347 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. Oct 2021
    1. Victor Papanek’s Design Problem, 1975.

      The Design Problem

      Three diagrams will explain the lack of social engagement in design. If (in Figure 1) we equate the triangle with a design problem, we readily see that industry and its designers are concerned only with the tiny top portion, without addressing themselves to real needs.

      Figure 1: The Design Problem

      (Design for the Real World, 2019. Page 57.)

      The other two figures merely change the caption for the figure.

      • Figure 1: The Design Problem
      • Figure 2: A Country
      • Figure 3: The World
    1. Stories about the dirty business of Canadian mining.

      Canadaland: Commons

      Introducing our new season… Mining

      Stories about the dirty business of Canadian mining.

      Mining is a dirty business, but it is what Canada does best. Three-quarters of the world’s mining companies are best right here in the Great White North.

      In our new season, Commons: Mining, we’ll be digging deep into the practices and the history of the extractive industry. From the gold rushes that shaped the country to the cover-ups and the outright frauds at home and abroad.

      Canada was built on extracting what lay under the land, no matter the damage it did or who it ended up hurting.

      The first episode of Commons: Mining comes out on October 13th.


      Canada is fake

      Canada is not an accident or a work in progress or a thought experiment. I mean that Canada is a scam — a pyramid scheme, a ruse, a heist. Canada is a front. And it’s a front for a massive network of resource extraction companies, oil barons, and mining magnates.


      Extraction Empire

      Globally, more than 75% of prospecting and mining companies on the planet are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire.

      Canada’s Indian Reserve System served, officially, as a strategy of Indigenous apartheid (preceding South African apartheid) and unofficially, as a policy of Indigenous genocide (preceding the Nazi concentration camps of World War II).


      Theft on a grand scale

      It’s really been about theft on a grand scale. Look at how the United Kingdom became rich, or England and then Britain as it was, at the time. It was through bleeding India dry, we bled $45 trillion out of India. We taxed the subcontinent until there was virtually nothing left, then used a small amount of that tax money to buy its goods. So we were buying goods with their own money. And then we used the phenomenal profits — 100% profits — from that enterprise to finance the capture of other nations, and the colonization of those nations and the citizens, the railways and the other things we built in order to drain wealth out of them.

      — George Monbiot

    1. It’s really been about theft on a grand scale. Look at how the United Kingdom became rich, or England and then Britain as it was, at the time. It was through bleeding India dry, we bled $45 trillion out of India. We taxed the subcontinent until there was virtually nothing left, then used a small amount of that tax money to buy its goods. So we were buying goods with their own money. And then we used the phenomenal profits — 100% profits — from that enterprise to finance the capture of other nations, and the colonization of those nations and the citizens, the railways and the other things we built in order to drain wealth out of them.

      Theft on a Grand Scale

    2. CapitalismTheft on a grand scale
    1. The young people taking to the streets are right: their future is being stolen. The economy is an environmental pyramid scheme, dumping its liabilities on the young and the unborn. Its current growth depends on intergenerational theft.

      Theft on a grand scale

    1. As Morgan says, masters, “initially at least, perceived slaves in much the sameway they had always perceived servants . . . shiftless, irresponsible, unfaithful,ungrateful, dishonest. . . .”

      Interestingly, this is still all-too-often how business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporations view their own workers.

  3. Sep 2021
    1. Piketty, of course, is the bestselling French economist whose 2013 Capital in the 21st Century was an unlikely, 700+ page viral hit, describing with rare lucidity the macroeconomics that drive capitalism towards cruel and destabilizing inequality https://memex.craphound.com/2014/06/24/thomas-pikettys-capital-in-the-21st-century/

      Great summary of Piketty's book.

    1. You might be looking for a gift for a friend, doing research for a project, trying to learn other perspectives — they filter all data through the lens of capitalism and how they can sell you more things. That’s no replacement for human connection, or expertise a person has that could help you leap to things you didn’t know to look for.
    1. Are women generally more interested in other social causes besides online surveillance and the negative cultural impacts of social media companies?

      Most of the advanced researchers I seen on these topics are almost all women: Safiya Umoja Noble, Meredith Broussard, Ruha Benjamin, Cathy O'Neil, Shoshana Zuboff, Joan Donovan, danah boyd,Tressie McMillan Cottom, to name but a few.

      The tougher part is that they are all fighting against problems created primarily by privileged, cis-gender, white men.

    1. there has been a spectacular rise in luxury consumption, with the consumption patterns of the global elite acting as a marker for those further down the income scale. Robert Frank (2000) describes the process as 'luxury fever', as consumption expectations are ratcheted up all the way down the income scale. The global elite are pushing up people's expectations and assumptions. In the US, for example, the average size of house has doubled, in square feet terms, in the past thirty years. In part it is a function of the positional nature of consumption. We consume in order to position ourselves relative to other people. Not only do the global elite raise the upper limit, everyone is thus forced to spend more just to keep up, but they also become the perceived benchmark, Juliet Schor's work, for example, shows that people are no longer keeping up with the people next door, but the people they see on television and magazines (Schor, 1998). In order to keep up with these raised consumption standards people are working harder and longer as well as taking out more debt. The increase in luxury consumption has raised consumption expectations further down the income scale, which in order to be funded has involved increased workloads and increased indebtedness. It is not so much keeping up with the Jones but 'keeping up with the Gates'.

      The elites point the way for those in even the lowest income brackets to follow. This crosses cultures as well. Capitalism trumps colonialism as former colonized peoples reserve the right to taste the fruits of capitalism. Hence, hard work, ingenuity and leveraging opportunity to accumulate all the signs and symbols of wealth, joining the colonialist biased elites is seen as having arrived at success, even though it means contributing to the destruction of the planetary commons. The aspirations to wealth must be uniformly deprioritized in order to align our culture in the right direction that will rescue our species from the impact of following this misdirection for the past century.

    1. Under these conditions, perhaps one of every three blacks transportedoverseas died, but the huge profits (often double the investment on one trip)made it worthwhile for the slave trader, and so the blacks were packed into theholds like fish

      With the earlier death rate of two of every five dying on the death marches to the slave markets and one in every three dying on the ships, this means that 9/15 or a full 60% were dying before they even arrived in America.

      This is certainly a disgusting indictment of capitalistic frenzy.

    2. Africanslavery lacked two elements that made American slavery the most cruel formof slavery in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalisticagriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use ofracial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white wasmaster, black was slave.

      While we've generally moved beyond chattel slavery, I'm struck by the phrase frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture. Though we don't have slavery, is American culture all-too captured by the idea of frenzied capitalism to the tune that the average American (the 99%) is a serf in their own country? Are we still blinded by our need for (over-)consumption?

      Are we recommitting the sins of the past perhaps in milder forms because of a blindness to an earlier original sin of capitalism?

      Do we need to better vitiate against raw capitalism with more regulation to provide a healthier mixed economy?

    3. The Virginians needed labor, to grow corn for subsistence, to grow tobaccofor export. They had just figured out how to grow tobacco, and in 1617 theysent off the first cargo to England. Finding that, like all pleasurable drugstainted with moral disapproval, it brought a high price, the planters, despitetheir high religious talk, were not going to ask questions about something soprofitable.

      Told from this perspective and with the knowledge of the importance of the theory of First Effective Settlement, is it any wonder that America has grown up to be so heavily influenced by moral and mental depravity, over-influenced by capitalism and religion, ready to enslave others, and push vice and drugs? The founding Virginians are truly America in miniature.

      Cross reference: Theory of First Effective Settlement

      “Whenever an empty territory undergoes settlement, or an earlier population is dislodged by invaders, the specific characteristics of the first group able to effect a viable, self-perpetuating society are of crucial significance for the later social and cultural geography of the area, no matter how tiny the initial band of settlers may have been.” “Thus, in terms of lasting impact, the activities of a few hundred, or even a few score, initial colonizers can mean much more for the cultural geography of a place than the contributions of tens of thousands of new immigrants a few generations later.” — Wilbur Zelinsky, The Cultural Geography of the United States, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973, pp. 13–14.

    1. n the extraordinary Law Book of the Crowley Iron Works. Here, at the very birth of the large-scale unit in manufacturing industry, the old autocrat, Crowley, found it necessary to design an entire civil and penal code, running to more than Ioo,ooo words, to govern and regulate his refractory labour-force.

      A historical precursor to the company-town. One wonders if this was used as a model by Hershey, Pullman, Levittown(s), etc.?

    2. Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism

      • Author(s): E. P. Thompson
      • Source: Past & Present, No. 38 (Dec., 1967), pp. 56-97
      • Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of The Past and Present Society
      • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/649749

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Dan Allosso (@danallosso)</span> in Howard Zinn's A People's History, Part 1 (YouTube) (<time class='dt-published'>09/16/2021 09:28:56</time>)</cite></small>

    1. Kevin Marks talks about the bridging of new people into one's in-group by Twitter's retweet functionality from a positive perspective.

      He doesn't foresee the deleterious effects of algorithms for engagement doing just the opposite of increasing the volume of noise based on one's in-group hating and interacting with "bad" content in the other direction. Some of these effects may also be bad from a slow brainwashing perspective if not protected for.

    1. The Uncomfortable Truth is the Difficult and Unpopular Decisions are Now Unavoidable.

      Topic is relevant across a span of global issues. Natural resources are Finite.....period! Timely decisions are critical to insure intelligent use of resources. DENIAL is the enemy and 800lb gorilla in the room. Neoliberisim and social dysfunction feed on any cognitive dissonance and poop it out as "crap". True believers of American Capitalism (yes there is a difference) have become "cult-like" and drink the fluid of the cult to the very end, human consequence is of no concern.

      Point being: Reality is always elusive within a cult controlled (authoritative) mindset. Cult members are weak sheep, incapable of individual logic/reason. Authority can not be challenged. -- Denial, a human defense mechanism has been and is the common denominator in all personal and global conflict. Denial can be traced throughout modern history and rears its ugly head whenever the stakes are high.

    1. What happens to this graph when we overlay pure capitalism instead of a mixed economy? What if this spectrum was put on a different axis altogether? What does the current climate of the United states look like when graphed out on it. Which parts have diminished over the past 50 years with the decrease in regulation?

      four quadrant diagram of market goods, club goods, common goods, and public goods graphed along the axes of excludability and rivalry

      Some of these areas benefit heavily by government intervention and regulation.

      We need the ability to better protect both common and public goods.

      definitions:

      • rivalry: does use by one person physically preclude use by others?
      • excludability: do laws prohibit access to these goods?
  4. Aug 2021
    1. Η ευθύνη για την αντιμετώπιση της πανδημίας δεν ανήκει πρωτίστως στους ανεμβολίαστους του πρώτου κόσμου, αλλά στις νεοφιλελεύθερες πολιτικές των κυβερνήσεών τους και στην υποταγή στα εταιρικά συμφέροντα.

      Οι ψεκες έχουν μικρή συμμετοχή στις μεταλλάξεις, λέει κ η Λαμπρινή Θωμά.

    1. Building on platforms' stores of user-generated content, competing middleware services could offer feeds curated according to alternate ranking, labeling, or content-moderation rules.

      Already I can see too many companies relying on artificial intelligence to sort and filter this material and it has the ability to cause even worse nth degree level problems.

      Allowing the end user to easily control the content curation and filtering will be absolutely necessary, and even then, customer desire to do this will likely loose out to the automaticity of AI. Customer laziness will likely win the day on this, so the design around it must be robust.

  5. Jul 2021
    1. In April 2000, Clinton hosted a celebration called the White House Conference on the New Economy. Earnest purpose mingled with self-congratulation; virtue and success high-fived—the distinctive atmosphere of Smart America. At one point Clinton informed the participants that Congress was about to pass a bill to establish permanent trade relations with China, which would make both countries more prosperous and China more free. “I believe the computer and the internet give us a chance to move more people out of poverty more quickly than at any time in all of human history,” he exulted.

      This is a solid example of the sort of rose colored glasses too many had for technology in the early 2000s.

      Was this instance just before the tech bubble collapsed too?

      What was the state of surveillance capitalism at this point?

    1. If this past year-and-change has taught us anything, it's how interconnected we all are — a bat coughs and the world gets sick. Vaccines aside, our greatest weapon for defeating Covid-19 has been the mask, an accessory I'd formerly appreciated only a symbol: masks make secret, masks hide, masks cover, in protests as in pandemics. The social value of the mask has been made clear: they're not deceptive so much as protective, of ourselves and of others too. Masking is a mutual responsibility, a symbol of common identity founded in a common hope. 

      The idea of a bat coughing and infecting the world is a powerful one in relation to our interconnectedness.

      I'm enamored of how he transitions this from the pandemic and masking for protection against virus to using masks as a symbol for protecting ourselves, our data, and our identity in a surveillance state.

    2. The intimate linking of users' online personas with their offline legal identity was an iniquitous squandering of liberty and technology that has resulted in today's atmosphere of accountability for the citizen and impunity for the state. Gone were the days of self-reinvention, imagination, and flexibility, and a new era emerged — a new eternal era — where our pasts were held against us. Forever.

      Even Heraclitus knew that one couldn't stand in the same river twice.

    1. i feel for for tool builders that are serious about building useful software interoperability can actually be a huge 00:45:22 spoon uh to their success um it'll make easier to acquire users it will make it easier to help users embed your own tool in their workflows um you may be also losing some users but 00:45:34 that's okay i guess because it'll create sustainable pressure to you for you to focus on an audience well and build really really useful services for them and if you do that they also won't leave as easily

      I agree. I think companies that allow their users to take their data and run when they want to just create trust. Gone are the days when users automatically thought companies had their best interests at heart, as compared with current-day surveillance capitalists.

    1. It’s a familiar trick in the privatisation-happy US – like, say, underfunding public education and then criticising the institution for struggling.

      This same thing is being seen in the U.S. Post Office now too. Underfund it into failure rather than provide a public good.

      Capitalism definitely hasn't solved the issue, and certainly without government regulation. See also the last mile problem for internet service, telephone service, and cable service.

      UPS and FedEx apparently rely on the USPS for last mile delivery in remote areas. (Source for this?)

      The poor and the remote are inordinately effected in almost all these cases. What other things do these examples have in common? How can we compare and contrast the public service/government versions with the private capitalistic ones to make the issues more apparent. Which might be the better solution: capitalism with tight government regulation to ensure service at the low end or a government monopoly of the area? or something in between?

    1. Forty years ago, Michel Foucault observed in a footnote that, curiously, historians had neglected the invention of the index card. The book was Discipline and Punish, which explores the relationship between knowledge and power. The index card was a turning point, Foucault believed, in the relationship between power and technology.

      This piece definitely makes an interesting point about the use of index cards (a knowledge management tool) and power.

      Things have only accelerated dramatically with the rise of computers and the creation of data lakes and the leverage of power over people by Facebook, Google, Amazon, et al.

    1. Against Canvas

      I love that he uses this print of Pablo Picasso's Don Quixote to visually underline this post in which he must feel as if he's "tilting at windmills".

    2. All humanities courses are second-class citizens in the ed-tech world.

      And worse, typically humans are third-class citizens in the ed-tech world.

  6. Jun 2021
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>KevinMarks</span> in #indieweb 2021-06-25 (<time class='dt-published'>06/26/2021 01:52:39</time>)</cite></small>

      IndieWeb + Welsh finally comes in handy! The Cwtch service Kevin Marks mentioned is the the Welsh word for "hug" or "cuddle" and cleverly has a heart shaped Celtic design for their logo. Kind of cute when you think about it. And speaking of opaque ids, if they're using a new protocol I hope they call it Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch....

    1. If so many people who say they have committed their life to Christ live a life that is in many areas so antithetical to the ways of Christ, what are we to make of that?

      Does Christianity still have a space in modern life if it can't be effective in the simplest ways?

      Is it christianity+capitalism and conspicuous consumption that doesn't work?

      What is causing this institutional failure?

    1. The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

      Here it is in July 2008, Nicholas Carr has essentially specified and created a small warning bell about the surveillance capitalism we've been experiencing for the past 13 years. He's also put a bright yellow highlight on the method by which they would do it.

      What are other early surveillance capitalism warning sources from this period?

  7. May 2021
    1. “Finance is, like, done. Everybody’s bought everybody else with low-cost debt. Everybody’s maximised their margin. They’ve bought all their shares back . . . There’s nothing there. Every industry has about three players. Elizabeth Warren is right,” Ubben told the Financial Times.

      Pretty amazing statement! Elizabeth Warren is right!

    1. “For one of the most heavily guarded individuals in the world, a publicly available Venmo account and friend list is a massive security hole. Even a small friend list is still enough to paint a pretty reliable picture of someone's habits, routines, and social circles,” Gebhart said.

      Massive how? He's such a public figure that most of these connections are already widely reported in the media or easily guessable by an private invistigator. The bigger issue is the related data of transactions which might open them up for other abuses or potential leverage as in the other examples.

    1. To change incentives so that personal data is treated with appropriate care, we need criminal penalties for the Facebook executives who left vulnerable half a billion people’s personal data, unleashing a lifetime of phishing attacks, and who now point to an FTC deal indemnifying them from liability because our phone numbers and unchangeable dates of birth are “old” data.

      We definitely need penalties and regulation to fix our problems.

    2. I know tech policy pretty well, and this absolute dumpster fire of a policy area isn’t just a cool new place to build a blockchain-based commons, but a hard-right haven of male libertarians asset-stripping the social democratic state to build global monopolies that re-run nineteenth century colonialism, but bigger.

      A well stated version of our current problem.

  8. Apr 2021
    1. Σε μια οικονομία που το χρήμα τυπώνεται και προσφέρεται στους ημετέρους, το κίνητρο του κέρδους είναι ανύπαρκτο· ενώ το πραγματικό κίνητρο (όπως πάντα) είναι ο έλεγχος. Το χρήμα είναι το μέσο με το οποίο επιτυγχάνεται αυτός ο έλεγχος.

      Δεν υπάρχει (πλέον) ανταγωνισμός, γινόμαστε σοβιετία, απλώς με μεγαλύτερες ανισότητες και κατανεμημένο πολίτμπιρο.

    1. The open RSS standard has provided immense value to the growth of the podcasting ecosystem over the past few decades.

      Why do I get the sinking feeling that the remainder of this article will be maniacally saying, "and all of that ends today!"

    2. We also believe that in order to democratize audio and achieve Spotify’s mission of enabling a million creators to live off of their art, we must work to enable greater choice for creators. This choice becomes increasingly important as audio becomes even easier to create and share.

      Dear Anchor/Spotify, please remember that democratize DOES NOT equal surveillance capitalism. In fact, Facebook and others have shown that doing what you're probably currently planning for the podcasting space will most likely work against democracy.

    3. Thus, the creative freedom of creators is limited.

      And thus draconian methods for making the distribution unnecessarily complicated, siloed, surveillance capitalized, and over-monitized beyond all comprehension are beyond the reach of one or two for profit companies who want to own the entire market like monopolistic giants are similarly limited. (But let's just stick with the creators we're pretending to champion, shall we?)

    1. Και όμως, θα αρκούσε μια πιο διεισδυτική ματιά στο «κίνημα των απαλλοτριώσεων» και των «περιφράξεων» της εποχής του, που μετέτρεπε την κοινόχρηστη γη σε ατομική ιδιοκτησία, για να αντιληφθεί ότι ο καταμερισμός εργασίας και η αγορά είναι αποτέλεσμα κοινωνικών και πολιτικών διεργασιών.

      Δεν είχε καταλάβει ο Ανταμ Σμιθ πως ο πλούτος φέρνει πλούτο, δηλαδή.

    1. So on a blindingly sunny day in October 2019, I met with Omar Seyal, who runs Pinterest’s core product. I said, in a polite way, that Pinterest had become the bane of my online existence.“We call this the miscarriage problem,” Seyal said, almost as soon as I sat down and cracked open my laptop. I may have flinched. Seyal’s role at Pinterest doesn’t encompass ads, but he attempted to explain why the internet kept showing me wedding content. “I view this as a version of the bias-of-the-majority problem. Most people who start wedding planning are buying expensive things, so there are a lot of expensive ad bids coming in for them. And most people who start wedding planning finish it,” he said. Similarly, most Pinterest users who use the app to search for nursery decor end up using the nursery. When you have a negative experience, you’re part of the minority, Seyal said.

      What a gruesome name for an all-too-frequent internet problem: miscarriage problem

  9. Mar 2021
    1. The scholars Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias have called it “data colonialism,” a term that reflects our inability to stop our data from being unwittingly extracted.

      I've not run across data colonialism before.

    1. We will never be able to predict with any certainty how altering instrumental and socio-affective traits will ultimately affect the reflexively structured human personality as a whole. Today's tacit assumption that neuro-psychotropic interventions are reversible is leading individuals to experiment on themselves. Yet even if certain mental states are indeed reversible, the memory of them may not be. The barriers to neuro-enhancement actually fell some time ago, albeit in ways that for a long time went unnoticed. Jet-lag-free short breaks to Bali, working for global companies with a twenty-four hour information flow from headquarters in Tokyo, Brussels and San Francisco, exams and assessments, medical emergency services

      The machinery of capital requires productivity and the psychopharmacology industry has stepped in to fulfill that requirements.

    2. Unlike the latter, however, the neurosciences are extremely well funded by the state and even more so by private investment from the pharmaceutical industry.

      More reasons to be wary. The incentive structure for the research is mostly about control. It's a little sinister. It's not about helping people on their own terms. It's mostly about helping people become "good" citizens and participants of the state apparatus.

    1. "So capitalism created social media. Literally social life, but mediated by ad sellers." https://briefs.video/videos/why-the-indieweb/

      Definition of social media: social life, but mediated by capitalistic ad sellers online.

  10. Feb 2021
    1. There is only one way to “play” Twitter, and the only real gain is that “No one is learning anything, except to remain connected to the machine.” 

      Ik vraag me af of dat echt zo is. Twitter lijkt meer en meer de plek te worden om je eigen media op te bouwen en het eigen spel te spelen. Er zijn meerdere manieren om het spel te spelen. Toch?

    2. The tech takeover corresponds with shrinking possibilities. This evolution has also seen the rise of a seeming aesthetic paradox. Minimalist design reigns now that the corporations have taken over the net. Long seen as anti-consumerist, Minimalism has now become a coded signal for luxury and control. The less control we have over our virtual spaces, the less time we spend considering our relationships with them. 

      Interessante laatste zin. Hoe minder we eigen controle hebben, zeggenschap, agency, hoe minder we ons bezighouden met de aard van de relatie. Die relatie kan verschillende vormen hebben.

    1. identity theft

      Saw this while scrolling through quickly. Since I can't meta highlight another hypothesis annotation

      identity theft

      I hate this term. Banks use it to blame the victims for their failure to authenticate people properly. I wish we had another term. —via > mcr314 Aug 29, 2020 (Public) on "How to Destroy ‘Surveillance C…" (onezero.medium.com)

      This is a fantastic observation and something that isn't often noticed. Victim blaming while simultaneously passing the buck is particularly harmful. Corporations should be held to a much higher standard of care. If corporations are treated as people in the legal system, then they should be held to the same standards.

    2. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Cory Doctorow</span> in Pluralistic: 16 Feb 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links (<time class='dt-published'>02/25/2021 12:20:24</time>)</cite></small>

      It's interesting to note that there are already two other people who have used Hypothes and their page note functionality to tag this article as to read, one with (to read) and another with (TODO-read).

    1. “We’ve moved away from the whole ethic of what was industrial capitalism.”

      Defend this argument in 2021 America.<br> Refute this argument in 2021 America.<br> Contemplate the genesis behind this argument Share opinion regarding this argument.

    2. And essentially, we became what’s called a rent-seeking economy, not a productive economy. So, when people in Washington talk about American capitalism versus Chinese socialism this is confusing the issue. What kind of capitalism are we talking about?

      What kind of capitalism are we talking about?

      We are starting to see critical thinking and discussion around "hard" but necessary truths. These truths center around complicated concepts, controlled by politicians, MSM and others who would rather not have this discussion. America's general population seems lost, gorging on the dumb-down need to know culture (those that have and can dictate what the rest need to know) and group think, herd mentality.

    1. This is just one study, of course, and these are complicated social realities. I think it is fair to say that our pundits and social critics can no longer make the easy assumption that the web and the blogosphere are echo-chamber amplifiers. But whether or not this study proves to be accurate, one thing is certain. The force that enables these unlikely encounters between people of different persuasions, the force that makes the web a space of serendipity and discovery, is precisely the open, combinatorial, connective nature of the medium. So when we choose to take our text out of that medium, when we keep our words from being copied, linked, indexed, that’s a choice with real civic consequences that are not to be taken lightly.

      These words certainly didn't take into account the focusing factor that social media algorithms based on surveillance capitalism and attention seeking clicks and engagement would inflict in the coming decade.

    1. A broad overview of the original web and where we are today. Includes an outline of three business models that don't include advertising including:

      • Passion projects
      • Donation-based sites
      • Subscription-based sites
    2. We have “limbic capitalism” which “preys on our addicted brains”, with vast amounts of money invested into making sites and apps more addictive so subjects view more adverts, with some people even claiming this has created a new generation with shorter attention spans and less focus and concentration than ever before.

      This is the first time I've seen a reference to limbic capitalism as a term. Not a bad word for the concept.

  11. Jan 2021
    1. For example, the notion of the workplace as a family is a refrain in offices but it is most explicit for nannies.

      Too often corporations use the idea that the workplace is a "family", but when times get tough, we don't abandon our families the same way that corporations will summarily fire their employees to try to survive themselves without any real thought about their supposed "family members".

    1. The ad lists various data that WhatsApp doesn’t collect or share. Allaying data collection concerns by listing data not collected is misleading. WhatsApp doesn’t collect hair samples or retinal scans either; not collecting that information doesn’t mean it respects privacy because it doesn’t change the information WhatsApp does collect.

      An important logical point. Listing what they don't keep isn't as good as saying what they actually do with one's data.

    2. Recently, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy to allow sharing data with its parent, Facebook. Users who agreed to use WhatsApp under its previous privacy policy had two options: agree to the new policy or be unable to use WhatsApp again. The WhatsApp privacy policy update is a classic bait-and-switch: WhatsApp lured users in with a sleek interface and the impression of privacy, domesticated them to remove their autonomy to migrate, and then backtracked on its previous commitment to privacy with minimal consequence. Each step in this process enabled the next; had user domestication not taken place, it would be easy for most users to switch away with minimal friction.

      Definitely a dark pattern that has been replicated many times.

    1. cited yearly value of a facebook user at 250 USD.

      It's interesting to think in terms of dollar value per person per year on something like facebook.

    1. Wal-Mart no longer has any real rivals. It does more business than Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Safeway, and Kroger combined. “Clearly,” says Edward Fox, head of Southern Methodist University’s J.C. Penney Center for Retailing Excellence, “Wal-Mart is more powerful than any retailer has ever been.” It is, in fact, so big and so furtively powerful as to have become an entirely different order of corporate being.
      • Wal-Mart has no real rivals
      • Wal-Mart is more powerful than any retailer in history
      • Does more business than Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penny, Safeway, and Kroger combined!
    2. The retailer has a clear policy for suppliers: On basic products that don’t change, the price Wal-Mart will pay, and will charge shoppers, must drop year after year. But what almost no one outside the world of Wal-Mart and its 21,000 suppliers knows is the high cost of those low prices
      • Wal-Mart has clear policy for suppliers: Basic products must lower in price year after year.
      • Wal-Mart uses its position and power to squeeze profit-killing concessions from vendors. Ex: bras, bicycles, blue jeans must lower in price.
  12. Dec 2020
    1. Instead of “find the yes,” the directive became, effectively, find the no that saved the most money.

      An interesting business cost that killed the golden goose.

    1. The company’s early mission was to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Instead, it took the concept of “community” and sapped it of all moral meaning. The rise of QAnon, for example, is one of the social web’s logical conclusions. That’s because Facebook—along with Google and YouTube—is perfect for amplifying and spreading disinformation at lightning speed to global audiences. Facebook is an agent of government propaganda, targeted harassment, terrorist recruitment, emotional manipulation, and genocide—a world-historic weapon that lives not underground, but in a Disneyland-inspired campus in Menlo Park, California.

      The original goal with a bit of moderation may have worked. Regression to the mean forces it to a bad place, but when you algorithmically accelerate things toward our bases desires, you make it orders of magnitude worse.

      This should be though of as pure social capitalism. We need the moderating force of government regulation to dampen our worst instincts, much the way the United State's mixed economy works (or at least used to work, as it seems that raw capitalism is destroying the United States too).

    1. By the time any of this gets objectively evaluated, you'll be happily working in a different role, and someone else will deal with the objective metrics.

      This from the same writer about observing Russian fraud: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1332699000089292801.html

      So only worry about yourself and moving up without any regard to the fact that your offspring will be left with a gaping hole of detritus. Who cares about building value of any sort? Ugh...

    1. Ek said that many artists are happier in private about the money they receive than they are in public. He also said that musicians not doing well from streaming are the ones who want to release music “the way it used to be released”.

      This is hogwash. Artists want to make a living, while Ek and his cohorts maximise their profits while actively lobbying against songwriter royalties and pushing transphobic people like Joe Rogan. More here: https://niklasblog.com/?p=25501

    2. many musicians are “scared to speak out” because they don’t want to “lose favour” with all-powerful streaming services and record labels.

      This is horrifying. Just what Shell has done, and other major and uncaring companies, naturally.

  13. Nov 2020
    1. Billionaires have convinced workers to look down on people who are not productive because then the people at the top make less money. The working class is conditioned to consider anyone who is not constantly producing something as lazy and moochers who are coasting through life; their laziness strains the systems and makes it harder for the working class to become billionaires. Spoilers — the working class is closer to abject poverty than to ever becoming a billionaire. People making $5,000 dollars an hour have convinced people making $25 an hour that people who make $9 an hour are the problem.

      A sad truth to our system.

    2. No one ever earned a billion dollars — they stole it.

      This is almost assuredly true.

    1. surveillance capitalism.

      I recommend to link to the book where its author, Shoshana Zuboff, has coined the term.

      The irony right now is that you're linking to an Amazon version of Zuboff's book; Amazon is currently one of the top-five surveillance-capitalist companies in the tech world.

      I would also consider linking to the Wikipedia page for the term.

    1. Between 1950 and 1973 GDP doubled or more. This prosperity was broadly shared, with consistent growth in living standards for rich and poor alike and the emergence of a broad middle class.
    1. Jeff Bezos has so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it all, so he figures he’d might as well spend it on spaceships. That’s what the Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -1.04%   founder and chief executive told Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of Business Insider parent Axel Springer, in an interview published over the weekend.
    1. She was not his spouse; instead, she was the political officer of the Communist Party of China and she was embedded in the school. In fact, the university is full of political officers who operate behind the scenes but are there to keep party discipline. Today, companies like Nike, Google, Microsoft and others don’t need a communist party to impose their own totalitarian-like discipline upon workers.

      To read

    1. In another interview, this time by John Laidler of the Harvard Gazette (March 2019), Zuboff expanded on this: I define surveillance capitalism as the unilateral claiming of private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data. These data are then computed and packaged as prediction products and sold into behavioral futures markets

      Zuboff's definition of Surveillance Capitalism

    1. But as long as the most important measure of success is short-term profit, doing things that help strengthen communities will fall by the wayside. Surveillance, which allows individually targeted advertising, will be prioritized over user privacy. Outrage, which drives engagement, will be prioritized over feelings of belonging. And corporate secrecy, which allows Facebook to evade both regulators and its users, will be prioritized over societal oversight.

      Schneier is saying here that as long as the incentives are still pointing in the direction of short-term profit, privacy will be neglected.

      Surveillance, which allows for targeted advertising will win out over user privacy. Outrage, will be prioritized over more wholesome feelings. Corporate secrecy will allow Facebook to evade regulators and its users.

  14. Oct 2020
    1. Antalet premiumprenumeranter som står för hälften av Spotifys intäkter steg med 27 procent till 144 miljoner jämfört med samma period föregående år. Det var fler än analytiker förväntat sig (142,5 miljoner) enligt Refinitivs sammanställning.
    1. are woefully underfunded. And many haven't quite found the egalitarian ideal that can really sustain them in the long term

      Issues between socialism and capitalism. Creating something to benefit society (although, the examples mentioned above seem to go against this idea...) versus something that needs to turn a profit.

    1. Is there any truly ethical way to buy groceries in America?In short: no. Americans now spend only 10 percent of their budgets on food, Lorr notes, while in 1900 it was 40 percent. Our food is the cheapest in the world because we import so much of it from places where things like labor and antibiotics are cheap. Not only that, we hunger for cheapness in our own shopping habits, forever seeking the great promotional deal.

      The rest of the world isn't totally non-susceptible to this; even France has had food budget percentage spending decrease. But given the extreme throes of late-stage capitalism the US is in ...

    1. Under the radar, a new class of dangerous debt — climate-distressed mortgage loans — might already be threatening the financial system. Lending data analyzed by Keenan and his co-author, Jacob Bradt, for a study published in the journal Climatic Change in June shows that small banks are liberally making loans on environmentally threatened homes, but then quickly passing them along to federal mortgage backers. At the same time, they have all but stopped lending money for the higher-end properties worth too much for the government to accept, suggesting that the banks are knowingly passing climate liabilities along to taxpayers as stranded assets.

      We need better ways of making valuations and assessing risk so that these sorts of dangerous debt can't be passed along.

      These sorts of sales should have long term baggage clauses built into them to prevent government "suckers". If they fail within x number of years, the original owners and their investors are held liable for them.

    1. It would allow end users to determine their own tolerances for different types of speech but make it much easier for most people to avoid the most problematic speech, without silencing anyone entirely or having the platforms themselves make the decisions about who is allowed to speak.

      But platforms are making huge decisions about who is allowed to speak. While they're generally allowing everyone to have a voice, they're also very subtly privileging many voices over others. While they're providing space for even the least among us to have a voice, they're making far too many of the worst and most powerful among us logarithmic-ally louder.

      It's not broadly obvious, but their algorithms are plainly handing massive megaphones to people who society broadly thinks shouldn't have a voice at all. These megaphones come in the algorithmic amplification of fringe ideas which accelerate them into the broader public discourse toward the aim of these platforms getting more engagement and therefore more eyeballs for their advertising and surveillance capitalism ends.

      The issue we ought to be looking at is the dynamic range between people and the messages they're able to send through social platforms.

      We could also analogize this to the voting situation in the United States. When we disadvantage the poor, disabled, differently abled, or marginalized people from voting while simultaneously giving the uber-rich outsized influence because of what they're able to buy, we're imposing the same sorts of problems. Social media is just able to do this at an even larger scale and magnify the effects to make their harms more obvious.

      If I follow 5,000 people on social media and one of them is a racist-policy-supporting, white nationalist president, those messages will get drowned out because I can only consume so much content. But when the algorithm consistently pushes that content to the top of my feed and attention, it is only going to accelerate it and create more harm. If I get a linear presentation of the content, then I'd have to actively search that content out for it to cause me that sort of harm.

    1. The conundrum isn’t just that videos questioning the moon landing or the efficacy of vaccines are on YouTube. The massive “library,” generated by users with little editorial oversight, is bound to have untrue nonsense. Instead, YouTube’s problem is that it allows the nonsense to flourish. And, in some cases, through its powerful artificial intelligence system, it even provides the fuel that lets it spread.#lazy-img-336042387:before{padding-top:66.68334167083543%;}

      This is a great summation of the issue.

    1. Legislation to stem the tide of Big Tech companies' abuses, and laws—such as a national consumer privacy bill, an interoperability bill, or a bill making firms liable for data-breaches—would go a long way toward improving the lives of the Internet users held hostage inside the companies' walled gardens. But far more important than fixing Big Tech is fixing the Internet: restoring the kind of dynamism that made tech firms responsive to their users for fear of losing them, restoring the dynamic that let tinkerers, co-ops, and nonprofits give every person the power of technological self-determination.
    1. Capitalists and market-thinkers inevitably seek to enclose the commons, privatizing benefits and externalizing costs onto society.
    1. As Casper’s January IPO filing revealed, scale is all: in 2018 the company lost $92.1 million on revenue of $358 million, spending $126 million on sales and marketing and, according to one calculation, losing $160 on every mattress it sold.

      The problem with believing your own advertising. What happened to real capitalism?

    2. A fascinating encapsulation of consumerism for the past 5-10 years. I love this.

    1. A second strand in the development of the American prosperity gospel was the valorization of the “Protestant work ethic.” Written in 1905, Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism traced what he saw as the specifically Protestant approach to labor as integral to the development of capitalism and industrialization. In Weber’s historical analysis, Protestant Calvinists — who generally believe in the idea of “predestination,” or that God has chosen some people to be saved and others damned — felt the need to justify their own sense of themselves as the saved. They looked both for outward signs of God’s favor (i.e., through material success) and for ways to express inward virtue (i.e., through hard work). While the accuracy of Weber’s analysis is still debated by scholars, it nevertheless tells us a lot about cultural attitudes at the time Weber wrote it.
    1. choice and competition improve schools

      How can choice and competition improve schools? From a capitalistic perspective one needs to be much more mobile or have a tremendous number of nearby schools for this to happen. Much like the lack of true competition in local hospitals, most American families don't have any real choice in schools as their local school may be the only option. To have the greatest opportunity, one must be willing to move significant distances, and this causes issues with job availability for the parents as well as other potential social issues.

      When it's the case that there is some amount of local selection, it's typically not much and then the disparity of people attending one school over another typically leads to much larger disparities in socio-economic attendance and thus leading to the worsening of the have and the have-nots.

      Even schools in large cities like the Los Angeles area hare limited in capacity and often rely on either lottery systems or hefty tuition to cut down on demand. In the latter case, again, the haves and have-nots become a bigger problem than a solution.

      I'll have to circle back around on these to add some statistics and expand the ideas...

    1. Academic capitalism promotes engaged academics as an empirical measure of a university’s reputational currency. Academic capitalism refers to the ways in which knowledge production increasingly embeds universities in the new economy (Berman 2011; Rhoades and Slaughter 2010).
    1. As it turns out his vision perfectly reflected the history of capitalism, marked by taking things that live outside the market sphere and declaring their new life as market commodities.
    1. But that state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history if it is underwritten by the abundance of a modern free market economy.

      Writers spend an awful lot of time focused too carefully on the free market economy, but don't acknowledge a lot of the major benefits of the non-free market parts which are undertaken and executed often by governments and regulatory environments. (Hacker & Pierson, 2016)

    1. Abneesh Roy, an analyst at Edelweiss Securities, noted that ahead of elections set for early next year, the government could be moving to appease owners of smaller shops that have been hit as customers buy more goods online. “Shopkeepers have been unhappy,” he said. “In an election year, the government will definitely listen more to voters.”

      It's nice to see foreign countries looking at what has happened to coutries like America with the rise of things like e-commerce, actually thinking about them and the longer term implications, and making rules to effect the potential outcomes.

      Now the bigger follow up question is: is this a good thing? Perhaps there won't be the community interruption we've seen in the US, but what do the overall effects look like decades hence? From a community perspective, from a competitive perspective?

    1. For Piketty, rising inequality is at root a political phenomenon. The social-democratic framework that made Western societies relatively equal for a couple of generations after World War II, he argues, was dismantled, not out of necessity, but because of the rise of a “neo-proprietarian” ideology. Indeed, this is a view shared by many, though not all, economists. These days, attributing inequality mainly to the ineluctable forces of technology and globalization is out of fashion, and there is much more emphasis on factors like the decline of unions, which has a lot to do with political decisions.
  15. Sep 2020
    1. a conceptual framework to understand the mutually constitutive nature of racialization and capitalist exploitation, inter alia, on a global scale, in specific localities, in discrete historical moments, in the entrenchment of the carceral state, and in the era of neoliberalization and permanent war.
    2. Modern U.S. Racial Capitalism

      Some Theoretical Insights

      by Charisse Burden-Stelly

    1. Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News.The 6,600-word memo, written by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, is filled with concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion. In countries including India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, she found evidence of coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes, though she did not always conclude who was behind them.
    1. When Japanese companies threatened to take over the American microchip market, the libertarian computer capitalists of California had no ideological qualms about joining a state-sponsored cartel organised by the state to fight off the invaders from the East! 

      A good example of so-called capitalists playing the do as we say and not as we do game.

    2. Entrepreneurs often have an inflated sense of their own 'creative act of will' in developing new ideas and give little recognition to the contributions made by either the state or their own labour force.

      Techbro hubris

    1. That’s what happened in Florida. Hurricane Andrew reduced parts of cities to landfill and cost insurers nearly $16 billion in payouts. Many insurance companies, recognizing the likelihood that it would happen again, declined to renew policies and left the state. So the Florida Legislature created a state-run company to insure properties itself, preventing both an exodus and an economic collapse by essentially pretending that the climate vulnerabilities didn’t exist.

      This is an interesting and telling example.

    2. And federal agriculture aid withholds subsidies from farmers who switch to drought-resistant crops, while paying growers to replant the same ones that failed.

      Here's a place were those who cry capitalism will save us should be shouting the loudest!

    1. while a Minister’s view is always slanted on matters that affect his own interests, so that instead of promoting deserving persons he will fill the places with his own creatures, and will try to strengthen his own position by the number of persons whom he makes dependent on his fortunes;

      Here, we see a distrust of Democratic systems, commoners, and burgher-capitalism.

      The thread of logic is that people from lower classes - coming from positions of less power and wealth - are more susceptible to corruption as they attempt to shore up their own interests by surrounding themselves with flunkies and sycophants.

      The nobility, on the other hand, need no such false assurances.

    1. Throughout the twentieth century, proponents of this particularly American blend of theology envisaged God as a kind of banker, dispensing money to the deserving, with Jesus as a model business executive. Both of these characterizations were, at times, literal: In 1936, New Thought mystic and founder of the Unity Church Charles Fillmore rewrote Psalm 23 to read, “The Lord is my banker/my credit is good”; in 1925, advertising executive Bruce Bowler wrote The Man Nobody Knows to argue that Jesus was the first great capitalist. The literal money quote reads, “Some day ... someone will write a book about Jesus. Every businessman will read it and send it to his partners and his salesmen. For it will tell the story of the founder of modern business.”

      Note the strong restructuring of god in line with capitalism

    2. As Laura Turner notes in an excellent piece for BuzzFeed, no theological tradition is as rife for accusations of hypocrisy as the “prosperity gospel,” a distinctively American theological tradition. While it’s popular among many evangelical Protestants, it’s been condemned by many others. But to many of its critics, especially since the election of Donald Trump, this tradition has come to represent the worst of the conflation of American-style capitalism, religion, and Republican party politics.
  16. Aug 2020
    1. The mass surveillance and factory farming of human beings on a global scale is the business model of people farmers