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@doctorow got an important point wrong at #28c3 - Andrew Auernheimer — LiveJournal
Oðinnsson. Market abuser. Internationally notorious computer criminal.
@doctorow got an important point wrong at #28c3
19 comments / leave comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 6th, 2012 04:31 am (UTC) (link)
I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest that what we're seeing is a stratification of computing rather than a wholesale power grab. Let's bring in Google's fully automated car as an example.

A friend of mine thought it was a great idea. I was more worried about the control issues. If a car is fully automated, you might own the car, but the control is completely gone. My friend pointed out that while this would be a concern, the positives offset the negatives. The problem with cars today is that people have complete control over them, yet continue to use them unsafely or ineffectively. People go too fast or too slow, drive under the influence or just don't pay attention, affect traffic and end lives. Faced with this, he felt that it would be better to deal with an automated car than a non-automated one.

He's also a big fan of Apple. Loves Apple products. He's not stupid or in the dark about privacy and control issues by any means. This guy is product analyst for our company and was a tech analyst for another. He's aware of the issues. Ultimately he's pro-Apple for many of the reasons that the tech crowd dislikes Apple. Control? Walled garden? Reliability, he answers. In the end, he really does want an appliance. He's too busy with his work to fiddle with his Macbook, iPhone or iPad. In the end, he wants a tool that gets out of his way while he does his job. Most people are like that. I don't know anything about trains, for example. I just want convenient transport from point A to point B. I shouldn't have to know how to take apart a train car in order to do that.

For most people controlled computing will become the norm. They want it that way. I've met tons of people who say "Well, if Google is spying on me, that's the way it is." This isn't happening because of lies, brainwashing, or other conspiratorial acts. It's happening because of one of the golden rules of marketing: people always trade rights for convenience. If you have a product that makes someone's life easier and happier, but in return it spies on their activities, you will find customers that don't care. Their lives are easier and better now. It's an easy choice to make.

The tech crowd will be marginalized, to be sure. But then, it was always marginal. How many heart surgeons are there compared to the rest of the population? Or fountain pen enthusiasts? These interests are marginal and still have industries that cater to them. So will it be with hackers. Things might get pricier, outlets might be fewer, but there will always be a way to get what you're looking for.

SOPA is bad, to be sure. I don't know anyone familiar with it who thinks it's not a disaster on jet fuel. That stated, it may be too bad to work as intended. Even if not, it doesn't mean the end of the world. SOPA will be very selectively. Forcing the issue would cause so many lawsuits that it would be rendered null and void. As it is, SOPA will spend years in a court before being fully unleashed onto the public. That's plenty of time for an information campaign, if it's necessary at all.

The point of SOPA isn't total control the Internet. There's a point of diminishing returns here. The **AA know most people just want computable appliances. They just want to make sure those appliances are properly locked. It's not cost effective to get the whole 100%. As long as the minority remains properly marginalized, the **AA don't have to worry about them. No one cares if a mouse or two takes a few grains from the storage room. Everyone cares if it's a family of mice or a colony.

To sum up, the world of computers is stratifying. The main population will get controlled computable appliances and be under the control of whomever has their data and makes their hardware. They won't care because they're getting what makes them happy. SOPA will probably either get beaten to death legally, or be so drastic that it is ineffective out of practicality alone. Or something in between. And that's it. Maybe. Hopefully.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 14th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC) (link)
Couldn't Apple make controlled devices that grant all the conveniences to the users but also allow the user control it if he wants so?

I agree that an appliance can be controlled, as long as they are controlled for the convenience of the user. Unfortunately, a lot of times the power is also used to lock the customer, to fight against competitors, to make user a target of marketing etc.

Most people don't care. I understand it: They say that if you put a frog in a pot and you heat the water slowly, the frog won't be aware that it's being boiled until it's too late.

I am afraid that we are now in the pot. The problem is that most people don't understand or underestimate the price they are going to pay for those appliances. And when that people realizes it may be too late. And what say only confirms me that they will win.

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 19th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC) (link)
I used to make arguments similar to yours, but I've started recently to temper that part of myself down. It's not that you're wrong, it's that there's a combination at work here. Some people know but don't care, some care but don't want to know, some know and care, but more for how it benefits them than anything else. I used to think that educating people on the subject would get them to see things my way, but most of the time they just responded with apathy, acceptance, or interest on how to get in on the action.

But anyway, to your points:

> Couldn't Apple make controlled devices that grant all the conveniences to the users but also allow the user control it if he wants so?

No. In practical terms, probably, but otherwise no. Apple doesn't just sell a computer, Apple sells an experience. Not just that, but an experience with a guarantee of consistency and reliability. For something like that you need control, and a lot of it. I imagine it's a loosely similar to some IT departments. The IT department needs to provide certain guarantees in terms of network regularity and computer performance and security, so they lock down company computers to make sure everything operates in a predictable way. The analogy isn't quite perfect, but the mindset is probably close.

> I agree that an appliance can be controlled, as long as they are controlled for the convenience of the user. Unfortunately, a lot of times the power is also used to lock the customer, to fight against competitors, to make user a target of marketing etc.

As it happens, I work in a marketing department. Based on this I can tell you that given the right culture, a citizen will give away any and all civil rights in the name of convenience. Right now America at least is in such a cultural mindset. They're in "Consumer Mode". They want stuff, they want it fast, and they want it with a minimum of hassle. For all the good the Occupy Movement did for national debate, it was still very emblematic of this mindset.

Had the Occupiers put forth a cohesive political strategy for re-aligning our nation, they would have been in engaging in an innovative mindset; that of seeing a problem, identifying a solution, and then driving the idea into reality. They didn't do this. Instead they simply demanded change. This is a very consumerist mentality. They wanted something from the powers that be, and were banking on the idea that complaining in numbers would allow that to happen. That's very different from creating a solution to a problem.

As long as this consumerist mindset exists, the problem of the frog and the pot will never go away. Or, more exactly, the problem of the frog jumping into the pot will never go away. The consumerist mindset is not predisposed to action. That would cause inconvenience, which goes against the whole mentality. As long as Americans operate with this mindset, it would be easy to convince them to do things that aren't in their best interests (unless you push the boundaries too hard. SOPA and PIPA being the most current examples).

Of course, if you work in marketing, that's probably not a bad thing. I've been told that advertising and PR companies are pulling ahead of the pack in terms of income and job growth.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC) (link)
the troll is that they should give up their millions of dollars they made hussling an 'IT department experience' in exchange for some kind of moral product, like maybe a tool that will lead to productivity increase in the field of space rocketry, medical surgery, artistic literacy, or internet chattery.

NYPD don't carry puppets on the job to match a puppeteer's starting salary. Apple does't make IT department experiences.

Apple weaseled it's way into the computing market like PERL weaseled it's way into computing science

"I don't know the Jon Orwant guy, but he has written a few other Perl books including 《Mastering Algorithms with Perl》 amazon . Algorithms in Perl? Give me a flying break.
The Perl folks are funny that they giddily bid computer scientists to recognize their language. There's the OOP book and now Algorithm. In Perl groups you'll also read about AI with Perl or such. It'd be fun to see books titled Computer Science with Perl, Logic Programing in Perl, Lambda Calculus with Perl, Advanced Calculus with Perl, Relativity with Perl, Rocket Science with Perl, Spaced Out with Perl, How To Pick Up Chicks with Perl." --xahlee, 2002

Btw there's biology in perl now (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioperl), i can't wait for cosmic morality with perl, apple brand teachings of christ with lacking scriptures, and special class of cops that carry tissues around in their pockets when you get your feelings hurt for driving 60 in a 50 zone
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC) (link)
Re: moral products
I'm not sure that's a troll so much as the nature of the modern American business. There's always a lot of talk about how businesses should act more socially or morally responsible. To be honest, I think they should. That's not how the system works, though. Businesses only have one purpose, and that is to make money for their owners or stockholders.

That may seem disheartening, but it needn't be. If we know that businesses only care about profit, the the real challenge is to make the morally acceptable profitable as well. Businesses will fall in line very predictably. Obviously easier said than done, but look how Apple moved to disassociate themselves from that factory in China where workers were killing themselves. Look how they tout their eco-friendly unibody construction for their MacBook line. Companies have a very simple and direct psychology. It's just a matter of finding a way to take advantage of it.
19 comments / leave comment