Thursday, July 13, 2017

Commoditizing Ever More Social Interaction As A Whole...

...The economic behemoths thus created now stand between the rest of us, and those who still believe in the idea that an institution needs to exist to keep people informed; so they can be responsible wielders of the right to rule by majority vote of the people. And because they are no longer so directly connected, they must carefully walk, more than ever, their own balance between doing the informing, and still presenting a revenue generating product. Because product competition is getting pretty tough now you know. So what do you do? You organize and try to negotiate from whatever strength control of your type of product might give you.

The irony here is that organized labor, who used to be past masters at this (after paying a tremendous cost in life, limb, and material well being), isn't doing nearly so well with it anymore. And that's because it's just too easy now to go get whatever product type you might want, somewhere else; precisely because so many everywhere are fighting for their market share of everything.

And so the traditional purveyors of information, albeit very important information much of the time, find themselves competing in a now vast, multi dimensional matrix of information creation I like to call the infosphere. The problem though, I think, isn't that they can't compete (the current, political scandal related increase in popularity aside), but that it is becoming ever more difficult all of the time; and not just because of competition alone (formidable as it is becoming with everyone creating their own personal product as tweets, or video, or personal commentary), as information manipulation for both economic, and/or political gain, come into the picture. And in that latter context it starts to become something a good deal more sinister, as being able to turn a profit becomes meaningless when some other, bigger economic entity, suddenly decides your message is inimical to their survival.

What really troubles me in all of this, aside from the obvious sinister aspects, is that nobody seems willing to stop and and say: Wait a minute here. Maybe it's time to do a reality check. Maybe we're driving ourselves crazy trying to solve impossible situations when we should be asking why has everything become so impossibly crazy in the first place? And in that, perhaps, we could begin to see that the original, underlying assumptions, of this current operating system, have been mangled beyond all recognition. And that it just isn't working properly any more. More to the point, it absolutely cannot be made to work properly any more. And we're only going to make ourselves crazier still if we keep trying.

We have to start over.

That being said, what normal people usually do, when they decide to reconfigure the way they operate, is that they sit down and reconsider where they are at now, what they face now, and what their needs are. You figure that out then you can get around to thinking about the best ways, now, to achieve meeting your needs. And the best part about this is, in accepting the formidable burden of starting afresh, you at least get the opportunity to really look at things differently. To take advantage of new possibilities so as to beak out of old constraints.

Sounds pretty simple when stated that way. Easier said than done of course. But we could do it. The first, biggest step, is to simply accept that it must be done.


A consortium of newspaper publishers has just asked Congress for the ability to negotiate collectively with Facebook and Google.