Posts Tagged ‘amazon’
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.
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:
Monday, March 21st, 2016
The hardest task of maturation is learning to resist the manipulation of others. With friends, this is persuasion about how cool something is or is not; we called it peer pressure once upon a time. It is no different with media. Whether the spreading of “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” (FUD) or relentless hype, the media distorts reality to all but the wary, cynical, realistic and reactionary person.
Its background hum for some time has been that our Silicon Valley STEM wizards are the geniuses who will save us and our economy. This has only one flaw: the products they are making are not remarkably complex, nor do they work well, and the audience they bring in — much like that of our immigration policy — is not high-end but low-end. The internet has been daytime television for about a decade now, belonging mostly to aimless children, retirees, people on disability and addicts of various substances.
Look at our vaunted inventions. Drones are remote-control helicopters upgraded with better batteries. Twitter is IRC. Google is Lexis/Nexis for the proles. iPads are flat computers. Computers now are simply faster versions of what we had in the 1980s. Operating systems are slightly fancier versions of the same. Everything works “better,” but it takes the same amount of time to do anything. All of our software types were invented in the 70s. As were the visions for things like tablets. If they could predict it in the past, it was because it was merely a shinier version of what they were shipping then.
The biggest inventions seem to be re-learning how to make old ones. We had electric cars in the 1890s and 1970s, too, but they never took off. Now, using our improved but not radically improved batteries, Tesla has sold the public on a new type of car. Or is it? Is Google’s self-driving car really anything more than 1970s military technology applied using our new, faster chips?
In fact, the main purpose of our new technology appears to be social control. Social media is an echo chamber for attention whores, which always produces virtue signaling and thus, is Leftist-dominated and incubates new Leftists. Drones let hobbyists feel edgy for buying a product and using it to do, well, no one is really sure what drones (or the web) are good for yet.
Like non-governmental organizations (NGOs), these dot-com wunderkind are political actors on the both the world stage and domestically. Amazon is a gatekeeper of “culture”; Google is a revolution-fostering political agency. This is in addition to the fact that by their size, these companies are gatekeepers of what is acceptable on the internet. Google’s changes to its search ranking have driven out of public consciousness the layer of sites that ten years ago were the go-to resources for most people, and replaced it with its own projects and allies.
At this point, the endgame emerges: the technology industry will be used as a way to instill norms in us all and to filter out deviant thought. It will provide the basis of our Potemkin economy so that the bennies and freebies get mailed out at the right time. And when it goes down, we all go down with it, and we have something to blame other than the failure of our system of government. We can blame the economy.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2016
Our people hang on to one thing above all else: our economy with its technology will save us. This is why we live so long, have such comforts, and are wealthy. They do not want to face the obvious fact that our industry is oversold because it produces little of actual value, and exists on hype value alone.
Like dying civilizations, dying businesses go into a final period where people exist simply to milk the wealth of the past. They started with a useful product, but then the bloat got to them as it does in every human venture. The Crowd simply tears them apart with many demands: public image, hyping stock value, regulations, hiring enough people and making the right political statements. This reveals an inherent flaw in the democratic model from a business standpoint.
As a result, they stop improving their product in vital ways — in part from fear of disrupting what they know works — and instead start making many discoordinated tiny “improvements” which because they do not come from a singular focus and plan, actually make the product worse. At the same time, since their market is not expanding, they find ways to reduce cost so their new wider margins can take over the profit creation that they formerly received from an expanding market. This is why over time every product gets cheaper and more ornate, but does less well.
Right now, it seems like our internet wunderkind — Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon — are on top of the world. Millennials love their products and use them regularly. Their stocks trade highly. But as with all markets, the price is set by what people are willing to pay for something, and if that is based on illusion, it stays strong until right before it collapses.
Google has some obvious weaknesses. Its ad revenue per page has been declining for years because the internet is now coated in ads, and very few people on the internet actually buy anything. This has caused sites to become clickbait in order to draw in enough traffic to get a decent income from the lower-paying ads they now run; this in turn causes a concentration of traffic on relatively few sites. That puts us right back in the place where we were with old media where six big companies ran the show, and this has decreased the value of the internet as a news source.
Facebook wallows in weakness as well. It has tons of users because people can access it from at phones or on the job. The problem is that these people, beyond a few product categories, do not represent consumers. They are there to screw around. As a result, while Facebook and other social media have many users, they do not have many buyers. It’s not even clear that ads on these sites attract eyes from people who want to buy the products, which is why the ads are getting more random and more frequent, becoming a genteel form of spam. Twitter suffers the same problem.
Amazon similarly seems healthy on the outside but has deep problems within. It has a captive audience of millennials who buy products through it, but no longer has the advantage of being tax-free or even cheap. It is relying on convenience alone to sell products, and thus like many trends, it is running its course. Its improvements have essentially made it into a less unruly eBay, since it now has thousands of merchants and millions of individuals selling used products, but its market remains mostly entertainment products. As those wane, so does Amazon.
We have all heard of the miracle of Apple, but this is a company with a long history of having one good idea per decade and then declining growth. This occurs because the Apple model is based on hype: getting a whole bunch of people excited to spend credit and welfare money on trendy products. Over time, these products decline in cost and quality and the excitement moves on, as it did with the Macintosh in the 90s and the aging Apple PCs in the late 80s.
All of these products exist in cycles of hype. The cell phone was the “next big thing,” so the entirely industry reconfigured itself around selling apps and online games. But hype dies as its newness fades and its utility becomes revealed as relatively low. Government pumps the economy by dumping money on the theoretically impoverished, who can be counted on to spend it on gadgets and entertainment as the last sixty years of welfare spending show. This keeps the hype alive, but also makes these companies fragile.
Companies with declining futures tend to change audiences. In America and Europe, new products gain acceptance when the more cutting-edge users in the upper half of the middle classes adopt them. This group values its time intensely, and so is also the first to move on to what it perceives as better technologies or simply to flee from dying technologies. At that point, businesses try to find a new and easier-to-acquire audience, and so start moving down the socioeconomic ladder. This is how MySpace went from a place filled with college students to one cluttered with older people, and finally, became the general public and drove out the power users and upper half of middle class people. It is easier to acquire less discerning audiences, but it marks a decline in the product because less discerning buyers have less loyalty to brand and cannot be counted on to make the kind of analytical buying choices that advertising targets.
For these firms to get ahead, they would have to markedly improve their products. There’s not much chance of that once a company employs tens of thousands. Instead, they spread out and expand into as many areas as possible, adulterating their original focus.
The last two decades have shown America and Europe increasingly reliant on this technology-hype-welfare cycle. It has also been used to justify importing more H1-B labor, despite the fact that programming “by the pound” contributes to the bloat. Like our dying societies, these firms are built on hype and cannot improve, and instead keep the illusion afloat however they have to, knowing that someday — coming sooner than ever before — a collapse will take them into darkness.