely different, believe me. People can instantly detect who I am, and react accordingly. Back in the Computer Industry I was eliminated – I became unemployable. They didn’t want anyone around who was critical of them. Even though this was what they desperately needed – someone to show them how they had gone wrong. Their train had gone off the tracks, and had no way of getting back on them.
The change was simple enough – they became objects – but this needs some explaining.
In my parent’s day the objects were relatively simple – cars and houses. You were your car and your house. And, if you were a small businessman (such as a family farmer) you were also your business. Most of the Gringos who come down here are determined to be small businessmen down here. But this is impossible – every possible small business is already owned by desperate Ticos, and they usually go out of business as fast as they go into it.
The Tico economy as a whole is on the skids – and is not likely to improve. The only way to survive is to bring your income down with you, and live off of it. But I am getting off the subject – which is about objects.
The latest kind of object (the software object) is much like a little automaton – something that does certain things, on command – a functionary. One that never asks “Why?” but just does it, no questions asked.
My last job was the perfect example of this. They claimed to have a proprietary expertise that would revolutionize the entire software industry. They even got a software patent for it – which shows how stupid the patent office was. Everyone in the company parroted the company line – because they all wanted to get rich in a hurry. By selling their customers vaporware – something that didn’t exist. They got away with it for quite a while – long after they fired me for knowing too much – but eventually the word got around – and the company (like many others in the dot-com boom) faded too.
The basic idea here – which was widespread in the software community – was that objects – and Object-Orientated Programming (OOP) were the solution for everything. This was nothing but mass insanity – but insanity of a very particular kind. It assumed that objects, in the programming sense – which were programmed to perform certain tasks – somehow had intelligence bred into them.
In a way, this was true. Application Frameworks became available – which defined and organized all the objects required to do a large task – such as making blogs. It could do this because it hid most of the work involved – and only exposed the things that it wanted to expose. But this made for serious security risks – the experts who were supposed to know everything were under pressure to work faster (because they were so expensive) and in their hurry they overlooked some serious problems.
The result was a whole new industry that found these bugs – and charged for the fixes they provided. If the customer as NSA, it could keep these a secret – so it could exploit them in the quiet.
The Wikipedia entry for Object-Orientated Programming goes into this in some detail – probably more than the average reader wants to know. But take it from me – in the Nineties software companies went crazy over the stuff. And ignored what anyone could plainly see – that software companies were failing right and left. Everyone was moving from company to company as fast as they could. And everyone was working hard at not noticing this.
Why? Because objects are stupid.