Just so you know we are living in Orwellian times, you have to understand the codewords for the people who decypher the codewords meant for people who communicate in codewords. In other words, beware of calling people who look for race racist because it will get you called a racist. It's all a conspiracy. And now I am participating just to get a word in edgewise before the nonsense of this latest blather in the chatting classes goes viral.
You see, last week, Microsoft was awarded a patent for an add-on technology for GPS that routes you to where you want to go depending on what you wish to avoid or consider. Today those people are saying those people are enabling those other people to be what they already are, racist!
Long ago, before the GPS satellites were in place and only truck drivers for big logistics company, it was considered quite the computing miracle to get a machine to determine the shortest route between two points on a map. But now anybody can get that for free. Why not add value to map routing by including some crime stats or demographic stats or weather stats or traffic stats? Or better yet, to quote from the patent's text:
..resolving conflicts between an information source with a financial interest and an informations source without a finacial interst and producing a direction set based upon the information source that does not have a financial interest in providing the direction set; collecting information concerning routes of other people, and using the collected information to update the pedestrian-based rout in real time.
In other words, social GPS routing, so you can pick the way to the beach that your friends go, or so you can pick the non-profit route, or you can basically do the Aerosmith remake of your choice and Walk This Way.
I expect that the technology is obviously pretty cool, but since guys like me who are skeptical and analytical are a demographic minority, Microsoft and its licensees are going to need some cute and expensive marketing to overcome 'avoid ghetto' and its Orwellian 'racist' implications.
Of course we've been through this before with the NUDnicks, and we'll probably see it again from this shallow generation. But you know the technology is there so it's just a matter of time before it is wired to do what this
blockhead person suggests:
"A more useful app would be for young black men to be able to map blocks with the highest risks of their being pulled over or stopped on the street by police," Chinn said. "That phenomenon affects many more people than the rare occurrences of random violence against motorists driving through 'bad' neighborhoods."
How about the Ice Cube Social GPS?
It doesn't take more than a moment's thought to recognize that the blockhead gut reaction has already been satisfied by various Bulworthian ghetto tours. Or has gangsta video disappeared from the airwaves? And doesn't anybody remember the overblown Detroit meme? Isn't this all Michael Moore's fault anyway?