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new money, lot's-a-holes

Could $$$ go wrong? Nuts. Kinda like AI planning out demise. Fuck it, let's give AI all our $$$, that will work!
O que ainda mal começou a ser pensado é o modo como estas transformações abalam as regras da política e perturbam a própria ideia de democracia. Depois de se ter fixado a ideia de "pós-democracia", é tempo de nos irmos habituando ao conceito de "transdemocracia", para pensar a relação mais do que tumultuosa entre a tecnologia e a política.
in "A condição pós-humana" 24 mar 2017

Na continuação de tecnologia e sociedade, e académicos. Adiantamos-nos: o livro só sai em Novembro de 2017 mas até lá a Wired ou alguém fará o puff-piece e então acrescentamos o resumo às teses como manda a regra. A própria Shoshana Zuboff não é uma estranha aos media e citamos para arquivo da própria, sacado da imprensa como habitual, ainda que tivéssemos de ir à Germania pelas fontes. E-e-e-e-e ainda no tópico de liberais a salvar o capitalismo dele próprio, enter tha "Dark Google".


Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism.

The real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency.
in Wikipedia 27 mar 2017

Mas adiantamos-nos ao adiantar. Alguma contextualização antes: Shoshana Zuboff & computer-mediated work:

Professor Zuboff has been called "the true prophet of the information age".
The research demonstrated the tripartite nature of the relationship between information technology and work:
  1. technology is not neutral, but embodies intrinsic characteristics that enable new human experiences and foreclose others
  2. within these new "horizons of the possible" individuals and groups construct meaning and make choices, further shaping the situation
  3. the interplay of intrinsic qualities and human choices is further shaped by social, political, and economic interests that inscribe the situation with their own intended and unintended opportunities and limitations
in Wikipedia 27 mar 2017

Entre outras, escolhemos duas para permissas base:

Information as a challenge to authority

High levels of information technology can pave the way for more fluid, social, distributed, and less hierarchical work arrangements.

Zuboff's Laws

In the context of her research about the implications of information technology she stated three laws:

  • Everything that can be automated will be automated.
  • Everything that can be informated will be informated.
  • Every digital application that can be used for surveillance and control will be used for surveillance and control.

in Wikipedia 27 mar 2017

Isso na década de oitenta. Como evolui a sua teoria?

By the mid-nineties Zuboff had begun to question the vision of the progressive corporation...: she began to explore new ways that the technology’s informating power might find its full expression and began a decade-long intellectual journey from which she concluded that today's business models based on the frameworks of concentration and control associated with twentieth century "managerial capitalism" had reached the limits of their adaptive range.


E nesse ponto voltamos ao artigo que nos importa. Editado para clareza e brevidade, destaques nossos, retiramos-nos de cena e deixemos o texto falar por si.

"Most Americans realize that there are two groups of people who are monitored regularly as they move about the country. The first group is monitored involuntarily by a court order requiring that a tracking device be attached to their ankle. The second group includes everyone else…"
Some will think that this statement is certainly true. Others will worry that it could become true. Perhaps some think it’s ridiculous. It’s not a quote from a dystopian novel, a Silicon Valley executive, or even an NSA official. These are the words of an auto insurance industry consultant intended as a defense of "automotive telematics" and the astonishingly intrusive surveillance capabilities of the allegedly benign systems that are already in use or under development.
in "The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism" 1 dez 2016
"The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale. When people use our app, we can capture their behaviors, identify good and bad behaviors, and develop ways to reward the good and punish the bad. We can test how actionable our cues are for them and how profitable for us".

"There are lots of people who are monetizing data today. You get on Google, and it seems like it’s free. It’s not free. You’re giving them information; they sell your information. Could we, should we, sell this information we get from people driving around to various people and capture some additional profit source…? It’s a long-term game."
What is this "long-term game"? The game is no longer about sending you a mail order catalogue or even about targeting online advertising. The game is selling access to the real-time flow of your daily life –your reality—in order to directly influence and modify your behavior for profit. And everyone who wants a piece of your behaviour for profit.

There was a time when we laid responsibility for the assault on behavioral data at the door of the state and its security agencies. Later, we also blamed the cunning practices of a handful of banks, data brokers, and Internet companies. Some attribute the assault to an inevitable "age of big data". I’ve come to a different conclusion: The assault we face is driven in large measure by the exceptional appetites of a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation that I call surveillance capitalism.

Surveillance capitalism is a novel economic mutation bred from the clandestine coupling of the vast powers of the digital with the radical indifference and intrinsic narcissism of the financial capitalism and its neoliberal vision that have dominated commerce for at least three decades. It was first discovered and consolidated at Google, then adopted by Facebook, and quickly diffused across the Internet.

The already visible trend is that any actor with an interest in monetizing probabilistic information about our behavior and/or influencing future behavior can pay to play in a marketplace where the behavioral fortunes of individuals, groups, bodies, and things are told and sold. This is how in our own lifetimes we observe capitalism shifting under our gaze: once profits from products and services, then profits from speculation, and now profits from surveillance.

Mass production was interdependent with its populations who were its consumers and employees. In contrast, surveillance capitalism preys on dependent populations who are neither its consumers nor its employees and are largely ignorant of its procedures.

Key to this formula, however, is the fact that this new market exchange was not an exchange with users but rather with other companies who understood how to make money from bets on users’ future behavior. Users were no longer an end-in-themselves. Instead they became a means to profits in a new kind of marketplace in which users are neither buyers nor sellers nor products. Users are the source of free raw material that feeds a new kind of manufacturing process.

A parasitic form of profit:

  • First, the push for more users and more channels, services, devices, places, and spaces is imperative for access to an ever-expanding range of behavioral surplus. Users are the resource that provides this free raw material.
  • Second, the application of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science for continuous algorithmic improvement constitutes an immensely expensive, sophisticated, and exclusive twenty-first century "means of production."
  • Third, the new manufacturing process converts behavioral surplus into prediction products designed to predict behavior now and soon.
  • Fourth, these prediction products are sold into a new kind of meta-market that trades exclusively in future behavior. The better (more predictive) the product, the lower the risks for buyers, and the greater the volume of sales.
in "The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism" 1 dez 2016
Once we understand this equation, it becomes clear that demanding privacy from surveillance capitalists or lobbying for an end to commercial surveillance on the Internet is like asking Henry Ford to make each Model T by hand.
We’ve entered virgin territory here. The assault on behavioral data is so sweeping that it can no longer be circumscribed by the concept of privacy and its contests. This is a different kind of challenge now, one that threatens the existential and political canon of the modern liberal order defined by principles of self-determination that have been centuries, even millennia, in the making;
  1. the sanctity of the individual and the ideals of social equality;
  2. the development of identity, autonomy, and moral reasoning;
  3. the integrity of contract, the freedom that accrues to the making and fulfilling of promises;
  4. norms and rules of collective agreement;
  5. the functions of market democracy;
  6. the political integrity of societies;
  7. the future of democratic sovereignty;
The imperatives of surveillance capitalism mean that there must always be more behavioral surplus for Google and others to turn into surveillance assets, master as prediction, sell into exclusive markets for future behavior, and transform into capital. Every operation and investment aims to increasing the harvest of behavioral surplus from people, bodies, things, processes, and places in both the virtual and the real world.
in "The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism" 1 dez 2016

Parentesis à "incerteza", que entre as nossas lides é por vezes forçada sobre a designação entropia, com uma entrada à privacidade no fim porque nos parece relevante ao tema das escolhas:

Google’s success derives from its ability to predict the future - Google’s dramatic success in "matching" ads to pages revealed the transformational value of this behavioral surplus as a means of generating revenue and ultimately turning investment into capital.

Google is the mothership and ideal type of a new economic logic based on fortune telling and selling, an ancient and eternally lucrative craft that has exploited the human confrontation with uncertainty from the beginning of the human story.

When we eliminate uncertainty, we forfeit the human replenishment that attaches to the challenge of asserting predictability in the face of an always-unknown future in favor of the blankness of perpetual compliance with someone else’s plan.

Privacy and secrecy are not opposites but rather moments in a sequence: exercising one’s right to privacy produces choice, thus confer decision rights. Surveillance capitalism does not erode these decision rights but rather it redistributes them. In result, surveillance capitalism conjures a profoundly anti-democratic power that qualifies as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty. It challenges principles and practices of self-determination for which humanity has suffered long and sacrificed much.
in "The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism" 1 dez 2016

Continuando, concluindo:

We need new interventions that interrupt, outlaw, or regulate:

  1. the initial capture of behavioral surplus,
  2. the use of behavioral surplus as free raw material,
  3. excessive and exclusive concentrations of the new means of production,
  4. the manufacture of prediction products,
  5. the sale of prediction products,
  6. the use of prediction products for third-order operations of modification, influence, and control, and
  7. the monetization of the results of these operations.


A cada qual, o "interrupt", "outlaw", ou "regulate" na medida que vos cabe. Direct action gets the goods, mãos dadas com o d.i.y., mas todos os de sempre são chamados a intervir, esperemos que com resultados melhores do que os habituais:

The bare facts of surveillance capitalism necessarily arouse my indignation because they demean human dignity.

The future of this narrative will depend upon the indignant scholars and journalists drawn to this frontier project, indignant elected officials and policy makers who understand that their authority originates in the foundational values of democratic communities, and indignant citizens who act in the knowledge that effectiveness without autonomy is not effective, dependency-induced compliance is no social contract, and freedom from uncertainty is no freedom.
in "The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism" 1 dez 2016


old money, same assholes

Na continuação do último post: onde os ISPs tentam forçar a sua relevância.

Esta última semana atiraram-se de boleia ao calcanhar de Aquiles dos gigantes da web: o seu $$$. O caso faz-se pelo Google, mas sendo o advertising o sustento do FB e iguais, equiparem o exemplo que se segue e desenrola. Todos os brutus a Caesar de uma vez: media, ISPs, governos.

Media-buying firms are increasingly resentful of the power wielded by Google and Facebook Inc., claiming the two companies operate a global duopoly over online advertising. The controversy about ads appearing in inappropriate contexts may give these media buyers leverage in negotiations with the social media giants.
in " Google to Revamp Ad Policies After U.K., Big Brands Boycott" 17 mar 2017

E teremos de esperar para ver como a estória segue nos próximos tempos. Para muitos outros headlines no tópico e quanto lhes dói:

...e na parte que toca aos com-comps:

AT&T, Verizon and several other are suspending their marketing campaigns on Google's YouTube

By extending its ban to everything beyond Google's search results, AT&T is also effectively pulling its ads from more than two million other websites that depend on Google to deliver ads to their pages. In its statement, Verizon said it decided to pull ads from YouTube to protect its website while it investigates the "weak links" among its digital advertising partners.

Both AT&T and Verizon may have an ulterior motive to make YouTube look like an untrustworthy spot for marketers because both companies are trying to sell more digital ads in their own networks.
in "Google's YouTube losing major advertisers upset with videos" 22 mar 2017

Como em todas as guerras os civis são as principais vitimas: o resultado desta escaramuça será inevitavelmente um maior controlo sobre o utilizador final disfarçado de contingências necessárias. Adivinha-se o rationale, big brothers encavalitam-se para também eles marcarem terreno sobre um adversário que têm dificuldades em domar. Decalcado de exemplos testados em décadas passadas: um Estado a usar o seu $$$ para determinar a linha editorial de uma empresa, com a "vantagem" adicional de, em digital, agregar mais alguns dados sobre todos e mais alguns.

The UK's Cabinet Office now has a temporary restriction on YouTube advertising until it's reassured that those messages can be "delivered in a safe and appropriate way."

A spokesperson for the UK Cabinet office told Ars in an email that Google senior executives met with government officials today. Google was told that new guidelines need to be made to ensure "every penny of public money" used for advertising is used properly. "It is totally unacceptable that taxpayer-funded advertising has appeared next to inappropriate internet content–and that message was conveyed very clearly to Google," a UK government spokesperson wrote. "The Cabinet Office has told Google it expects to see a plan and a timetable for work to improve protection of government adverts to ensure this doesn't happen again." Google is already conducting a "thorough review of its ads policies and brand controls" and will make changes soon to allow companies more control over where their ads go.
in "UK government suspends YouTube ads after some appear on extremist videos" 17 mar 2017

E, no processo, por design, estas empresas reforçam o poder de determinar o que se diz e faz, como se diz e faz.

what content is allowed to thrive (make money) under the new ad guidelines and what content will be deemed unfavorable[?]
YouTube team will be closely monitoring the content that actually makes it to YouTube while reconsidering "community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform—not just what content can be monetized."

The most interesting of these tools is a new default that excludes "potentially objectionable" content that advertisers may not want to be associated with. That means there will be content that advertisers won't even have the option to put their ads over by default.

For YouTube creators the more controversial creators may have to change their content depending on how YouTube changes its community guidelines in the future. Until these new tools and rules are in effect, we won't know how this move will affect YouTube creators specifically, but in general, we will likely start to hear about videos being demonetized more often than ever before. YouTube is not known for being very open about changes with its creators: since last year, many top creators expressed frustrations about old videos being demonetized for seemingly no reason, an apparent change in the YouTube algorithm, and glitches that caused mysterious and impactful drops in subscriber counts.
in "Amid boycott, Google changes ad policy to give advertisers more control" 21 mar 2017

Se, ie, dependeres deles. Queiras ou não, mais de meio mundo depende já.

Mas enquanto essa novela se desenrola, os ISPs conseguem esta semana uma vitória noutra frente. Onde, como em todas as ocasiões que os poderosos reforçam o seu o poder, os demais perdem. E quem está a mais nesta equação? Quem mais... Novamente, States related. Novamente, o que lá se passa depressa se estende a todos.

The Senate voted Thursday to make it easier for internet service providers to share sensitive information about their customers, a first step in overturning landmark privacy rules that consumer advocates view as crucial protections in the digital age - a crucial tool for transparency and a way to give consumers some control over their digital footprint.
in "Senate Republicans Vote To Gut Internet Privacy" 23 mar 2017

A lei a revogar:

The privacy rules prohibited internet providers like Comcast and Verizon from selling customer information, browsing history and location data, without first getting consent. The rules also compelled providers to tell customers about the data they collect, the purpose of that data collection, and to identify the types of third party companies that might be given access to that information.

But the telecom industry and Republicans in Congress fiercely opposed the new regulations. Critics argued that these rules unfairly target internet providers, restricting their ability to turn personal information into targeted advertising and other tailored services, even as giant web companies like Google and Facebook are free to collect and sell our information without those limitations.
in "Senate Republicans Vote To Gut Internet Privacy" 23 mar 2017

A nova lei proposta:

Your ISP is in a privileged position, where they can see everything
The legislation is the "antithesis" of putting consumers first, creates a massive gap in consumer protection law as broadband and cable companies now have no discernible privacy requirements.

Proponents of the privacy rules have argued that regulations on ISPs are necessary because broadband providers can monitor all of our unencrypted internet traffic, unlike online advertising companies whose tracking of customers can be blocked using free browser tools.
"We are one step closer to a world where ISPs can snoop on our traffic, sell our private information to the highest bidder, and pre-install spyware on our mobile phones"
in "Senate Republicans Vote To Gut Internet Privacy" 23 mar 2017

O de sempre entre vencedores e vencidos, se alguma vez leste um livro de História e tens esta estranha impressão que os governos governam-se.

"It is extremely disappointing that the Senate voted today to sacrifice the privacy rights of Americans in the interest of protecting the profits of major internet companies, including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon," she said.
in "Senate Republicans Vote To Gut Internet Privacy" 23 mar 2017

Murder, she said: afinal, a concorrência entre monopólios parece apenas espremer ainda mais os seus clientes. Go figure.


neutering the open web

Neil Postman's "Technopoly" e "Amusing Ourselves to Death", George Orwell's "1984", Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", Utopia e Distopia, Totalitarismo? Segway evidente - óbvio!- para a Open Web, e sobre esta, a neutralidade da internet. Segue-se um resumo retirados do geist mediático semanal.

The Open Web movement asserts a special role for public, cooperative, and standard World Wide Web communications; it opposes private, exclusive, proprietary Web solutions.
in Wikipedia 23 mar 2017

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
in Wikipedia 23 mar 2017


This is not speculative. This is really happening
The war for the open internet is the defining issue of our time. It’s a scramble for control of the very fabric of human communication. And human communication is all that separates us from the utopia that thousands of generations of our ancestors slowly marched us toward - or the Orwellian, Huxleyan, Kafkaesque dystopia that a locked-down internet would make possible.

The internet, it seems, is special. It’s the ultimate information technology - capable of supplanting the telegram, telephone, radio, cinema, television, and much more - and there’s no clear way to disrupt it. But the war for the commanding heights of the internet is far from over. There are many players on this global chess board. Governments. Telecom monopolies. Internet giants like Google and Facebook. NGOs. Startups. Hackers. And - most importantly - you.

If you do nothing, we will lose the war for the open internet. The greatest tool for communication and creativity in human history will fall into the hands of a few powerful corporations and governments.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

E para que não nos acusem de citar um qualquer anarquista bend on the destruction do mundo moderno como o conhecemos -capitalista!- usaremos como referência uma fonte que defende(!) o capitalismo e ainda assim grita aos quatro ventos que assistimos hoje a um atropelo de direitos e garantias em prol de interesses corporativistas monopolizantes *. Para a realidade dos States, mas não muito longe do que acontece world wide.

* Monopólios: maus, até que seja o teu monopólio.

This isn’t capitalism - it’s corporatism. Capitalism is messy. It’s wasteful. But it’s much healthier in the long run for society as a whole than central planning and government trying to pick the winners. Capitalism allows for small businesses to enter and actually stand a chance. Corporatism makes it impossible.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

Claro que, poderíamos sugerir que o anarchism provavelmente does it better porque removido o $$$ da equação tens a flexibilidade anterior minus o waste. Mas whatever.

Case in point:

Here are the 10 largest corporations in the world by market capitalization:
  1. Apple Inc
  2. Alphabet (Google)
  3. Microsoft
  4. Exxon Mobil
  5. Johnson & Johnson
  6. General Electric
  8. Facebook
  9. Wells Fargo
  10. AT&T
6 out of 10 of them are internet companies, and one of them is an ISP. Once you look past the last gasp of the banks and the oil companies, it becomes clear that these internet companies are the new order. They control information. They control the conversation. They control politics.
So what makes you think they won’t come to control the very internet they dominate?
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

Não só a batalha pela internet está ao rubro, como há claramente vencedores destacados que se posicionam para consolidar as suas vantagens. E que beneficiam de um benefício de dúvida e ignorância geral para o fazer.

We blindly trust tech founders to be benevolent. You may think that the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Larry Pages of the world would know better than to abuse their power. But such scandals have happened in the past. We are not only placing faith in the temperament of the elite handful of tech company founders. We’re also trusting that other actors - who ultimately take over these organizations - will be benevolent.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

O novo capital em digital é atenção, e esta está a subir de preço -

Even as the costs of launching a website fall, the costs of reaching an audience continue to rise.
Half of all internet traffic now comes from just 30 websites. The remaining half is thinly spread across the 60 trillion unique webpages currently indexed by Google.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

- mas a infraestrutura que a sustenta é tudo menos imaterial: hardware e cabos que percorrem o planeta e entram-te casa a dentro, e também esta tem um custo, e também esta é uma frente pela qual se luta pela supremacia da internet. Segue-nos:

The mafia of the internet: the ISPs
As much as we may think of the internet as a placeless realm of pure abstractions, it has a physical structure. It’s not magic. And more people are waking up to this reality each day.

The internet is a series of copper and fiber optic cables that burrow through the ground and tunnel under oceans. We call this the Internet Backbone. The internet is then further distributed through regional backbones. Despite the involvement of huge telecoms, the internet backbone represents a fairly healthy market. About 40% of the internet’s backbone is controlled by smaller networks you’ve never heard of. The broadband internet market, on the other hand, isn’t healthy at all. This is the "last mile" of cables that plug into the internet backbone. And it’s full of ugly tollbooths, guarded by thick benches of lawyers and lobbyists.

These ISPs control millions of miles of copper cables that they buried in the ground and satellites they shot up into orbit. They constantly break the law, tie up regulators in lengthy court battles, and make it practically impossible for anyone - even Google - to enter their markets.

Historicamente, o utilizador final estava protegido dos abusos de monopólio dos ISPs pela obrigação destes tratarem todos por igual. Ora, igualdade não gera riqueza.

For the past two years, the public had a weapon against these ISPs. It’s called Net Neutrality.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

Aqui valerá a pena abrir um parêntesis: só faz sentido falar da neutralidade da net se no mesmo pacote -funny?- abordarmos a open web. Desta:

There’s only one word to describe the open internet: chaos. The open internet is distributed. It’s owned in part by everyone and in whole by no one. It exists largely outside of the boundaries of governments. And it’s this way by design. The open internet is a general purpose tool where anyone can publish content, and anyone can then consume that content. It is a Cambrian Explosion of ideas and of execution.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

Por oposição a muitos outros modelos. Exemplos:

Apple App Store isn’t a level playing field. It doesn’t resemble the open internet it was built on top of. Instead, it’s an example of a walled garden. Walled gardens look beautiful. They’re home to the most popular flora. But make no mistake, you won’t be able to venture very far in any one direction without encountering a wall. And every walled garden has a gatekeeper, who uproots plants that look like weeds. And Apple is one of the most aggressive gatekeepers of all.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

E, claro, o de sempre:

The ultimate walled garden: Facebook.

E de forma mais insidiosa, porque o faz, pelo seu inverso: *

Those are people from extremely poor countries who were given a choice: they could either pay for the open internet or just get Facebook for free. They chose Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg may mean well, but he’s rapidly destroying the open internet.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

* Ah, aquilo da benevolência: is a partnership between social networking services company Facebook and six companies (Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera Software, Nokia and Qualcomm) that plans to bring affordable access to selected Internet services to less developed countries. It has been criticized for violating net neutrality, and by handpicking internet services that are included, for discriminating against companies not in the list, including Facebook's rivals.
in Wikipedia 23 mar 2017

Voltando à net neutrality:

The story of ISPs basically comes down to this:

They used to make a ton of money off of cable packages. But people discovered that once they had the internet, they didn’t care about cable TV any more - they just wanted data plans and so they could watch YouTube, Netflix, or whatever shows they wanted.

The ISPs don’t make nearly as much selling you a data plan as they used to make selling you a cable plan, though. So their goal is to return to the "good old days" by locking down the internet into "channels" and "bundles" then forcing you to buy those.

How do we prevent this? The good news is that we already have. In 2015, the FCC passed a law that regulated ISPs as utilities. This is based on the principle of "Net Neutrality" which basically states that all information passing through a network should be treated equally. The FCC’s Title II regulation created three "bright lines" that prevent ISPs from doing the following:

1. Blocking content from websites
2. Slowing down content from websites
3. Accepting money from websites to speed up their content

These rules made it so that no matter how rich and powerful a corporation is - and Apple and Google are the biggest corporations on Earth, and Microsoft and Facebook aren’t far behind - they can’t buy priority access to the internet.

Everyone has to compete on a level playing field. These tech conglomerates have to compete with the scrappy startups, the mom-and-pop businesses, and even independent bloggers who are running WordPress on their own domain. It’s as simple a tool as possible for protecting the capitalist free market internet from monopolies who would otherwise abuse their power.

The reason ISPs want to get rid of Net Neutrality is simple: if we stop treating them like the utility that they are, they can find ways to charge a lot more money. ISPs see an opportunity to double dip. They want to charge for bandwidth, and also charge websites what the Mafia calls "protection money." They essentially want to be able to say to website owners: "Those are some lovely data packets you’ve got there. It sure would be a shame if they got lost on their way to your users."
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017

O que nos trás de volta à open web e à atenção que todos precisam -funny?

Without traffic, the open web dies 
The ISPs wouldn’t need to block these websites. All the ISPs would need to do is introduce a slight latency.

Both Google and Microsoft have done research that shows that if you slow down a website by even 250 milliseconds - about how long it takes to blink your eyes - most people will abandon that website.

That’s right - speed isn’t a feature, it’s a basic prerequisite for attracting an audience. If an ISP artificially slows down a website, it’s practically as damaging as blocking the site entirely. Both of these acts result in the same outcome - a severe loss of traffic.
in "The future of the open internet - and our way of life - is in your hands" 16 mar 2017


Claro que os novos monopólios tha be não pretendem depender dos monópolios has been para sustentar os seus serviços. Logo, procuram substitui-los. Da Wired, "Facebook’s Epic Data Blast Is Good for Everyone—Especially Facebook" 21 mar 2017, sempre voluntariosa para fazer a apologia das novas tecnologias:

Companies like Google and Facebook are really reshaping telecommunications, they’re perhaps going to overshadow the needs of telecom companies.
Hardware companies may also lose some of their grip on the market, because Google and Facebook often build their own hardware infrastructure.
These tests represent the latest development in a much larger trend.
The internet’s biggest names—Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook—are all working to accelerate the evolution of the internet itself, pushing past the companies that traditionally built, deployed, and operated the infrastructure that underpins the global network.
AT&T didn’t show off this new optical transmission technology, based on a technique called probabilistic constellation shaping. The world’s largest social network did.

Facebook and Google have long pushed in this general direction, because it’s the only way they can continue to rapidly expand their already massive online empires. When they outgrew the computers and other data center hardware that served up their services, they built their own. Once they saturated online markets in the developed world, they started building high-altitude balloons, drones, and wireless antennas to make the internet accessible in entirely new locations. And as they pushed more and more data across the globe, they started investing in their own intercontinental cables.

All this work means that in the years to come, Google and Facebook and other internet giants will deliver far more complex applications to you far more quickly.
in "Facebook’s Epic Data Blast Is Good for Everyone—Especially Facebook" 21 mar 2017

O que só pode ser bom para toda a gente, especialmente para o Google e o Facebook.

Facebook has worked for years to freely share its infrastructure ideas and designs with the world at large. Such sharing only stands to reason. After all, a better internet is better for Facebook. Lucky for you, a better internet is also a better internet.
in "Facebook’s Epic Data Blast Is Good for Everyone—Especially Facebook" 21 mar 2017

Da lógica, faltou apenas o "e uma internet melhor é melhor para ti", mas essa a prudência aconselha que até a Wired, tão voluntariosa ao caso, se reserve ao silêncio.


Next: quando os ISPs enfrentam Googles e afins onde lhes dói: ads. Ou, $$$, ie, aquilo do capital no capital no mundo real.

old money


ficam as marcas

do Marco, pelo Marco, sem marco, em pró-menor

No dia das mentiras, entre as 16h e as 18h, na Zaratan (Lisboa) acontece a quinta sessão [do Seminário Banda Desenhada e Pensamento Político] com o tema Cidade e Multidão com as participações de António Baião (moderação), José Smith Vargas e Marcos Farrajota. As sessões tocarão em assuntos como Corpo, Género, Cibernética e Transhumanismo, Cidade e Multidão, Utopia e Distopia, Totalitarismo.
in Marcos Farrajota @ Zaratan 22 mar 2017

Recomenda-se os últimos três, já do todo e pela amostra - e incluímos neste as anteriores sessões- suspeitamos que nada ficará para a posteridade além do poster do Marco Mendes batido à exaustão e um índice a pecar por falta de bullets *.

* Pun(k) intented? None.

Estudiosos de causas análogas em revisão da década terão de imaginar o conteúdo dessas conversas porque delas não há registo nem consequência. Ou, na ínfima parte onde se confundem, alguma arqueologia entre os nossos arquivos permitir-lhes-ás um vislumbre de época: na edição de hoje, o Neil a recordar-nos que nos estamos a divertir de morte.

Utopia e Distopia, Totalitarismo

Nota extra 22 mar 2017

O sítio referido entretanto parece ter ficado offline, tal qual o do NP. Ao contrário deste, não é erro de ligação: simplesmente devolve "branco". Se nos queixamos da falta de informação ou conteúdos dessas partes, não pedíamos melhor ilustração. E esperamos ter-vos convencido também da importância dos arquivos em digital.

E voltamos à programação habitual.


amusing ourselves to death

Se a tech condiciona o pensamento? Tlz.

Continuando no Neil Postman, não saindo da Wikipedia 22 mar 2017. Sentimo-nos satisfeitos a simplesmente dumpar o texto e deixar-vos à imaginação as intenções implicadas: arriscamos que não ficarás longe das linhas mestras que nos guiam.

Mantém a reserva ao determinismo tecnológico, soma a web e nesta as redes sociais, e temos crítico. 

Disclaimer necessário já que não escondemos as nossas convicções ludditianas: poderá parecer que o Neil também o é. E, possivelmente, talvez o fosse, mas na mesma medida que OS POSITIVOS: o “straight" faz toda a diferença:

Postman was accused of Luddism, despite his statement in the conclusion of "Amusing Ourselves to Death" that "We must not delude ourselves with preposterous notions such as the straight Luddite position."

Outro: aquilo da educação. Não somos estranhos à especialidade, e nOS POSITIVOS tentamos fazer também a nossa parte pelos teens. O Neil tinha igualmente as suas próprias teorias nessa frente:

[No] "The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School" Postman asserted that education without a myth or narrative to guide and motivate the student, is education without a purpose.

Daqui àquele outro tópico recorrente entre nós é um passo: propaganda. Mas, do tipo que se recomenda:

Postman spoke about the function of school being a democracy where different views are shared to help unite us.

Com o tal small print que merecia mais algumas linhas extra da nossa parte no perigo da fragmentação de comunidades.

In Postman's view, multiculturalism is a separatist movement that destroys American unity but on the other hand, he discusses teaching through diversity as an important theme that should be utilized in regard to teaching history, culture and language.

Mas dúvidas haja da missão pedagógica do senhor, além do "The Disappearance of Childhood" de ontem, terminamos o disclaimer neste tom:

In 1969 and 1970 Postman collaborated with New Rochelle educator Alan Shapiro on the development of a model school based on the principles expressed in “Teaching as a Subversive Activity".

Destaques nossos. Duh.

Amusing Ourselves to Death

Postman's best known book, a historical narrative which warns of a decline in the ability of our mass communications media to share serious ideas. Since television images replace the written word, Postman argues that television confounds serious issues by demeaning and undermining political discourse and by turning real, complex issues into superficial images, less about ideas and thoughts and more about entertainment. He also argues that television is not an effective way of providing education, as it provides only top-down information transfer, rather than the interaction that he believes is necessary to maximize learning.

The book's origins lay in a talk Postman gave participating in a panel on George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and the contemporary world. Postman said that the contemporary world was better reflected by Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, whose public was oppressed by their addiction to amusement, than by Orwell's work, where they were oppressed by state control. Postman distinguishes the Orwellian vision of the future, in which totalitarian governments seize individual rights, from that offered by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, where people medicate themselves into bliss, thereby voluntarily sacrificing their rights.

He draws on the ideas of media theorist Marshall McLuhan to argue that different media are appropriate for different kinds of knowledge, and describes how cultures value and transfer oral, literate, and televisual information in different ways. Postman further examines the differences between written speech, which he argues reached its prime in the early to mid-nineteenth century, and the forms of televisual communication, which rely mostly on visual images to "sell" lifestyles.  Altering McLuhan's aphorism "the medium is the message", to "the medium is the metaphor", he describes how oral, literate, and televisual cultures radically differ in the processing and prioritization of information; he argues that each medium is appropriate for a different kind of knowledge. The faculties requisite for rational inquiry are simply weakened by televised viewing. Accordingly, reading, exacts intense intellectual involvement, at once interactive and dialectical; whereas television only requires passive involvement. 

Destas, algumas entradas que passam perto das bases:

The tie between information and action has been severed
Information is now a commodity that can be bought and sold, or used as a form of entertainment, or worn like a garment to enhance one's status. It comes indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, disconnected from usefulness; we are glutted with information, drowning in information, have no control over it, don't know what to do with it.

E uma que aponta já para o tecnopólio que tratamos a seguir:

He compares contemporary society to the Middle Ages, where instead of individuals believing everything told to them by religious leaders, now individuals believe everything told to them by science, making people more naive than in Middle Ages. Individuals in a contemporary society, one that is mediated by technology, could possibly believe in anything and everything, whereas in the Middle Ages the populace believed (...) there was order to their beliefs.

E, sobretudo, se não ficou claro acima, o TV bashin’ :)

Television's entertainment value means of which the citizens' rights are exchanged for consumers’ entertainment
Television in its present state, he says, does not satisfy the conditions for honest intellectual involvement and rational argument.
The essential premise of the book: "form excludes the content," that is, a particular medium can only sustain a particular level of ideas. Thus rational argument, integral to print typography, is militated against by the medium of television for this reason. Television de-emphasises the quality of information in favour of satisfying the far-reaching needs of entertainment, by which information is encumbered and to which it is subordinate.

Daqui também se liga ao conceito de “information-action ratio", sendo justamente sobre a "inability to act upon much of the so-called information from televised sources" que deves considerar o impacto da web. Próximo livro:


Dead center nas nossas teses - com as devidas reservas e acrescentos necessários, para vosso deleite:

Postman defines "Technopoly" as a society which believes "the primary, if not the only, goal of human labor and thought is efficiency, that technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgment ... and that the affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts."

A society in which technology is deified, meaning “the culture seeks its authorization in technology, finds its satisfactions in technology, and takes its orders from technology". It is characterized by a surplus of information generated by technology, which technological tools are in turn employed to cope with, in order to provide direction and purpose for society and individuals.

Right? right? I know! Continuando:

Postman considers technopoly to be the most recent of three kinds of cultures distinguished by shifts in their attitude towards technology – tool-using cultures, technocracies, and technopolies. Each, he says, is produced by the emergence of new technologies that "compete with old ones…mostly for dominance of their worldviews".

1. Tool-using culture
Tool-using culture employs technologies only to solve physical problems and to "serve the symbolic world" of religion, art, politics and tradition. All such cultures are "unified by some metaphysical theory", which forced tools to operate within the bounds of a controlling ideology and made it "almost impossible for technics to subordinate people to its own needs".

2. Technocracy
Rather than existing in harmony with a theocratic world-view, tools are central to the "thought-world" of the culture. Tools "attack culture…[and] bid to become culture", subordinating existing traditions, politics, and religions. Technocracy [is] compelled by the "impulse to invent". [Porque] human beings could acquire knowledge about the natural world and use it to "improve the lot of mankind" [it] led to the idea of invention for its own sake and the idea of progress.
However, a technocratic society remains loosely controlled by social and religious traditions, he clarifies.

3. Technopoly
A "totalitarian technocracy", which demands the "submission of all forms of cultural life to the sovereignty of technique and technology". Technology as autonomous, "self-determinative" independently of human action, and undirected in its growth. technology in a time of Technopoly actively eliminates all other ‘thought-worlds’. Thus, it reduces human life to finding meaning in machines and technique.
This is exemplified, in Postman’s view, by the computer, the "quintessential, incomparable, near-perfect" technology for a technopoly. It establishes sovereignty over all areas of human experience based on the claim that it "'thinks' better than we can". 

E por esta altura estão a pensar "AI!!", certo?

A technopoly is founded on the belief that technique is superior to lax, ambiguous and complex human thinking and judgement, [e] values efficiency, precision, and objectivity. It also relies upon the "elevation of information to a metaphysical status: information as both the means and end of human creativity". The idea of progress is overcome by the goal of obtaining information for its own sake. Therefore, a technopoly is characterized by a lack of a cultural coherence or a "transcendent sense of purpose or meaning".

OS POSITIVOS: a criar propósitos.

Elites e os outros, e pegamos nesta para a próxima vez:

Consequences of technopoly: new technologies transform those who can create and use them into an "elite group", a knowledge monopoly, which is granted "undeserved authority and prestige by those who have no such competence". Subsequently, Postman claims, those outside of this monopoly are led to believe in the false "wisdom" offered by the new technology, which has little relevance to the average person.

Facebooks e afins, anos antes destes existirem:

He claims that the U.S has been inundated with technophiles who do not see the downside of technology. This is dangerous because technophiles want more technology and thus more information.

A proposta de solução, e desafio-vos a encontrar diferenças às nossas soluções propostas:

In a 1996 interview, Postman re-emphasized his solution for technopoly, which was to give students an education in the history, social effects and psychological biases of technology, so they may become adults who "use technology rather than being used by it".

Ya welcome.
E a critica feita ao livro, várias frentes. A nossa:

With the ever-increasing amount of information available "information has become a form of garbage, not only incapable of answering the most fundamental human questions but barely useful in providing coherent direction to the solution of even mundane problems." 

FAILED: big corps fazem sentido da info, de formas que Postman não poderia prever à data. É uma crítica mais técnica do que conceptual. Seguem-se as conceptuais, essencialmente batendo no seu technological determinism:

Postman's argument stems from the premise that the uses of a technology are determined by its characteristics, hence, once introduced, each technology "plays out its hand", leaving its users to be, in Thoreau’s words, "tools of our tools".

a) This pessimistic understanding of pervasive technology renders individuals "strangely impotent" [e] underestimate the agency of a technology’s users;
b) Technologies are shaped by social factors: Postman neglects to account for the "actual development, adaptation and regulation of technology";

Pessimistic accounts of technology overriding culture are based on a particular vision of human values. They emphasize "artistic creativity, intellectual culture, development of interpersonal relations, or religion as being the realms in which human freedom finds expression and in which human fulfilment is to be found". Technological optimists merely adhere to an alternative worldview that values the "exercise of reason in the service of free will" and the ability of technological developments to "serve human ends". 

Novamente, sobre os sobre pessimistas e otimistas, e com o twist que nos ocupa, recordamos que os nazis são early adopters de tecnologia. Da semana passada:

Anti-Semites are early adopters
Throughout history, just about every media platform still in its infancy has acted as a vector for just about every upwelling of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Anti-Semites have also exploited the public’s faith in these platforms to spread propaganda. New tech isn’t isn’t the exclusive province of anti-Semites. But in the early days, hateful stuff stands a good shot at rising to the top, or at least finding itself on par with everything else.
in "The Internet Protocols of the Elders of Zion" 12 mar 2017

O que merece reforçar da crítica ao tecnopólio a imunidade de ideias que a tecnologia per se, ainda que as possa vigiar e condicionar, não pode impedir:

New technologies have had remarkably little effect on pre-existing human beliefs
The persistence of old world ideologies: technopoly brought about by communications technologies must result in a drastic change in the beliefs of a society [yet] new tools may create new environments, but do "not necessarily extinguish older beliefs or the ability to act pragmatically upon them"