Independence Day 2021
Born Free - or - A Tale of Two Browsers
Yesterday, I changed browsers, from Opera, where I was conducting my online life in PRIVATE MODE — to a fairly new search engine called Brave. This software launch took place in November 2019, but it really took off during the Summer of 2020.
The icon is a lion, not a cowardly lion, but a Braveheart Lion.
This morning, I used the Brave browser to attempt to purchase some makeup and skin care products from a multi-national based in NYC. I try to morally purify my purchases, especially ones used on The Skin, by selecting quality goods not made in China, or, as the latest sneaky charlatan coined-pretense puts it: East Asia.
The info that had to be loaded, however, for my Gift-With-Purchase through the Braveheart method, was blocked. The Brave evidently thought the data-load was an ad, or a pop-up — something that would do me harm.
I opened a new window, and I used Safari to make my purchase that qualified for The Free Gift (that obscene redundancy has been around for quite a while). I find the Safari browser to be highly objectionable in terms of dragging cookies and cookie crumbs all over the ether-sphere. Happily, I then went on my way to conduct some musical research on YouTube via the Brave browser.
The Brave keeps a running tally of the number of ads and trackers that have been blocked. Before I ventured onto the chock-full of ads G-Tube, my total was around 250. I spent a few minutes there, listening to some atrociously-sounding French arias: the language as sung is nearly indecipherable due to the facial and mouth contortions by the vocalist thrashing to get the fullest sound out of her throat. The count of offensive activities had soared above 400!
Putting away the laptop, I focused on the clearing-the-way work for my afternoon artistic assignment. That highly analytical and intuitive activity consisted of sorting through and organizing fictional research materials. I then could hunt down a file of lyrics I’d been trying to find for months. I’ve not ever met someone so determined to find papers just to throw them away. But I could not go forward with my work until I’d been shed of those two pages of objectionable lyrics!
It’s not neurotic! It’s genius!
Only after having first systematically re-ordered the folders for the Westerns and for the Northern French novel, the Last Waltz, did I then make a bee-line straight for the folder of lyrics on a bookcase shelf. Ahah! The undesirable verses of German lieder. Joyfully, I shredded them, and then out they went, into the garbage can in the garage.
(Dear Husband knows better than to retrieve those materials, although he has rescued many other pieces of my artistic world that I’ve tried to distance myself from — and have gratefully thanked him for his reclamation benevolence.)
I triumphantly left the tactile paper world, and checked my email on my laptop. Now, I’ve already encountered the creepy (gah) sensation of an online business asking/alerting/informing me through email about items left in My Cart. I’ve even gotten a 10% off code, via text message, from one company to entice me to buy that merchandise! This intrusiveness only leads to an increase in my dis-inclination to ever go to that website again!
This cosmetics and skin care company sent me 2 emails, one prompted from each browser. The Brave browser indicated those items had been stranded in My Cart. Don’t I want to finish the transaction??? No enticement-code was offered, though.
The Safari browser had allowed me to load the info for the GWP, and then prudently place those items in My Cart. I’d then clicked away toward a finalized purchase. That successful consummation of commerce triggered the happy digital diva message of Order Receipt to my email.
With a sense of devilry, I decided to Brave my way back onto the internet, just to check on the points-total of the blocked garbage.
I’ve neared the 500 mark!
I’m starting to feel like a Pinball Wizard with this new browser. I visualize trying to top the 1,000 mark by mid-afternoon!
One aspect of this computer-spying on the consumer is the certainty that You are being followed by all of the vast unknowns on the other side of the screen. Just for fun, rack up some tracker-blocked points by visiting those abhorrent websites that monstrously snoop on their guests. Give Braveheart something to do while you are trying to do your work, live your life, and find Normal without going nutz.
Oh! I just got the shipment email!
I’ll leave those 3 items in the Safari cart at that e-company store. I’d like to know how many miles through the digital-desert Algore-rhythm can go, without a sip of response-water, before this retail company coughs up some dough for software to figure out The Customer ain’t coming back.
I must say that I experienced today a far less distasteful and macabre sense of severely needing a reality-check while engaging in my fictional world, than while encountering the bizarre ways that e-commerce attempts to maintain A Permanent Presence in my shopping domain. Even the otherworldly ambience in THE GHOST feels more rooted in a real world.
Brave is being brave in its browser business model to circumvent the other business search engine models, those peeping Priuses that must be losing money, hand-over-fist, in the faux-privacy cosmos they advertised as free and safe and beneficent. The long arm of coincidence has been stretched far beyond the limits of any tolerance in the ghoulish world of 21-century computers.
In the real world, I am moving ahead — to the future, wherever it leads. Wherever it leads, that’s a destination I’m keeping to my self, lest I get tracked before I even get there.
Just remember, you are BORN FREE!