Posts Tagged ‘GAFA’

Open Society & Open Minds Start With An Open Economy

March 27, 2018

A friend of mine made a panegyric to Apple, Inc. Many of his followers applauded. Some expect Apple to become the first trillion-dollar corporation (in market value), and are thrilled by the notion. Others say that Amazon will get there first…

Kudos to the giant tech monopolies! say those whose (materially winning) morality is just the win. Most people can’t be winners, so they settle for applauding, and “supporting” winners (even when the winners win to their own detriment!) Do I have to be the first to decry this form of emotional fascism? Supporting winners because they win, is defeating to the self, and others! That hysterical behavior should be handled with extreme caution!

Moreover, and indeed, winners can profit from self-feeding exponential effects, the phenomenon at the root of plutocracy: the more power one has, the easier it is, to get even more. However, too much power in too few hands is intrinsically inhuman. Indeed, prehistoric humans didn’t live, and thus didn’t evolve, that way. And too much inhumanity is intrinsically evil.

I believe that open products, such as the open source model is superior than being dependent upon a particular corporation. The open-source model is a decentralized software-development model that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_model

Open societies are better than too much power in too few hands, as Pericles and philosophers around him pointed out, 25 centuries ago.

Be it only because too much power in too few hands kills innovation, democracy, justice, equality, hope, civilization, the climate and coast lines.

These are the stock values, BUT they are roughly proportional to the revenues of the companies in question, and the explosion of the latter has everything to do with the monopolistic positions they were allowed to acquire by the US government (it may have to do with their spying potential, direct inquiries to the NSA). GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) has three times the revenue of IBM + Microsoft + Intel (or so). Google and Facebook monopolize 75% of US media income from advertising!

The monopolistic tech economy which has developed in recent years is a disaster for innovation, democracy, morality or even cognition. I still own an old Mac, and when Steve Jobs had his own computer company (after being fired from Apple, and before being re-hired!) I bought one of his (very expensive) state of the art computers. Still have it. Also owned ipads… So I am not anti-Jobs or anti-Apple, by any means.

But I practice the open economy, open tech, with a  way better laptop than any Apple sells presently, etc. Please excuse my negativity, but I have seen a Fed judge pass an outrageously biased, pro-monopolistic tech judgment at 11 am, resign at noon, and accept a 5 million dollars payment from Facebook at 2 pm… (I can hear the powers that be, applauding in the distance…)

While an ex-president goes from super yacht to private island, to super yacht, a plutocrat reigns in the White House, while the National Rifle Association gives millions to key US politicians. Each. Meanwhile the European Union has proclaimed there are no tax havens in Europe (thus, by that token of measure, none anywhere in the world). And Vlad Putin insists to show his might, from forbidden military neurological chemical weapons, to nuclear powered nuclear armed cruise missiles, perpetually flying around the world, or, at least, South America.

But there is worse: an entire generation is molded by Zuck’s conception of relationship, a gooey notion of search, and willingly offering all of one’s privacy, so the wealthiest can get wealthier and more powerful, while they pay back the “innocents“, in the Medieval sense of the term, with a sense of tribal rage to soothe their simple minds

Open society brings open, thus stronger minds, as Aspasia told her husband Pericles, 25 centuries ago (and Pericles needed to be told, because, as he himself recognized later, he was not as smart as the circumstances required, by a very long shot; his banning of immigration, and his little plans about how to fight the Peloponnesian War backfired dramatically, with extreme prejudice to civilization: his sons were considered non-citizens, thanks to their dad, and his war plans brought the “plague”, devastating Athens!)

As the fate of Athens, and thereafter, of Greek democracy and even civilization, clearly demonstrated, stronger minds are not just a luxury, they are key to the survival of the noblest aspects of the human spirit (the Roman Republic made a similar demonstration, itself partially a consequence of the preceding one). We think, thus we survive…

Patrice Aymé

Neat Suggestion For Net Neutrality

August 15, 2016

Under Obama, the US spy networks were given full power. Paying no, or little taxes, with the full resources of the USA behind them, they were mandated, as modern-day corsairs, to seize the world. They did (in spite of the Snowden scare; Snowden revealed the entanglement between the imperial machinery of the USA and the US Internet companies).

This Internet coup is a Obama’s great achievement, proving how great and just the brown president has been for the powers that be, over the powers that don’t deserve to be.

Here is the market capitalization of the forty largest French companies (the “CAC 40”), versus that of GAFA (Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon):

Thanks Oh Great, Wise, Respected Obama, For Having Made The USA Mightier Than Ever With Your Mighty Espionage Agents

Thanks Oh Great, Wise, Respected Obama, For Having Made The USA Mightier Than Ever With Your Mighty Espionage Agents

[Was the satanic Bush a smaller devil? One shudders at the question. Just asking…]

As you can see, GAFA, those four companies, Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon, under the presidency of Barack Obama, became everything, while the French Republic stagnated between being and nothingness. This is a general pattern, with all countries. It has to do with GAFA being above all and any local laws. And there are no global laws to speak of. (The Chinese joke that GAFA is the new world empire; well, new, not really.) In particular GAFA eschews most taxes, so stand above all and any companies and firms, worldwide.

Donald Trump, hated by GAFA, has said that he would make GAFA pay taxes. Said Trump, speaking of GAFA, and, in particular, Amazon:”Oh, God, would they have problems if I became president”. But what of the rest of the world? How can the world get out of this pickle?

First GAFA should pay taxes (France wants Google to pay billions in overdue taxes, Great Britain, though, asks for only a tenth of what the French Treasury is asking. Why? Because Great Britain is onto the plot, and understands that GAFA is one way for its overlord, the USA, to seize world control, and will be rewarded for getting on the program!)

To force GAFA to pay taxes, they should be threatened with exclusion. Now, of course, that would require guts. First, suffering of being accused of “anti-Americanism” by the soon to disappear in the oubliettes of history, Barack Obama, the great enabler of GAFA. (The US already makes war against the French economy, so it may as well come up to the surface!)

Unfortunately for, say, the French, GAFA uses massively treacherous countries without much industry such as Great Britain (full of subordinate tax havens, more than a dozen treasure isles which charge no income or wealth tax), and Ireland (top corporate tax rate, 12.5% in contrast with France 33% and the USA’s 35%!)

So going to war against GAFA means that the French would have to go to war with Ireland and the British Virgin Islands (hence the UK!) If the traditional parties don’t have this sort of guts, maybe Marine le Pen will… (She will be accused of dreadful “populism”, just as the Donald is, for doing something against the multibillionaire plutocrats of GAFA, and their demonic little helpers…)

Could we try something less bloody? Well, GAFA spy on people, and then tweak what they see on the Internet, accordingly. GAFA, and its ilk know you have a health problem, so they suggest businesses associated to treatment or relief from that condition. I have noticed search engines such as Google manipulate searches according to what they think i should see. Worse: Microsoft’s Bing censors completely some of my essays. For example “Violence In The Holy Qur’an” cannot be found on Bing (even looked directly by title and author) This sort of censorship is deliberate: the essay consists essentially of 10,000 words from quoting entire verses of the Qur’an. (The English paper, The Guardian, accused me to be someone who “blogged” the Qur’an, to justify censoring me!)

If these Internet manipulations were completely unlawful, all the time, the business model of GAFA and their ilk would collapse. Of course, one does not want to be that cruel (what would Obama do?)

But here is an idea nevertheless. Why are not GAFA (and its ilk) required, by LAW, to present a neutral web if asked to do so by someone using the Internet? As I said, one does not want to be too cruel with the corsairs of modern communications: after all, they have some public utility, as they (vaguely) innovate.

So, say, every time one turns on one of the GAFA, or other Internet manipulators, one should be offered, manually, the option of a neutral web.

Simple. Drastic.

The right to neutral information is basic to enable democracy. Without it, there is no democracy. The present rule of GAFA, and their present manners, is a complete denial of democracy. Time to fight. When the philosopher Demosthenes called the Greeks to fight the (gold mines propelled) the Macedonian plutocrats, who were quickly increasing in power, he was not listened to. It sounded alarmist to go fight the rich and nasty. When it turned out Demosthenes was finally observed to be right, it was too late. Democracy was destroyed in Greece, for the next 23 centuries. And it all originated from a philosophical debate where Aristotle was prominent.

We are what we know. And we are nought if we know not. The neutral Internet is not obsolete, it’s a human right. Are those obsolete? Hmm… Wait…

Patrice Ayme’