Conservative On Software Updates

By Leo Gura - December 14, 2022

Here’s a good way to empathize with the conservative worldview:

Have you ever hated-on or delayed upgrading to new software because you liked the old version better?

I don’t simply mean that you didn’t want to do an update because it was a minor inconvenience. I mean, you didn’t want to do the upgrade because you tried the new version and you liked it less, or it was objectively worse. Or maybe the new software had more features, but the interface changes made you feel so uncomfortable and annoyed that you would rather settle for less fancy features and more of the old-school practicality of the previous version.

I am very liberal overall, but I am notoriously guilty of being conservative on software. Hell, I still refuse to upgrade to Windows 10. Not because I haven’t tried it but because I tried it and don’t like its icons, interface limitations, and intrusive automatic updates. I still use Photoshop CS5 and Office 2010 because I don’t like the new interface changes and cloud storage and always-online requirements of the new ones.

But also notice, sometimes you resist upgrading purely out of dogma and closedminded. Then, finally, you are forced to upgrade and after an initial period of discomfort, confusion, and lowered efficiency, you get acclimated to the new software, its new features allow you to do new things, your efficiency is higher than ever, and finally you come to love and defend this version as the greatest ever. Until the next one comes along and the whole cycles begins anew.

If you’ve ever gone through this cycle, now you understand what it feels like for right-wingers to endure social changes such as trans women in sports, gay marriage, secularism, socialism, immigration, gun regulations, etc. You must admit that sometimes change is simply unconformable, scary, and annoying. And sometimes, change is a disaster, like Windows Vista or Windows 8.

New software is never guaranteed to be better. One time, on my old Samsung Galaxy phone, a botched automatic OS update cut my battery life in half, and there was no way to revert it. Ever since I have been hesitant to do OS updates to my phones. When I got my phone working perfectly, I don’t want to risk any new updates, no matter what gimmicky features they promise. My phone doesn’t need fancy new features, it just needs to work, and it already does. That’s the conservative mindset: don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Of course the liberal/progressive will cry back, “But everything is broken!”, but that is very much a matter of perspective. A progressive is one who looks for brokenness in everything she sees, and of course she finds it. Be careful what filters you use to look at the world, it makes a big difference.

Sometimes new is good, sometimes new is bad.

Sometimes old is bad, sometimes old is good.

There is no algorithm for when is which. Which is why you shouldn’t be ideological about it. You must evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

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