Posts Tagged ‘silicon valley’
Sunday, January 1st, 2017
Humans destroy everything they touch. Something new is invented, and most people are afraid, so natural leaders take up its cause and make it great. Others see that this is a good thing and worth participating in, so they flock to it, but they do not alter their thinking, which fits the old way more than the new. In this way, these entryists bring the old into the new and bloat it while widening (destroying) its focus.
The old way involves what failed before, which is what humans always try because we are wired for individualism, which requires us to demand guaranteed social inclusion from any group. However, since our individualism makes us blind to the fact that other people are different from us, this includes the aggregate lot of incompetents, grifters and mental health cases that accumulate over time. Without the wisdom of Darwin to cut these people free, the human social group then submerges the new thing in the same patterns of failure that have been with us since the dawn of time.
Silicon Valley is such a case. A few engineers and managers invented the internet, but once it became commercialized, in came the fools. They wanted to do to it what they do to everything: dumb it down, remove what makes it unique, and by so doing, make it “accessible” to everyone and anyone, resulting in its genericization and thus, reduction to the same broken patterns that we see everywhere.
As a result, we are now witnessing as an oversold industry collapses from its own internal weight. The managers looked out there and saw a sea of hopeful faces belonging to those who depend on Silicon Valley for their own dreams of wealth, and so instead of contracting operations and keeping quality high, they expanded inclusiveness — becoming social heroes in the process — but adulterated quality, ensuring doom. This is what always happens with prole rule.
We know that Silicon Valley is doomed because it essentially follows the television model, where advertising pays for free services, and Silicon Valley advertising is based on a lie:
The updated results based on March 2009 comScore data…indicated that the number of people who click on display ads in a month has fallen from 32 percent of Internet users in July 2007 to only 16 percent in March 2009, with an even smaller core of people (representing 8 percent of the Internet user base) accounting for the vast majority (85 percent) of all clicks.
The news gets worse: most of those who click frequently are from the “daytime TV audience” of those living on invariant incomes of under $40,000 a year:
While many online media companies use click-through rate as an ad negotiation currency, the study shows that heavy clickers are not representative of the general public. In fact, heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000. Heavy clickers behave very differently online than the typical Internet user, and while they spend four times more time online than non-clickers, their spending does not proportionately reflect this very heavy Internet usage.
In other words, a small part of the consumer base accounts for most of the internet activity, and this group represents not healthy profit from the middle classes, but the buying habits of those who have little and will achieve little. This same type of bad measurement afflicts the entertainment industry and many consumer goods and services industries, who have calibrated their content toward the lowest common denominator without realizing the limited purchasing power of this group, and consequently find themselves in slow but steady decline.
We might even see this as a design flaw of democracy. When everyone is equal, what matter is the count of warm bodies, not who these warm bodies are. Through that metric, governments and businesses attract what is seen as a large group, but is really a small group compared to the Silent Majority, and by doing this, misses actual events in favor of symbolic events that do not represent the wider, more nuanced answer.
This decline is manifesting in reduced internet advertising and the exhaustion of social media, once viewed as the future of the Western economies, which are now presumed to be “services based” instead of oriented toward the production of goods.
As these industries fade away, it makes sense to reflect on the consequences of equality which causes us to ignore the variation in our current audience. Back in the glory days of business, the buying public was a middle class comprised of relatively similar individuals. Now it is a mix of classes, races, sexes, and lifestyles/philosophies who have nothing in common, meaning that the only statistical hits we get for popularity are in these un-representative aggregates who are not the desired consumer.
Much of the dot-com censorship we see floating about now arises from the recognition by companies that their audience has shifted, and an attempt to make “safe spaces” so even more of these zombie daytime TV watchers show up, in a vain hope to produce more profit from the people who are left over once everyone else bails out.
We are already seeing this phenomenon break into the public view as both Twitter and Facebook have admitted that they mistakenly calculated more ad impressions than they delivered. The next step is for them to reveal that these ads are being seen by non-buyers.
That phenomenon has manifested itself in a loss of the blind and blithe confidence that Americans have had in the dot-com miracle, and for that reason, an increasing skepticism has led to discovery of the fraudulent nature of many dot-com businesses:
The drama has some investors predicting more disasters. “What if Theranos is the canary in the coal mine?” says Roger McNamee, a 40-year VC veteran and managing director at Elevation Partners. “Everyone is looking at Theranos as an outlier. We may discover it’s not an outlier at all.”
Part of the problem lies in our tendency to mistake ideology for reality. We see a mental image that comports to what ideology tells us “should” be true, and then purchase accordingly, which because others follow us works for a short while. The circular Ponzi scheme allows industry to invent fake money, government to tax it heavily, and then empowers government to dump that money onto citizens through entitlements and social welfare, which they then spend on tangible goods. This keeps the economy afloat for a short while, but inevitably, a market correct begins and panic sets in as the herd searches for “the next big thing” to invest in so that we can all keep enjoying the fake value of our money.
As these different threads of the dysfunction knit together, the over-valued dot-com economy will begin its death cycle. As with earlier dot-com collapses, this will begin with a slow withdrawal by the smart money and the smarter users, then a rapidly accelerating fight over the remaining users, following by lapsing into irrelevance and being sold at low cost like MySpace.
If this hits during the first years of a Trump presidency, America will face an economic recession of massive size as the economy readjusts to cover for the fake wealth that was created by the dot-coms, especially social media. This will have rippled effects in Europe and Asia, and could result in a currency crash as it becomes clear that the economy backing those currencies was grossly over-valued and its government administrators ignored this reality.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
On the question of city planning, the Houston Chronicle offers a fertile paradox:
Other research revealed the conditions that create pockets of poverty, and found a downside to ethnically mixed cities: People in different groups tend to live apart. “Here’s Mr. Diversity, extolling the virtues of diversity in large cities,” Florida says. “And what comes back to smash you over the head is that large diverse cities also incubate a horrific level of sorting and segregation.”
We must fix the way people are broken by forcing them to live together even if they do not want to. This requires us to assume that absolutely zero thought, or pure Biblical evil, went into their choices. In the meantime, everyone wants to live with people like them for the sake of comfort and enjoyment. This is because people befriend, work with, date and marry people who understand their worldview, most of which is genetic.
This brings to mind another mental health moment (via Outside In) in which reality confronts human social intentions:
Silicon Valley, the 50 square miles of land in the US that has created more wealth than any other place in human history but has still achieved very little in becoming a more inclusive, truly diverse place.
Luckily, this problem is ending as the Silicon Valley bubble popped. SiVal was probably adding value to the economy up until the 2000s as it made tedious tasks more efficient, but since that time, it has been dedicated to producing more services which add no value and instead replace functional parts of the economy. When the bubble pops, many formerly useful functions will have to be rebuilt at a time when the economy is recapturing false value as losses. At that point, it will be unwise to walk in the city without looking up for falling bodies.
Friday, September 9th, 2016
So… which one of these is closer to reality? Fascinating, the gulf between them.
In the meantime, the article about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is both tragic and disturbing. How do such fake valuations get passed along so easily? Or is that the case?
And then there is this:
In some ways, the near-universal adoration of Holmes reflected her extraordinary comportment. In others, however, it reflected the Valley’s own narcissism. Finally, it seemed, there was a female innovator who was indeed able to personify the Valley’s vision of itself—someone who was endeavoring to make the world a better place.
The old question: did history make the person, or the person make history? She came along at the right time to inherit $4 billion from investors and valuation of her company. And yet, it seems, it was vaporware all along.
And, is it worth giving up your soul, for twenty pieces of silver?
Sunday, May 15th, 2016
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Meet the new media; same as the old one. I suggested the probability of social media conglomerates joining the SJW convergence and thereby attempting to steer the direction of Amerikan politics to the favored direction in which Cthulhu insists upon swimming. Some days I hate it when I turn out to be absolutely correct in my negativity.
I first opined the following:
Perhaps the terms Google Nudge, Google Auction or even worse; Google Veto need to be added to the lexicon. This new anti-democratic influence on political decision-making is emerging because of a confluence of technology, ideology and material means to effect said dominance. The technology is the internet search engine, the ideology is Progressive Liberaltarianism* and the material means is the obvious wellspring of vast wealth that has been accumulated in Silicon Valley.
So, no, you are not paranoid if you believe that Facebook is just another boring, predictable font of leftist propaganda. It, like every other so-called news outlet, perceives a mission to push political discourse (even) further towards leftist memes. Former contractors for Facebook describe the exercise below.
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
Alrighty then, you Alt-Right-Delete Paranoid. How could the good, shiny-happy people at Facebook possibly empower a Google Nudge as described in your previous histrionic screed? I mean Facebook Pinkie-Swears that this is how it works in Zuckerberg’s Magical Kingdom of Equestria.
How does Facebook determine what topics are trending? Trending shows you topics that have recently become popular on Facebook. The topics you see are based on a number of factors including engagement, timeliness, Pages you’ve liked and your location.
It starts with a certain non-political corporate goal. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to dominate the primary news market via the Facebook platform. Again, in and of itself, this isn’t SJW Entryism. Here’s how the corporation described its aims according to Gizmodo.
An estimated 600 million people see a news story on Facebook every week, and the social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has been transparent about his goal to monopolize digital news distribution. “When news is as fast as everything else on Facebook, people will naturally read a lot more news,” he said in a Q&A last year, adding that he wants Facebook Instant Articles to be the “primary news experience people have.” This would be accomplished via the trending news subjects of Facebook.
Facebook, however, did not think highly of journalists and treated them like galley slaves.
According to five former members of Facebook’s trending news team—“news curators” as they’re known internally—Zuckerberg & Co. take a downright dim view of the industry and its talent. In interviews with Gizmodo, these former curators described grueling work conditions, humiliating treatment, and a secretive, imperious culture in which they were treated as disposable outsiders.
And yet these were disposable outsiders with considerable power and a politically overdetermined view of what should constitute “trending news”. Here’s how they were left to their own considerable devices.
The trending news section is run by people in their 20s and early 30s, most of whom graduated from Ivy League and private East Coast schools like Columbia University and NYU. They’ve previously worked at outlets like the New York Daily News, Bloomberg, MSNBC, and the Guardian…According to former team members interviewed by Gizmodo, this small group has the power to choose what stories make it onto the trending bar and, more importantly, what news sites each topic links out to. “We choose what’s trending,” said one. “There was no real standard for measuring what qualified as news and what didn’t. It was up to the news curator to decide.”
But there was one black sheep amongst the Ivy League Lefty herd. Gizmodo describes his effective subversion below.
The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.
None of this surprises. The media consists of trained Cathedral functionaries who function in accordance with their training. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook may or may not have selected these people for the purpose they served. It really doesn’t matter. Nor does Facebook matter as a platform. It’s not the platform, it’s the individuals that stand on it.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
A dot-com entrepreneur admits the grim truth about the nu-internet age:
But the bigger challenge for those who love writing and reading is that advertising in the digital space is slowing—and the problem gets much worse once most reading is done on phones. It’s simply easier and more efficient to run ads on Facebook or Snapchat, which have bigger audiences and better technology to match readers with things they want to buy or do.
In his argument, we are shifting to a model where people pay for content much as they once bought newspapers and magazines.
But advertising is slowing for another reason. It is that we have created a mass of proles who buy only certain things that are trendy, and so advertising is dead to them. They are on the internet to pass the time at their unnecessary jobs, most of which are creations of Government regulations and legal incentives.
The nu-internet empire was based on the idea that we could take every warm body, hook them up to a simplified internet like social media, show them ads and have a profitable new industry. But that is no longer happening. Why? Most of these people are do-nothings, and the ads do not affect them.
His wishful thinking is merely the latest admission by this industry that it is dying. With it collapses the Clinton miracle and the Obama “recovery,” as well as the myth of STEM narcissists in California saving us from our imminent collapse.
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.