Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Dot-Com 3.0 Empires Revealed To Be Inept And Declining

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

The personal computer age really kicked off in the mid-1980s when the machine became both affordable and effective for everyday tasks with the rise of programs like WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3 and dBase. In 1987, the internet opened up to commercial use, but it was only in the early 1990s when graphical operating systems became fast and complete enough that it started to take off.

In the mid 1990s, the Dot-Com 1.0 boom/bust bubble began, with a few salty entrepreneurs launching websites of a dubious nature with no real business model. It was unclear where the money would come from, other than selling tshirts and mugs. In the late 1990s, Google standardized the search engine and advertising format, and shortly afterward, the Dot-Com 1.0 bubble burst.

After a few years of digital recession, the market kicked back into play with Dot-Com 2.0, which introduced the idea of web applications instead of sites, meaning that just about everything was executed through interpreted languages and web sites acted more like programs on your home computer. This revolution fizzled more than busted, but was lagging by the mid-2000s.

In 2007, the Dot-Com 3.0 revolution launched with Web 2.0 application-style sites mated to new mobile technology and social media, introducing a new approach: content was no longer as important as interaction with other people. For the last decade, this market has been kicking around and has produced a few huge winners while everyone else follows their lead.

It owes its longevity to a simple reason: it controls the narrative. Like big media before it, the Dot-Com 3.0 world quickly took over how most people find news and as a result shapes their understand of the issues. As a result, the bursting of the Dot-Com 3.0 bubble has lagged but, as tech companies reveal their alliance with globalist interests, people no longer see the internet as a Wild West where the truth can be found, but another “managed garden” for giant monopolistic corporations.

Now the quest appears to take down these large monopolies, and simultaneously, to figure out what will replace them. For the latter, some have proposed nationalizing social media and search so that they are treated like utilities, while others hope for new market-based solutions. But for the former, competition is heating up.

Leaping into the fray comes a new breed of critic with a new approach to criticism:

“I think people are understanding just how poorly structured these institutions are, how sloppily they were built,” Lynn tells The Hill. “It’s not just a matter of the fact that these people have too much power, it’s also that they are sloppy in the use of their power.”

…“Perhaps the most pressing thing of all is that Google, Facebook and to certain degrees also Amazon have captured the flow of information and ideas between citizen and citizen,” Lynn said.

“Our ability to communicate freely with one another in this country, which is the primary basis for being able to protect our democracy, is now threatened in very real ways today,” he added. “This is not a theoretical threat; this is a threat that exists today.”

When our communications occur in private spaces, they can be regulated by the companies that own those spaces, which is why many are calling for the nationalization of social media. But what about when Google deprecates conservative search results or outright blocks them? What happens if Amazon starts removing Right-wing books? We know they want to, so it is only a matter of time until they do.

These large companies admit they have such filters in place. The only problem is that, while they are excellent at removing conservative and un-PC search results, they are less adept at filtering out mostly contrafactual and speculative “news” which has a negative effect when most people rely on social media for news:

In the crucial early hours after the Las Vegas mass shooting, it happened again: Hoaxes, completely unverified rumors, failed witch hunts, and blatant falsehoods spread across the internet. But they did not do so by themselves: They used the infrastructure that Google and Facebook and YouTube have built to achieve wide distribution. These companies are the most powerful information gatekeepers that the world has ever known, and yet they refuse to take responsibility for their active role in damaging the quality of information reaching the public.

Criticizing their search results will only give these companies more leeway to filter out sites that disagree with the mainstream narrative, and soon the internet will be as controlled as television was back in the 1960s when you had three VHF channels and another two fuzzy UHF ones to give you a viewport on the world.

Why American Retail Is Dying

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

A friend asked me today to investigate what sort of laptop they would buy, and in the course of research I found myself looking at NewEgg, Amazon, Walmart, Costco and, on a whim, Best Buy. They wanted it quickly, and no method is quicker than purchasing it locally or semi-locally. But there were some shocks in store.

First, Amazon is not the good deal it once was. Prices mysteriously adjust themselves to what their algorithms think you can pay, and shady merchants have taken over much of the search results. NewEgg fared well, but as always there is the feeling that their best deals are close-outs which manufacturers have dumped at cost on the mail order site in order to clear them out. Costco has the same feeling, and fewer options, but they stuck to the Sears-style “good, better, best” with three options in each category and a few outliers. This made shopping easy, and it would not surprise me if most Americans are not using this as their primary choice now. Walmart was bizarre, having implemented algorithms too smart for their own good, which then specialized in low-end machines with very little difference between them. They know what people buy, but not what they would buy if given only a few options which pushed them upward toward better machines for only a hundred dollars more. People spend $500 on phones, but $400 on laptops that will last three years at the outside? Bizarro world.

But Best Buy was the most instructive. The corporate stodges, who are not so much a type of person but the mentality formed of people above demanding “results!” and people below who are noncommittal to any course of action, or in other words the typical human organization where each person is using it for their own ends, have decided that this year is the year of the 2-in-1 laptop, so that is all you can get there. They do “good, better, best” within a narrow spectrum that emphasizes the better machines, but in doing so, offers few inspiring options and marks everything up by a couple hundred dollars. Their profit comes from people who do not know any better than to go look at what’s new, buy it for an outrageous price, then take it home and use it until it breaks or gets boring, then repeat. This company is not struggling because people prefer online, but because it is an inferior option. For the number of laptops they have, there should have been more choices, but instead the heavy hand of manipulation was there, trying to sweep us sheep into their little plan.

If anything came from this, it is that the Costco and NewEgg options will dominate. NewEgg lets you choose from a wide variety of machines and assumes you will either figure out which one you need or find someone to do it for you, and they have no salespeople and almost no customer support. Costco chooses a few machines that are not cutting edge, but being older are more thoroughly debugged, and you pay $50 more if anything than at NewEgg, and have very few choices because for most humans, the appeal of sorting through eleven pages of laptops is limited. Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy seem to have — much like Western Civilization — destroyed themselves with their own cleverness.

As Diversity Fails, Europe Intensifies Censorship While America Backs Off

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Someone ran over some Muslims in England yesterday. The Muslims, sensitive to optics and public relations moments, quickly made a big show of being peaceful despite having been attacked in front of a mosque known for its extremist sentiments. They know the voters are stupid and plan to take them for the fools they are and use them as useful idiots in their war against non-Muslim civilization.

In the meantime, the circus ringmasters of the useful idiot herd started up with the sentimental and strong statements designed to pacify the sheep for another good fleecing in the next election. That included applying anesthesia in the form of action to conceal the problem, so that the voters can go back to sleep in the blaze of glory that is themselves:

It was the latest in a series of statements from Ms May that suggest she believes recent attacks have strengthened the case for her widely-criticised plans to regulate the online world.

Those plans include launching a massive crackdown on internet security so messages on apps such as WhatsApp can be accessed more easily by authorities, and censorship of what can be published online.

England has experienced three Muslim terrorist attacks in a row and one white guy hitting a few people with a van. This shows that whatever the UK is doing is not working, but admitting that requires the voters to admit they were wrong, which means they were manipulated, which means they have lost. So what will they do?

Like all primates, they will double down. To reverse course is to admit error, and especially at the lower end of the IQ curve, people hate to do that. Instead of looking at the issue of terrorism and diversity, which really is a single issue when you think about it, they will focus on the best way to sprinkle gold dust on the disaster and proclaim themselves strong, independent voters who don’t need no logic.

In the meantime, as if in concert, Google and the other big internet monopolists are planning to increase censorship on their services:

Google and YouTube will:

  • Use “more engineering resources to apply our most advanced machine learning research to train new ‘content classifiers’ to help us more quickly identify and remove such content.”
  • Expand YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program by adding 50 independent, “expert” non-governmental organizations to the 63 groups already part of it. Google will offer grants to fund the groups.
  • Take a “tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content.” Such videos will “appear behind a warning” and will not be “monetized, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements.”
  • Expand YouTube’s efforts in counter-radicalization. “We are working with Jigsaw to implement the ‘redirect method’ more broadly across Europe. This promising approach harnesses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential Isis recruits, and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining.” A Google spokeswoman said Jigsaw’s “redirect method” is already in use in the US.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit have all stepped up their censorship policies of late. They claim they intend to crack down on terrorism, and maybe they will. But as the bolded words above indicate, their real target is to crack down on any Right-wing speech by declaring that it is supremacist, extremist or otherwise anti-social. They have been doing this for years.

They are doing this because the EU has demanded this crackdown on anti-diversity speech after events like the Cologne rapefest of New Years’ Eve, or subsequent terror attacks. The EU is becoming unstable because people share anti-immigrant and anti-diversity sentiment on social media, and so they are demanding (yet again) that social media censor its users.

No social media will escape this, because the EU will fine or block these social media services within its borders if they do not comply, forcing them to comply with its censorship or lose huge chunks of income.

In EU states, people are regularly arrested for posting anti-diversity messages, but this makes the EU states look bad, so instead they are using their broad regulatory powers to force the social media services to comply.

This enables the EU to cover up how badly its policies are failing. The voters really just want to go back to sleep, and if they stop seeing alarming messages, they will bed down in the paddock for a good rest before another day of grazing and dodging sheepdogs. But the broader concern is that speech laws are being taken into the realm of health and safety laws, where they are invisible.

On the other hand, in American the Supreme Court took a strong stand for freedom of speech, mainly because it can since the real censorship these days is being done in de facto public spaces like social media that are nonetheless owned by private parties, thus not regulated by the First Amendment:

In his opinion on the case, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.'”

Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a separate opinion, echoed Alito’s sentiments. “A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional,'” Kennedy wrote, continuing to say, “A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all.”

“The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society,” he concluded.

The best decisions are those which change nothing but grab headlines, and the Supreme Court has done that. The United States has strengthened free speech in public, perhaps, but not necessarily on private college campuses or private services like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Netflix and Skype.

EU governments are experts at the shakedown. All they need is one law that says they can suspend, fine, or stop your service and the entire market of the EU is shut down to your company. Using this tool, they will invisibly force these companies to censor content, so that while technically we have free speech, in the places where people talk, nothing of the sort will exist.

Why The Dot-Com Collapse Is Rushing At Us

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

You have probably heard too much of it already: the internet industry is beginning its collapse. But until now, few have mentioned that it also suffers from monopolistic tendencies which will make this collapse even more devastating.

Some are picking up on a small group of companies have become as powerful as government and threaten to savage our industries, then fail and leave us with no alternatives to the services they provided:

Many elements of Taplin’s case are familiar. Newspaper ad revenue has declined by roughly $40 billion between 2000 and 2014, recorded music revenue has dropped $10 billion in the same period, and over 5,000 independent book and record stores have closed in the last two decades. Facebook’s covert experiments in manipulating the emotions of hundreds of thousands of users, Amazon’s atrocious treatment of workers at its distribution centers and Google’s cavalier disregard for copyright laws are also well-documented.

Taplin, director emeritus of the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab, argues that the major tech companies are fundamentally monopolistic and parasitic — they exploit positions of market dominance to ignore legal regulations, extract inflated prices from advertisers and rely on content produced by others, often without their consent or knowledge.

…Because Amazon can deny publishers access to its enormous customer base, it can force them to accept artificially deflated prices. Google and Facebook can do something similar with advertisers by threatening to deny them access to billions of users. Taplin cites the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, a widely used measure of market concentration in antitrust law that allows regulators to determine whether markets are becoming monopolistic. A score of 2,500 is considered highly concentrated. The HHI for internet search markets is 7,402.

Industries which behave in this way are ones near the peak of their life cycle. They have grown too far and become too big to manage themselves, and now they need more money just to survive. Instead of admitting that its product was search and advertising, and downsize to fit that need alone, Google expanded to conquer nearby industries and now is a towering behemoth that must constantly expand to feed its own bulk.

As a result, its profit is no longer based on delivery of product alone; it manipulates its own product to make it more profitable, without offering a competitive advantage. This self-cannibalization is leading to the implosion of all internet media, since they have outpaced what the market can offer and now are treating consumers like piggy banks:

The decline of the establishment industries has led to the increased quality of the alternative industries; but the alternative media has been relying upon advertising dollars, and it’s the establishment media which pays for advertising. The establishment industries have effectively been paying to destroy their consumer base. Furthermore, the technology itself undermines advertising. Why pay for a $6 million advertising campaign, when for a few hundred dollars you can advertise on Tom Leykis, and the algorithm will do the rest?

So, the companies which sell algorithmic content – Twitter, YouTube, Google, Amazon, and Facebook – are undermining the establishment industries whose advertising campaigns are bankrolling their algorithms. Thus, to maintain profitability, they need to destroy the very algorithms they offer. They’re currently subsisting off of their First-Mover Advantage, but that’s a foundation which is quickly eroding away.

This means that the industry as a whole is overvalued, and the market will have to correct for this value, which means huge losses inbound. Like all other industries based on consumerism itself, or popularity instead of function, this one too will face the knife, and leave in its place a gaping void where functional business used to be.

Net Neutrality Lunges In The Wrong Direction

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

The Left specializes in creating mental spam. Every few weeks, there is a new distraction that they hype into an end-of-the-world style issue, not so much because they care about the issue, but because they need to keep their base panicked and angry so that they become a personal army to crush opposition and demand Leftist power.

Currently the Leftism media-political establishment is raging about net neutrality:

Federal regulators will move to roll back one of the Obama administration’s signature Internet policies this week, launching a process to repeal the government’s net neutrality rules that currently regulate how Internet providers may treat websites and their own customers. The vote on Thursday, led by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, will kick off consideration of a proposal to relax regulations on companies such as Comcast and AT&T. If approved by the 2-1 Republican-majority commission, it will be a significant step for the broadband industry as it seeks more leeway under government rules to develop new business models. For consumer advocates and tech companies, it will be a setback; those groups argue that looser regulations won’t prevent those business models from harming Internet users and website owners. The current rules force Internet providers to behave much like their cousins in the legacy telephone business. Under the FCC’s net neutrality policy, providers cannot block or slow down consumers’ Internet traffic, or charge websites a fee in order to be displayed on consumers’ screens.

As usual, the Left wants to confuse one method of addressing a problem with the set of all methods, so that their voters think there is only one way to fix the problem and any deviation from that is treason.

First, we should talk about net neutrality. The original idea of the net was that every node could forward packages to every other node, based on the idea of mutuality, or that each did the same to others. This works in a subsidized or military system, but not in a market, where some sites are massively larger than others. This means that the little guys spend their money and energy supporting Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, Apple, Facebook and Twitter, while the big companies owe them nothing.

This means that net neutrality, as a concept, was dead the minute that the internet was commercialized.

Next, we should talk about monopoly. When a large search engine like Google, or massive site like Amazon or Wikipedia, controls most of the eyeballs, the policies this site uses to list links on its pages regulate who lives and who dies. A site with low Google rank disappears and its business evaporates; a concept that Wikipedia refuses to mention — in a model like that of the mainstream media, excluding its ideological enemies — just drops out of public consciousness. Any concept of neutrality is long dead.

With those in mind, we can turn to a solution. Regulation adds expense and litigation to otherwise thriving industries, displacing little guys and favoring big guys. The consumers ultimately want the ability to see anything they want on the net without consideration of what it is. But they have already lost that, long ago.

Instead, it makes sense to let the market cure this one. If an ISP is blocking your traffic, you can sign up with a competing ISP… except you cannot, because regulation keeps the market small and so you have few options. Instead of piling more bad regulations on top of that, it is time to repeal more laws and let the problem work itself out.

If consumers desire net neutrality as much as they claim they do, they will be willing to put market pressure on their ISPs instead of relying on Big Daddy Government to do it for them.

Internet Collapse May Be Consumerism Collapse

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Consumerism had a good thing going. We invented all of these cool gadgets for the home and personal care back in the 1950s, and as long as we had people, we could sell them and make a tidy profit.

But then consumerism took over the culture, as it always seems to do. Planned obsolescence became a thing; so did low-cost junk made abroad. And then people slowed down in buying because when everything is sort of worthless, why care much about what you buy?

No matter what option you choose — unless you have real luxury spending dollars like a billionaire — it will perform adequately and die within a few years, so there is no point investing much effort into the choice. Sort of like how the Soviet system faded away into heat death…

This follows a pattern we see in most business, and in fact everything in life: it starts out as a new idea that few understand, then gets accepted and the load of humans that it supports grows, which requires it to raise more money, which happens simultaneously with the acceptance of the new idea as part of normal life and thus a lowering of its margins. At that point, the business is in a death cycle.

As Plato pointed out, the same thing happens to civilizations. They start out idealistic, then deviate into materialism, at which point they cycle through aristocracy, military rule, business rule and finally democracy before self-destructing in tyranny. The point is that a new innovation cannot be expected to maintain itself, but requires an active pressure to enforce quality, in a Darwinian sense, or it bloats and self-destructs.

Consumerism has bloated and self-destructed. Refrigerators are so bad now that you need to purchase a ten-year warranty to get five years out of them; in the 1950s, they made refrigerators that lasted for decades. We have clearly degenerated, and the latest victim is the internet.

When the internet was new, it gave us all these new capabilities. But over the next twenty years, it became clear that some were actually useful and the rest hype. However, the hype got the most focus from the media, because it was most like their own business model.

Now ad payments are falling because the people watching the ads are not actual consumers but cube slaves time wasting at their McJobs. As a result, the internet economy is imploding. Today, Paul Joseph Watson sees his business model collapse; tomorrow, Twitter or Facebook will.

This collapse follows the same pattern as consumerism. An initially high-value product attracted the herd, got overburdened with expenses to support all those people, and then folded inward as its relevance declined with its novelty.

We are seeing the convergence of internet and consumerism collapses already:

In March, MarketWatch estimated that Amazon will destroy 1.5 million retail jobs in the next five years. And with its push into self-driving trucks, drone delivery, automated grocery stores and more, the site said the total number of lost jobs would likely be more than 2 million, concluding, “Could Amazon actually kill more American jobs than China did? It’s quite likely.”

…Critics are beginning to wonder if Amazon — with such control over retail sales, jobs, ad dollars and more — is good for America.

…“Retail always evolves and reflects society, and right now, consumers are getting more value for their money,” said Richard Kestenbaum, a partner in Triangle Capital. “That makes our society stronger and it forces other retailers to be more creative and competitive.”

In other words, Amazon has become more efficient, and so is displacing most of the rest of the market. However, this will cause collapse by crushing margins on these products, which will in turn mean that they will be of less quality in the future. Soviet-style.

The worst case scenario is that Amazon gobbles up a bunch of smaller industries and then finds its own margins falling, and then goes down with a mighty crash, leaving the consumers with no options.

Looking at this, it makes sense to advance a theory of economy inefficiency. In contrast to the idea that lower price is always better, this theory states that there is a “sweet spot” in cost where a product is cheap enough for the upper half of society to afford it, but still expensive enough that there is incentive to compete on the basis of quality.

Consumerism fails this test, and the internet has as well. In their greed to increase shareholder prices, these companies destroy more than they create, and leave behind mediocre substitutes. This cannot last, like Soviet product entropy, and will cascade in failure together, leaving a void.

Over-Hyped Dot-Com 3.0 Elites Head Toward Collapse

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Every new business idea goes through a life cycle. When it is new and demonstrates how useful it is, people sell it at high prices and pay a lot of attention to it.

However, as time passes, the cost is expected to drop and people want to pay less attention to it. Consider the telephone: once cutting-edge, now humdrum. Or radio. Or desktop computers.

Now it is time for the third wave of internet companies to face this part of the business cycle. They are no longer cutting-edge; they are mundane services. But they grew too large and need more money to keep their staffs, stockholders and empires afloat.

At this point, the Dot-Com 3.0 crowd are zombie businesses. They gobble up anything they can in order to make this quarter profitable, but have no actual plan, and the value of the services they provide is declining. Crash imminent.

Some are starting to notice how abusive these new monopolists have become:

The upshot here is that both Google’s overwhelming search dominance and their profitable exploitation thereof are almost wholly unmerited in terms of their actual product. Google is a fine tool, but what defines the company is luck. Its profits come from a largely unearned strategic position within a socially-created communication medium. Devouring a small business that provided Google and the internet writ large with quality research simply to keep people fenced onto their own portion of the internet is just one particularly egregious example how this position can be abused.

The technology behind search engines is now well-understood. The real challenges are having enough machines to make a search engine comprehensive, and the “network effects” that arise from having many other people in the market using the product as a kind of de facto standard.

If Google kept itself to 500 employees and a relative stable, blue chip style stock price, it would not have these problems. However, Silicon Valley was always about getting rich quick and the winner taking it all, which has produced a relentlessly self-promoting culture that has destroyed the very thing from which it profits.

Wikipedia, Amazon, Google, Apple and Reddit (WAGAR) are companies that centralize the internet. Instead of being decentralized as originally envisioned, the internet is now used as a means of reaching the big sites where network effects mean that the audience is lurking there. This essentially excludes the actual breadth and depth of information on the internet.

Sane minds fear a repetition of history, which is what happens when “gold rush” style thinking results in massive overvaluation of an industry, which then requires a brutal industry correction to remove the false wealth so that other sectors can function normally:

The tech bubble of the mid-90s was inflated by lies that sent the NASDAQ on a vertiginous downward spike that eviscerated the life savings of thousands of retirees and Americans who believed in the hype. This time around, it seems that some of these business may be real, but the people running them are still as tone deaf regarding how their actions affect other people. Silicon Valley has indeed created some amazing things. One can only hope these people don’t erase it with their hubris.

During the 1990s, the Bill Clinton administration urged more development in tech as a means of replacing the economy which was collapsing under the weight of expensive union labor, too much regulation and lawsuit costs, and inbound immigration which was removing traditional sources of work and forcing all sorts of underqualified people into office jobs.

Now we repeat this process. Politicians hate to point out that the new cash boom is false and we should hold back. Voters, like stockholders, like those bottom lines and really do not think beyond the next quarter.

And yet, history shows us this is a problem. The great postwar wealth boom of the stock market ended in tears with the Great Depression; the huge housing boom collapsed in misery when supply far exceeded demand. The same is happening to Silicon Valley.

Its once-innovative gadgets are now as common as telephones were in the 1990s, and people want them to just work, be very cheap and unobtrusive. All of those things mean reduced profit and importance, which destroys Silicon Valley and its mythos as well.

Even more, it seems that the replacement for the internet, or the centralized form of content browsing known as “social media,” is no longer the hot item it once was:

[Vkontakte founder Pavel Durov] explained his decision to purge: “Everyone a person needs has long been on messengers. It’s pointless and time-consuming to maintain increasingly obsolete friend lists on public networks. Reading other people’s news is brain clutter. To clear out room for the new, one shouldn’t fear getting rid of old baggage.”

Durov is right when he says everyone is on messengers these days.

Back in 2015, messengers overtook social networks in terms of total active users. And back in 2014, when Facebook separated Messenger from its main offering, Zuckerberg himself acknowledged the trend, saying that “messaging is one of the few things people do more than social networking”.

The problem for Silicon Valley is that internet advertising represents a shrinking pool of dollars, and this means that the big companies need to take the majority share in order to stay afloat.

As internet old-timers like myself warned in the early 1990s, advertising is not a stable model for the internet. The audience is not captive, as with newspapers or television, but capable of flitting off or filtering out the nonsense.

To combat this, the industry first tried to make the internet into video. When that failed, they put more ads on every page, which decreased the power of each. Then they tried social media, or making browsing more like passively watching television.

All have failed. A large correction is coming. Grab ahold of your seat and get ready for the crash.

Never Trust Silicon Valley And The FANG Companies

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Apple sent this message to a developer. It essentially states Silicon Valley policy: if enough people complain about something, the user who posted it must be destroyed.

This is typical Leftist crowd-oriented thinking. It enables any group that can muster a handful of complainers to destroy someone else, no matter how much time and effort they put into their content, and how much of it previous to that time was inoffensive.

Soft totalitarianism of this nature occurs whenever human individuals become too powerful as a mass, instead of being regulated by a hierarchy and values system.

The FANG companies — Facebook, Apple/Amazon, Netflix and Google — control most of the internet because they regulate its traffic. Sites not listed in Google disappear. Companies whose apps are rejected by Apple die out. Keywords and hashtags filtered by Facebook vanish.

The age of government censorship may not be over, but with “virtual spaces,” our public areas are owned by companies who have no obligation toward “free speech” under the law. As such, as they get more powerful, they will remove anything that threatens them by making their properties less valuable.

An obvious solution is to decentralize: go back to a web of RSS, blogs, independent sites and open protocols like USENET and IRC. Get away from big sites who hope to make money off of us as content providers, and then delete that content when someone whines.

Why Twitter Is Failing

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

The cabal of media companies that now control the web are hated because they replaced an open standard with a closed one and are using that to manipulate us. Google, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, Facebook and Reddit have all come under fire for censorship, which has caused some people to speak the sophomoric maxim that they are not censoring anything, because they are private companies.

A more accurate analysis is that these companies, by replacing an open net, have taken it over and now want to “curate” the experience to both (1) remove controversial ideas and (2) turn us into good media sheep like the legacy media empire they replaced. As one writer observes:

In 2014, I was pardoned and released from a prison in Tehran where I spent six years over my web activism. Before I was imprisoned in 2008, all the hype and rage on the internet was found on blogs.

Blogs were the best thing that had ever happened on the internet. They democratized writing and publishing — at least in many parts of the world…All that was made possible because of a brilliant and powerful, but simple and modest innovation: hyperlinks.

The World Wide Web was founded on the links, and without links, there won’t be a web. Without links the experience of being on the internet will become one of a centralized, linear, passive, inward-looking and homogeneous kind. This is happening already, and despite Zuckerberg’s sermon, it is largely Facebook and Instagram who are to be blame for the demise of links, and thereby the death of the open web and all its potentials for a more peaceful world.

Zuckerberg killed links (and the web) because he has created a space that is more like the future of television rather than the internet. Unlike what he preaches, Facebook has divided us into small personal bubbles of comfort.

This is the difference between the open web and the corporate web. On the open web, there are many information providers and you go visit them. The downside is that these sites are not uniform and may not all load quickly. On the corporate web, Google and Facebook show you what they want you to see, ideally while remaining on one of their sites like YouTube or Instagram.

What this means is that these companies are no longer private entities, but have taken over a public space, and are now censoring it for their own benefit. This includes removal of controversial ideas, often by sneaky methods:

Why is this important? The forces that be have realized that government is too easily criticized, and are aiming for another form of opinion control. When they talk about “fake news,” they mean any information outside of this approved arena. When they shadowban accounts, they mean that deviating information threatens their bottom line and cannot be tolerated.

They do all of this while promising to beat back big corporations and liberate you from horrible conservatives.

Perhaps the lasting lesson is that salespeople lie, and that this tendency couples with the eternal human tendency toward attention fixation that causes us to, when made aware of our bad behavior, accuse those who have noticed this bad behavior of the same behavior. This is why the anti-censors are censors and the liberators are enslavers, every time.

As a long-term strategy, this will not work among the people who have any experience of life. This is why the high-end consumers and natural leaders of society have mostly abandoned these platforms. That means that they are left with the audience of people with little purpose in life, minimal influence, and low income.

That in turn might explain this:

Nihilism Advances Slowly Toward Global Domination

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

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The term “nihilism,” sometimes referred to as “the black pill,” terrifies people. It means that there is no inherent right way to do things, language is arbitrary, and truth is interpreted in individual minds to varying degrees of accuracy relative to reality (esotericism). It is relativism exponentiated. It is what we scapegoat as the black abyss beneath our feet.

In reality, it is none of those things. Nihilism is a simple recognition that the universe exists outside of human intent and is always more important than human intent. Our big brains, of which we are inordinately proud, can do many great things, but they also tend to mislead us. Humans tend to “invert” anything they encounter, or switch it around so that humans appear to be the lords of this world instead of the world being its own master.

Building on this form of active nihilism, one can discover meaning, but then is forced to realize that meaning also is created through relativity, or by the mutual approach of observer and object. This requires the observer to discipline himself in the discovery of the world.

Nihilism also signifies that people are unequal because they have unequal abilities and therefore, widely different accuracy in perceiving the world. It is an extreme form of realism that expresses radical skepticism toward human intent and tendencies toward self-deception.

For this reason, nihilism is feared most by people who want to exert control over the world. Humans can create illusions, share them through tokens, and by using social control enforce them on the group, but they cannot change the will of the world. It is going to do what it wishes. Death will still be there, as will tragedy and sadness. Paving over those with pleasant illusions does nothing but weaken us.

Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness and Eternity, the first book from essaying Brett Stevens, continues its march among the few remaining people who can think, and heads toward global domination. Its controversial thesis — that human pretense, not political systems, destroys our future — rejects politics itself.

This book sketches a Black Pill solution to modernity: Instead of fighting over which universal truth we want to win out at the polls, it rejects the idea of universal truths entirely. It points toward a realism of an esoteric nature, assessed by the mental capacity of exceptional individuals, in which human intent and the resulting tendency toward solipsism is viewed with suspicion if not outright hostility.

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Nihilism is the first in a three-part series. Nihilism explores the gateway to philosophy with a clear mind and optimized, self-disciplined approach to reality; Solipsism describes the modern illness that is responsible for all failings both political and otherwise; and Parallelism, a volume of all-new writings, explores a philosophical solution to these challenges in both essay and fiction forms.

As described by its publisher, the book:

Unlike the control-oriented systems of thought that form the basis of contemporary society, nihilism reverts the crux of moral thinking to the relationship between the individual and the effects of that individual’s actions in reality. From this, a new range of choice expands, including the decision to affirm religious and moral truth as superior methods of Darwinistic adaptation to the question of human survival, which necessarily includes civilization.

So far it has delighted some readers, and others have either thrown it across the room or ranted extensively on Amazon about the horrors involved. It achieved #1 on the list of new releases in social philosophy on Amazon, and has gained some of the best readers in history who are sending in images of their copies of Nihilism: 1 2 3 4.

You can see more user-submitted images in this post, including a “Where’s Waldo?” in a bookshelf full of classics. The book has also garnered an expert level review from RightOn contributor Peter Heft, which explores the tiers of philosophical assertions made at random — or is it? — in the book. You can also read interviews with the author here, here, here, here, here (part two) and here.

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Any author would be fortunate and feel blessed to have the attentive and insightful readers that this book has attracted. Readers have written in with comments, questions and supportive words, all of which are appreciated. If you, reader of the present article, have any of the same, please feel free to leave them in the comments to this post. You may also wish to comment on other discussions of the book in the same black pill circle of sites that produced Amerika, such as here and here.

You can find copies of Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity at the following retailers:

If you are a representative of a regular publication who would like to review the book, or a retailer who would like to stock it, please contact us here.

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