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Posts Tagged ‘wikipedia’

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.

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.

Wikipedia Discovers Crowdism

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

As it turns out, crowd-approved group blog Wikipedia reveals the Crowdist pattern in its “objective” articles and comments:

They concluded that “significant progress could be made by moderating a relatively small number of frequent attackers.” But at the same time, in Wikipedia’s comments “less than half of attacks come from users with little prior participation; and perhaps surprisingly, approximately 30% of attacks come from registered users with over a 100 contributions. These results suggest the problems associated with personal attacks do not have an easy solution… the majority of personal attacks on Wikipedia are not the result of a few malicious users, nor primarily the consequence of allowing anonymous contributions.”

In other words, the wrong people got in power… again. Funny how this happens. In business, in social groups, in volunteer groups and even among fellow employees heading out to lunch. When there is not a clear leader and hierarchy, the snarling Simian ancestry of humans comes forth and we sabotage ourselves by fighting for power like preening animals, “talking monkeys with car keys.”

The problem is us. Crowdism is the theory of what happens when individualism becomes collectivized, and inverts definitions by removing the unpopular complex and unpleasant concepts from within the bigger concept, leaving us with something like a cross between Disneyland and the Soviet Union.

Humans ruin everything they touch. Someone starts up a new idea, and this idea will be powerful so long as it is not widely understood, so that the idea selects its audience. But when people start coming in for demotic reasons — politics, commerce, popularity — then they want to use the idea as a means to the end of their own personal advancement, and they destroy it.

This is why nothing persists in the human world. As soon as something good is formed, it is destroyed. Wherever people gather, they consume whatever they find so that they can advance themselves. Unless this herd instinct is formed, humanity becomes the source of the death of anything good and devolves into squabbling, pretentious rodents who soak up all the resources and leave a wasteland.

We talk a good deal about virtue signaling on this blog, but the fact is that virtue signaling is one method of bullying people out of the way. There are others, but generally, people use language to manipulate each other, not to communicate. As a result, they are like worms creeping through computer data, changing everything into gibberish by redefining it.

Wikipedia provides an interesting model for this because it seems that it would be free of the commercial pressures that are commonly blamed for corrupting everything in the human world. In fact, commerce is just one of the ways that a “tragedy of the commons” occurs, with people acting in self-interest against group interest.

Could Wikipedia be saved? Yes, but only if: it had strong leaders, a caste system, and a strong culture that rewards the honest and punishes the bad. That is the opposite of what it has now, which is a popularity contest. We can see reflections of our society in Wikipedia, and in neither case is the prognosis very good.

Social Media Site Reddit Admits That It Also Fakes The News

Friday, November 25th, 2016

reddit_logo_metrosexual_alien

As the mainstream media (MSM) struggles with its complete irrelevance because its predictions failed in all areas of the political process, most have overlooked the manipulative nature of social media which strikingly resembles the MSM in its opinions.

Alternative social media site Reddit has become the latest to reveal its inner void. Leaked mod chat logs reveal that Reddit admins control the moderators of its top “subs” or channels through a private Slack chat.

This includes telling these moderators what posts to delete, and the admission that Reddit has altered its algorithm to avoid favoring right-wing content. Like Facebook and Twitter, both of whom have been featured on these pages many times for their own censorious tendencies, Reddit is a controlled media voice that purports to be an independent one. That makes it a propaganda organ in addition to being a social media site. The propaganda aspects are now more important than the “social” aspects, at least to those who control the site.

As one Voat user said:

I’m not judging them here because they’re liberals; I’m judging them because I read their conversation and saw how flippant, dismissive, and manipulative they all were. That was a group of straight up bad human beings chatting.

The freaky part is just how manipulative it all was. Spez talking about algorithms to disenfranchise and silence part of the user base he deemed undesirable. Those people are rotten to the core.

This comes after the CEO of the company admitted changing user content in the database back-end, suggesting that this is not the first time that activity has occurred:

Reddit’s chief executive Steve Huffman has admitted editing posts made about him by Donald Trump fans on the site.

…He said colleagues were angry with his actions and he “most assuredly won’t do this again”.

Many Reddit members were furious that the website’s chief executive had edited messages, and accused him of censorship.

This is not exactly surprising since other social media sites also follow a pro-Leftist censorship policy. Facebook blocked conservative news from its trending list. Twitter bans and blocks conservatives on a regular basis. Wikipedia not only censors right-wing ideas, but openly promotes Leftist ones. These are some of the biggest sites on the internet who in theory are “open” and “collaborative,” but in fact are controlled by shadow cabals.

Conservatives should not use Wikipedia

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

encyclopedia_britannica

To use a resource book implies trust in it. To trust it implies a belief that it is factual. When you use a bad source, you are validating its lies as truth.

Such is the case with Wikipedia. Many of us have observed for years that this feel-good social project, arising from a failed porn site and overseen in its early years by a group with too many pedophiles to be coincidental, tends to be abusive toward any idea which does not agree with groupthink.

Since the power handed to it by Google, Inc. as default search results on most term makes Wikipedia near-authoritative, this abuse has only ramped up. Groups that offend the Wikipedia editors are removed from the Encyclopedia and pushed into a black hole; effectively censored, if you will. Since Google and other big internet sites use it exclusively, this quickly pushes them out of the public eye. The excuse that Wikipedia offers is that it did not actually delete the sites in such cases, but merely covered them up, ignoring that as a monopolistic information source it has a duty to the public to be balanced or at least not censor dissenting voices.

Instead Wikipedia chooses to claim that rightist ideas are “not notable” and delete them. For example, the entry for “Cultural Marxism” was removed for this reason. But then the story slowly leaked out that the editor responsible for the deletion was in fact someone who self-identified as a Cultural Marxist. Do you get the rich hypocrisy? He claims the term is not notable but uses it to describe his own outlook on life.

Wikipedia’s undue influence hands the fox the keys to the henhouse and allows otherwise powerless people to drastically influence the direction of our society by literally censoring our most-used encyclopedia. It is time for conservatives to effect a complete boycott of Wikipedia and disregard all sources that endorse it by relying on it. This should continue until Wikipedia has responsible editors who do something to curb the rampant censorship and power abuse that has become all too common in Wikiland.

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