Daring Fireball sums it up perfectly. He quotes Darth Vader, “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” (In typical bad guy fashion, Vader had promised he’d free the Princess and Chewbacca in exchange for capturing Han, he changed his mind after Han was delivered to him.)
Merlin goes into a related rant about companies actively collecting your data and selling it to third parties. Especially one worrying rumor about how cable companies record and share information about exactly who you are, where you live and what you watch.
I’ve also been feeling this frustration lately. We all sign up for things with a vague understanding of what “the deal” is. We each have our different interpretations but we all expect a basic level of “don’t fuck me” from the other party. But some of the more sensitive and arguably astute people are feeling that we’re getting fucked more than usual. People are actually reading privacy policies now. People are groaning with frustration each time an acquisition is announced. People are cynical of “free” and increasingly see it as a shameful deal with the devil.
We are Lando Calrissian, we’re staring down at our friend and mentor encased in Carbonite and realizing the full weight of our disloyalty. We’re staring at the betrayed hostages, the bargain was supposed to save them but now our orders are to take them away to be tortured and made an example of. Our friends are doomed, our city is doomed, this entire rebellion is doomed. Great work, idiot.
It’s probably not as dire as I make it out to be, but it’s a shitty trend. These companies all start out with the best of intentions and they genuinely mean it except that eventually they realize they’ve given over control to outside interests that demand investor value. “Value” which, in software terms, means insane growth every year at the cost of all else.
We had a deal, guys. It’s our own stupid fault for not getting it in writing, for not reading the fine print, for not imagining all eventualities that would result from this bargain we’ve made. But I thought the deal was there because we trusted each other but now your part of the deal was sold to someone else and I’m left feeling like the teenager that was dumb enough to fall in love. Never again, I tell myself as I sit in the dark, listening to sad music and writing angrily in my journal. I’m never falling in love again.