11_technocracy

Recently, Congress and the DOJ have opened investigations into anti-trust and other questionable business practices of the largest Tech firms.  But the dangers of the increasingly embedded influences of Amazon, Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc. aren’t just financial.

Deanna Fisher of Victory Girls reports that Tech Company Platforms Move into Censorship  as YouTube, Google and others are creating and using algorithms to ban content and users that they find “unacceptable” under their values.  More and more Americans are using Social Media as their primary source of news and increasingly a significant content provider for education.  This makes the gatekeeper role of self-serving and biased Big Tech a significant concern.

Even more disturbing is China’s Scary Social Credit System Made in USA by Google and Facebook, documented by PJ Media’s Roger Simon.  Big Tech has partnered with the Chinese government to track and control the general populace using social media tools.  Basically, these companies are helping build a 1984 style society (and getting paid very well for it).

UPDATE:  Apparently, Google is still hungry as demonstrated by this Project Veritas expose where a top executive verifies the tech company is working toward “preventing the next Trump situation.”  This is mirrored in an internal email from the Google “transparency-and-ethics” group (also available on Project Veritas) which states,

“…if we understand that PragerU, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro et al are nazis using the dog whistles…”

and calls for blocking them from the suggestion feature.

 

 

 

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1984

A couple of disturbing articles to get you thinking about how you think:

Fifteen Devastating Quotes That Show How Dangerous Social Media Has Become to Society (John Hawkins, PJ Media)

American Narratives: The Rescue Game (John Michael Greer, Resilience/The Archdruid Report)

 

 

“The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today. The fact that power is concentrated among so few companies has made it possible to weaponize the web at scale.” —Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

“Let’s build a comprehensive database of highly personal targeting info and sell secret ads with zero public scrutiny. What could go wrong?” —Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.” —Sean Parker, first president of Facebook

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. This is not about Russians’ ads. This is a global problem.” —Chamath Palihapitiya, former VP of user growth at Facebook

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility. I’m sorry.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder

New York Magazine has a great article interviewing the tech experts who created our digital world.  They have regrets and warnings.  But more importantly, they reveal how and why they did what they did.  Read more in The Internet Apologizes.

Although Amazon has clocked staggering growth, it generates meager profits, choosing to price below-cost and expand widely instead. Through this strategy, the company has positioned itself at the center of e-commerce and now serves as essential infrastructure for a host of other businesses that depend upon it. Elements of the firm’s structure and conduct pose anticompetitive concerns—yet it has escaped antitrust scrutiny.   – Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox

The richest men in the world are social media moguls.  Their companies hire tens of thousands world-wide.  Their products have infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives.  Of course, their products often let us act out bad behaviors through tweets, posts, comments, etc.  But the real dangers of social media may be in how the social media companies treat us as customers and as employees.

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comeypress

There are two main takeaways from Mr. Comey’s testimony:  1) No one asked Comey to stop the Russia investigation; 2) Comey leaked his memo to the press.  (As usual with Mr. Comey, he took questionable professional action based on his personal beliefs and played coy so he could get political and media attention.)