I recently encountered this helpful warning from Internet Explorer (click for larger image):
Seriously, isn’t this concern sort of fundamental to the entire point of the program? Doesn’t the Internet work because, at some point, some other sentient being paid attention to the information I was sending “to the Internet” (whatever THAT means) and wrote a program to do something with it? Is it possible someone could get in front of a search engine, but be too concerned about their “information” to dare use it? Does Microsoft really think anyone would want this message to pop up every time he did a search? “Gee, thanks for the reminder, Microsoft! Forewarned is forearmed!” What sort of computer user did Microsoft have in mind with this feature?
Whoa whoa, what’s going on here? I’m sending information TO the Internet? I thought the Internet was gonna send ME stuff! The Internet is, like, a huge pile of information and I can get at it through the Explorer. Right? I wanna know where to find delicious bagels (in this instance). What information does it want from me? Is it going to be used against me?
And who are these “others”? The Internet police? Aliens? Somebody else in this public library? I thought it was just me and the Internet, here on this computer. Like any old book, but made of one’s and zero’s instead of abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz’s.
Damn, is everything under fucking surveillance these days? I can’t call the gas company without the call being RECORDED, I can’t go to the corner store without seeing myself on that black and white monitor, I can’t donate sperm without giving away my birthdate. Now other people are sitting in on the Internet with me? Screw this, I’m gonna just take the bus downtown.