I’m so tired of the complexity of the systems I use every day… First of all, I have to use Microsoft Windows at work, while on my private laptop I’m using FreeBSD. Having to switch between these two environments so often is already exhausting (due to different philosophies), while it’s just the beginning.
Each month at work I have to submit detailed reports (not one but a few of them) of time spent on different tasks, each of these reports having a bit different approach to accounting my time. And of course there’s a suite of tools I have to use to cooperate smoothly: Outlook, Word, Excel and a bunch of other.
Then I get back home, turn on my laptop and use GNU Emacs, Claws Mail, Firefox and Qutebrowser. At home I can write any script to do some job quick-and-dirty whenever I want. I can install any software package. But most of the time, it’s going to be a different tool than I would use at work.
Next, there’s my phone, where I use yet another set of tools to communicate and get things done: K-9 Mail, Firefox Focus, Feeder, Riot, Conversations and perhaps some others that I can’t remember at the moment.
Switching tasks comes at a price (even when the goal is to write some text, it is a different task when done in GNU Emacs and a different one when done in Notepad++ or yet another text editor – these two have different contexts and my brain has to retrieve them with each switch).
I would like to have one device that I would carry around and make it adapt to the environment. It could, at least in theory, be just a user interface framework and an integration framework bound together. With these two, we would be able to teach our devices to talk to various services, regardless of their providers. It would actually be a facade and perhaps some adapters for underlying services, which we could use to completely avoid the context switches. Of course this is impossible to implement in this capitalist world because the end user would benefit the most, while providers would need to make their services competitive.
I remember reading Houyhnhnm Computing, a very interesting set of short texts about computing in the ideal world. I think that Lisp Machines had the potential to become something exactly like that. If done right, Urbit might become something like that as well, although at a higher cost.
But well… this is not going to happen. At least not in this world.