I posted this on Notes on the Crises yesterday. It’s a good blog, I encourage you to chip in $5 bucks a month and subscribe.
What Nathan writes about is great. But it’s a few floors up from where the problems are.
The beginning of the end was early on in dotcom, when newspapers sucked up to the search and ad engines. Newspapers should have put up paywalls. But instead they listened to the mob, who told them, “paying for stuff is out. Now you give away what you have and sell ads”.
It was a huge mistake.
The prelude to dotcom was the late 70’s, when the priority for business changed to shareholder value.
Then came Surveillance Capitalism. Surveillance Capitalism’s big win was changing behavior. Billions got snookered by Google’s “Do No Evil”. They trusted them and their kind. Because it was free.
A trade was made for free, via the Terms of Surrender Agreement that no one bothered to read. Or even if they did, it was written so they’d never understand it. Free ended up costing us our privacy, freedoms, the neighborhood hardware store, and our well being.
Fast forward to today. Most want free software, free content, and free delivery. Billions confuse convenience for progress. This has cost us millions of jobs. If the con continues, millions more jobs will be lost.
Now anyone with an iPhone and an Internet connection is a journalist. We argue over what is true. Fights are breaking out in grocery stores over masks. Millions of minds have been turned to mush. We praise the corporations who’s knees are on our necks.
It’s deja vu all over again. But instead of “Do No Evil”, the story flips to Chamath Palihapitiya, the billionaire who gets rose petals laid at his feet.
Chamath believes he can stop the levee from breaking:
And people believe him. It’s right there in black and white.
Until Americans start focusing on changing the system, making huge sacrifices and thinking 7 generations ahead, there’s just about no hope.
Millions of us, starting with the young people, need to start walking against the wheel
Google lied. Chamath won’t change a thing, but he’ll make bank.
When are we the people going to get it? When are millions going to take a stand, make sacrifices, and fight for the children?
Right now the answer is not-so-soon.
Peace and love,