Infopost | 2023.09.18

Baldurs Gate 3 reading Necromancy of Thay tome book

I have two posts at the top of my backlog:
But it's Monday night and there's no way I can get either of those done so here's a great way to prime that discussion: I found a blog that is everything I want from the indieweb/smallweb/blogosphere.

I got there from an aggregator because Rob's recommender implementation is still pre-pre-pre-mvp.
Apple snark

Apple advertisement fake text message photography

The post is titled A literary history of fake texts in Apple's marketing materials, though the clickbaity Hacker News title Things that do not exist in Dimension Apple is considerably more direct. In his post, Max Read (if that is his real name) steps through marketing materials to see what life is like in Apple's version of reality.

Apple advertisement text message ravioli Rich Dinh

Suffice it to say, everyone in Dimension Apple takes professional commercial photos. Because the iphone camera is just that great! And everyone punctuates rigorously, never uses shorthand, and prefers single, redundant emojis (click through for examples).

The post is, as advertised, a timeline of Apple marketing materials. Toward the end Max brings it all together with a list of everything you do and don't see in Apple messages.

Futurama 1984 Apple commercial Mom corp

It's probably worth mentioning that focus grouped advertisements are characteristic of any large budget media campaign. Google's various Super Bowl commercials are some of the biggest groaners of the lot. But the quirky consistency of Apple marketing's vision of their user base is, well, something else.

The real DD is in the comments [ref]

Simpsons Apple 1984 ad parody

I'll return to why Max's post is "everything I want from the indieweb" in a little bit. For now, let's talk about the other cool thing the internet has. No not that, I am talking about the comments section.

ajmoo I worked on many of these! Was on the Marcom team that rebuilt screenshots for content swaps and hi-res output. Every screen went through multiple rounds of approvals by many different teams, including writing. Unfortunately any Easter eggs I tried to hide in there were all caught ;)

To no one's surprise, the focus groups are real, but apparently around the time iphone releases became as stale as Madden releases, the marketing department found a sense of humor.

More amusing is the commenter that went CSI on the things:

Nition This doesn't even delve into the hidden deceit!

In the first image, the sender says they went camping in the mountains, but then sends a photo of the seaside. Did they really go camping at all?

In the soapbox derby image, the sender claims they "just finished the latest renderings" for the sushi car design, yet the design is clearly AI generated! They've been lying to the team about how they're creating the designs.

Rich Dinh, who's dominating the chat with his ravioli dish? It's a stock photo by Helen Rushbrook! Is he making anything himself?

How many people in Dimension Apple are secretly struggling like these three? There must be huge pressure to conform.

We already talked about how the iphone makes you a stock image photographer, to wit: one of their fictitious users changed the exposure value. The grammar, punctuation, and lack of shorthand seems to follow the best practice of not having typos in your marketing material. But not punctuating every sentence with "lol"? How are you going to reach the youth?

Perhaps texting in the Queen's English is Apple's vision for how society should be. Perhaps it's what society will be when their VR goggles become mandatory. I prefer the idea the Dimension Apple NPCs are as illiterate as you or I but they are uplifted by Apple's autocorrect technology. It seems like the kind of vision they'd need to push considering how often the bluebubbles in my life get mad about an autocorrect substituion and then try to swear at autocorrect but fail to do that. Lol.

I wonder if I can dump a list of every capitalized brand from iOS Rob
Rob
Me
Me
Capitalized brand?
Apple will automatically capitalized brands: Adsense, barf, Intel, Apple.
Fuckin overlords
Oh yeah. Buls on wsb are always saying it's going to be a 'Green Day', with caps.
And nobody turns it off?
Lol you're adorbs
Turning it off is a knob. Too many knobs confuses the user. No, no, it's either all auto-capitalization or none.
Jeezus.
I would immediately install a custom rom.
lol Rob
Rob
Also adorbs
Here's a blog post idea. You get an iphone for a month, I'll get an android for a month, we'll write about it
Another post: wrong text scams

Scam text message Hannah

I clicked around to see if Max had other posts like this one. His mission statement was encouraging:

Max Read Explaining the weird new future, one newsletter at a time. Subscribe for a twice weekly delivery of internet culture, mega-platform grotesquerie, crypto conspiracies, deep forum lore, fringe politics, and other artifacts of what's to come.

I checked out another post that answered the question that everyone's thought about asking but has not asked: What's the deal with all those weird wrong-number texts?

The answer is the uninteresting part, here's the tldr:
  1. The wrong number is basically a cold call that's used to start a dialogue (probably obvious).
  2. With their foot in the door, the scammer 'befriends' their mark.
  3. They convey an air of wealth so the mark thinks they know how to handle money.
  4. They convince the mark to deposit money into a phony crypto exchange (or similar) that won't let them withdraw their balance.
Max posts a bunch of example messages, demonstrating the variety and accidental humor of these dialogues. But it doesn't end there.

ZacZac Geez, that got dark toward the end.

The post links news and Reddit posts that discuss the scammers themselves - sizeable business entities that occupy abandoned casino properties in southeast Asia. And so there are human trafficking and indentured servitude aspects of the story owing in part to China and the Philippines cracking down on gambling.
Moment of zen Conclusion

Fear and Loathing Hunter S Thompson gaming laptop

I used to like to end posts with something orthongonal and amusing, a moment of zen in homage to now-on-Apple Jon Stewart. But having recently searched for a bunch of BG3 things and a bunch of IDA API things, I realize that if you want to rank on Google, you need a conclusion section. Does your post list the skill checks required to complete the Necromancy of Thay? It should have a conclusion, lest people forget the four bullet points they just read. Do you have a code snippet that demangles C++ lambda functions in IDA? Conclusion.

Here's my conclusion: the indieweb isn't all text-only microblog posts and Ruby cookbooks. These two posts are what blogging can be. They're well-written and they explore subjects that are both approachable and not beaten to death in the media. They have graphics, citations, critical analysis, and humor.

Orthogonal humor

Calling back to the Apple convos:

wzdd One of the screenshots has a dentist appointment at 2:30, which is an old pun.

*opens dad joke spreadsheet



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