Mind Dump, Tech And Life Blog
written by Ivan Alenko
published under license CC4-BY
posted in category Technology & Dystopia / Technologies
posted at 04. May '24

Cloud Capital = Technology Slavery

Recently I watched couple of interviews with Yanis Varoufakis () like here - https://youtu.be/JcnGAbd4ZTs?t=2799 and he is telling how Europe is basically outdated, because there is no cloud capital. Which means to have investment money to create technologies which brings rent. Like Visa, Tesla, Uber, Google, Amazon, …

Sure, it sucks not to have them, but surprise, surprise. I’m not using most of them. Hard to get by without Google and Visa, but Amazon can be ignored here. Others…depends if you are travelling, if you have enough time to do “mandatory” activities yourself or if you are able and willing to run servers yourself.

I’m not as sceptical as he is, I see a lot of different technologies, but also underground culture which is different to extract and exploit as much as you can. Also it does not make sense to live in Europe and write myself off. Even though some generations are depressed and I am too I guess, such position is not acceptable and does not serve anything. There are power and economic struggles, but I am not as materialistic anymore to think it is the end goal. If I am more poor than Americans, but still have my life fullilled and the society is relatively safe, it is be better from my point of view. What I want to say, there are many more aspects to society than wealth.

Especially interesting was to hear in the video how German government still use faxes and the future is Tesla and WeChat. I don’t really agree how everything is better on the other sides. I’m conscientiously using more primitive technologies just not to end up in the ecosystem of Tesla or WeChat which he praises.

About faxes - true, that sucks, like nobody uses landlines anymore, so you have to use, not sure what, VOIP? And Japansese until the last year still used 3.5” floppy discs to communicate with government… Maybe they moved to CDs now. Is it behind?

Until recently (like 4 years) American nuclear forces used 5,25” floppy discs to program nuclear ballistic misiles. Sure, this is a case of internal use, but still, one cannot manufacture floppies by giving “just-in-time” order to market. And - San Francisco’s Train System is Still Running on Floppy Disks - train system of San Francisco still runs on 3.5” floppies. Yeah, these are closed systems, but still.

But about Tesla - while I respect Elon Musk, the progress they make is impressive, I’m avoiding to fall in his ecosystem, whether it is X/Twitter or Tesla. He is a tyrant and does not understand democratic means. No, thanks. It is possible that data collected by Tesla will help to get full driving AI or he can sell it to data brokers - automakers are already selling driving habits like braking - https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2024/03/how-figure-out-what-your-car-knows-about-you-and-opt-out-sharing-when-you-can. Yes, I care not to pay each month to some dystopic company which then will just fuck you over.

When I was optimistic about Tesla, I could see fleets of autonomous cars which would help our society, but these days I’m not so optimistic. We already see in Russo-Ukraine war proliferation of autonomous misiles and bombs, so I’d expect full driving AI will end up in some swarms of killer autonomous machines or cyberweapons, because it will know how to operate in real world environment.

I am not saing companies have to be democratic, yet when they become to influence the society, their moral, ethical and humane standards become to be more significant and affect many more people, even those who want to avoid them. Sometimes I read comments like private companies can do anything. No, they cannot. If everybody around you is zombified and young generation is addicted to mobile applications, games and social sites I have absolutely a right to criticize it. Especially in case of social sites, they deliberately make it addictive and the more lawsuits I read about - like Facebook snooped on users’ Snapchat traffic in secret project, documents reveal, the more disgusted I am. They definitely cannot say “we didn’t know…”. They know, they are just prioritizing metrics, capturing market, profits and shareholders first.

And about WeChat, he said you can send payments for free. Well, you can do it in Eurozone too. WeChat is dystopic mobile application for dystopic Chinese rule. It is your whole life, started as a messenger, but now you have banking, loans, corona pass, social credit, social network, calls, like everything. The messenger and social networks are censored and scrubbed of offending content even retrospectively. There is no expectation of privacy. Musk plans to make X to be like WeChat this year (2024). Well, good luck American friends, I hope you will avoid digital slavery. Have you seen what was happening during corona lockdowns in China? Scary and horrible stuff.

If this is how future looks like, I’m happy to use cash and write or copy paste IBANs into internet banking. Man, I am even willing to use fax and floppy discs. C’mon people, the future is not to be in digital prison. To pay with smart watches is comfortable for sure, but at what cost to society?

From what I see, the humanity is probably not as mentally/spiritually advanced to use advanced technologies. Like you have to learn how to survive in the society, each of us need to understand technology and societal values which we expect and then behave accordingly. At some basic level. Yes, today we have American digital monopols, because of multiple factors, but mostly because of cheap money from banks and investors, and obscuring true costs, persuasion and the fact it is so good.

Lets say Apple, recently sued by The US Justice Department for monopolistic practices. Nobody gave a shit until recently. I never entirely got people who are buying iPhones and I know them a lot. Just because it is comfortable for their use cases and the resell value is very high? Maybe in recent years maybe I do, because Android flagships are not half the price of iPhones anymore. Hell, my Android phone is more expensive than regular iPhone. If you just need to take photos and post it to Instagram, you won’t probably care about who gets the money, how it works, which parties are involved and what is in for them and how iPhone is manufactured. I care. I care that Netflix could not provide subscriptions in iOS, because Apple was forcing Netflix to eat up 30% of Apple’s provision. They could not even say in the application that they provided subscriptions. And that was like 5 years ago. And then Apple cancelling the account of Unreal Engine which was wrong, they should only cancel Fortnite. They are just petty monopolistic corporation, just like Tesla. How the hell is society accepting this behavior by buying even more Apple products? In USA, Apple has now 56% of the mobile market which is riddiculous. At the same time not surprising. The decline of American and European and Taiwanese and Japanese smartphone manufacturers along with China spying scandals and relatively good prices and social status pushes people to the embrace of Apple. If there was a Slovak or Czech mobile manufacturer, would I trust them more? I mean yeah, I guess, maybe.

The current ideas about future technologies are just sad. Are we really doing this “civilization self-destruct” story arc in the humanity? Or worse, end up like in The Matrix (as a power source for Musk’s conscious AI with the goal of establishing Mars settlement) or Equilibium movies (social sites will perfect their presentation of information and will supress feelings. wait a second…). The technology is not purely about consumerism, convenience, coolness and status symbols. It also needs to provide freedom, respect and “feel good” vibes and show new horizons. Otherwise why even bother?

Since I written this, Tesla and Google started additional layoffs. They are not so optimistic anymore.

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