In a previous post, “Synergistic Social Agent Network Cloud“, I discussed how a web of ‘agents’ could optimize ‘apps’ to be more responsive, proactive, and multipliers of our intents. I was just reading “Should we fear mind-reading future tech?” by Andrew Keen, and was thinking of the possible negative aspects. Still reading the article, so it may cover this. (finished reading it, was not mentioned).
Privacy is the usual concern about this high-tech stuff. This is very important. But, can “faster than realtime” computing, prediction, massive complex-event-processing and correlation also enable the powers that be to also control? We already know that advertising in all it’s forms can control, else why, for example, is the American presidential election a feeding fest of political money contributions?
Could that same advertising and fake news reporting via social media and apps that employ predictive quasi-AI morph into controlling media, an Orwellian manifestation of new-speak? In a scenario that would make a great sci-fi novel, Big Interests like political parties, business groups, and political organizations use social media, not only to advertise, but to gently guide one toward having programmed epiphanies.
Can it even be more “physical” and intrusive? For example, by prediction, these groups can arrange that one will meet a certain someone at the right time. Your a bleeding heart influential liberal? No problem, the future Fox News will arrange that you meet this gorgeous strong willed conservative that will change your mind.
Silly example, but you get the point, when you know, you can make nano-adjustments: unnoticeable, personalized, massive lobbying. Ads are old school, here come the psych-bots.
Hearing the justices speak and hearing commentators discussing how certain judges are left or right got me thinking about this again. How can a justice be politically biased? I thought they judged on the merits of the cases before them.
But, then we have the grilling that potential justices are put through to become judges and even there the questions don’t make sense. I guess I just don’t get it. Maybe I watched too many Star Trek episodes and now I think that somewhere or in some discipline there is a cold but accurate Vulcan logic being applied. No, there is just a bell curve and most of us are in the middle.
Your at a store and are presented with a choice among two competing products. Lets say its a bottle of juice or some dish soap. How do you decide what to buy?
One way is to see the relative cost per measure. That calculation is already done for you in that little price tag on the shelf, can’t recall the name of that standard. So, price comparison is easy. You could even look at its ingredients; they are usually listed in size order, etc. There are even mobile apps to help you make that decision.
However, that decision is bogus since you don’t really know how much of that product is just filler. Which juice has the most water, for example? Some products will state what that is, like 2% real juice. Is that enough? What do they mean by that? Do they dry out the real juice measure it, then reconstitute it back into liquid form? I think its like that “cheese food” label, all a scam. Boy, am I being negative this week.
Now companies have a right to trade secrets and all that. But, as consumers we would like to know when we are just buying colored water. Or maybe we don’t. After all, we twaddle around with our fat asses in the big box stores searching for deals on junk food to keep the billion dollar soft sweet drink industry going.
Anyway, there must be some better ways to make our devalued earnings buy a little more.
Was just reading an article about one person’s experiences working at a Walmart. The article gave a few examples of the rampant welfare cheating going on. How food stamps and other means for “temporary” assistance are squandered on junk and the corresponding Entitled nature of the users. Good article.
This is not new, of course. Just another example of how human societies are probably based on various forms of symbiosis, parasitism, and other relationships on a continuum of bad thru good. Listen to any “conservative” talk radio show or read resources that cater to this, and you will find many other examples. Yes, there is definitely a problem. No denying that.
However, do any of these resources also bemoan the “getting over” that is practiced by the non-poor and educated? Nope. In fact, at the other end, getting over, inside info, loop holes, arbitrage, usury, cheating the system, and other techniques are what you do with what you can get. At any costs. You can even buy professional help in getting over.
From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multimillionaires are even receiving government checks for not working. This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future
generations. — link
This getting over is encouraged by business, society, and government. It must be, it fuels commerce. Happy people don’t need big screen TVs.
Perhaps, the wealthy are really predators, and the best food is what can come from what the middle class pays in taxes. Ant Milking Aphids comes to mind.
The poor have the poverty pimps and liberal political machines that cater and partake of this feeding frenzy, so called help of the unwashed stinky masses. At the other extreme we have the wealth pimps, the fake conservatives, those that promote the rich gospel and in the guise of spreading the wealth, merely sustain the ever widening gap between the haves and have not.
But genuine welfare for the poor, like TANF and food stamps, barely amounts to a CBO rounding error. Adding up the so-called “defense” budget, two unfunded wars, “national security” spending on DHS, CIA, DOE and NASA, and interest on debt from past wars, the bulk of the federal government’s budget goes to welfare for the Military-Industrial Complex.
Indeed, the dominant feature of the American polity is welfare for big business and the rich. This welfare consists of a wide array of government interventions into the market to enforce artificial scarcities and artificial property rights. — Welfare State for the Rich
What astounds me is that many consider America to be founded upon and led by Christian moral values. But, I see nothing today that pays back the suffering of Jesus on that cross. In fact, even in the religious realm there is a Getting Over: We pray and attend church so that in the Coming we too will be saved to that welfare state in the sky.
Wow, where did this rant come from?
While browsing the web on this subject I found a whole bunch of weird stuff. What a wide range of political-economic “thought”. From anarchists to libertarians, liberals, conservative, blah, blah.
Is it really so hard to understand and see facts without the bullshit? What ever happened to good ole logic and math? The world is gray! All the little fancy colors, the red and the blues, the leftish and rightish are just figments of the social delusion, a trick of the light. No wonder dogs are great animals, they see the world as it is.
Various investment structures, in particular mutual funds, charge fees. These fees generate fantastic riches for the various fund families and investment banks. If you want to make millions just start an investment fund. And, more and more, ordinary people are being “forced” to partake into this system, via 401K, IRA, and other investment products. If some political parties have their way, also for everything else: health, social security, education, and so forth.
Nothing wrong with fees. If you do a good job you should get paid. The problem, just like CEO compensation, these fees are owed no matter how the investment performs. Thus, wealth is being redistributed, not earned.
Is Wall St., in the guise of retirement funding, rearranging chairs on the Titanic, just giving the upper crust the better view?
As Lipper Analytical Services has demonstrated, the vast majority (94%, as of the most recent 5-year survey) of managed mutual funds have historically underperformed the stock market as a whole, making inexpensive index funds, which attempt to mirror the performance of such market indexes as the S&P 500, a more lucrative investment. It seems strange to us that so many investors are willing to pay the higher fees of managed mutual funds when they can do better with the cheaper index funds, and even better by managing their money for themselves. If mutual funds are wise, we think it’s better to be a Fool. We’ve been saying that since 1994.
What about that wealth divide?
When someone criticizes the disparity in wealth, I’m sure there are some who view this as a negative viewpoint. However, critiquing the disparity is not the same as saying everyone should be financially equal. After all, there are those who don’t contribute or strive to do better, there are those born with silver spoons, and then there are those whom by luck, cunning, or genius made riches. Who would not want to be rich? By the way, if you are rich and don’t like it, I can help you out.
The problems are:
1. It is just plain vulgar. That some are making billions while the majority are buffeted by the winds of political-economic-financial-war side-effects and must work multiple jobs, and, well, you know the spiel,… It just doesn’t compute.
2. Ok, so we have the rich class (do they rule?). In our social-economic psuedo-capitalistism this is inevitable. But, why such a large difference? What happened to trickle down?
3. Yes, the pie just gets bigger, blah blah. The thing is, we live in a finite planet, the center cannot hold. Already we are pooping more then our fair share. In my state, for example, the largest man-made structure is the garbage dump!
Just finished seeing season one of “Downton Abbey” in Netflix streaming. What can I say that hasn’t been written before, it is grand. Such superb story, characters, filming, scenes, language, and most important great actors.
What I don’t get is why the household let Thomas come back to work?
Downton Abbey – Main Theme Song – Piano Music
Downton Abbey theme- Did I Make The Most of Loving You?
Downton Abbey- The Suite
Just saw this on a TV news show. Boy is this needed! You’d be surprised what people take for real news today.
The News Literacy Project (NLP) is an innovative national educational program that mobilizes seasoned journalists to help middle school and high school students sort fact from fiction in the digital age.
The project teaches students critical-thinking skills that will enable them to be smarter and …
The only negative I can see is that if people really start questioning the “news” and scrutinizing the bombardment of political-social-economic morass being spewed, there may be a revolution. Minimally we wouldn’t even vote in elections; after all what criteria distinguishes one bozo from another, the shiny nose quotient? (Just lame attempt at humor, maybe).
News Literacy Project
The Cain 999 tax simplification is attracting attention. Well, it should. In this political climate the major candidates have not been proposing anything bold, just the same phrases, party lines, and lack of answers to specific questions.
But, perhaps the 9-9-9 plan is too bold and as some critics are writing, lays the burden disproportionally on the 99%.
My counter proposal is just as simple, 6789:
That is more equitable. Of course, economists and mathematicians can tweak the numbers. Most importantly, these numbers should be part of a feedback system. Why is everything “fixed” when the world is dynamic?
Based on economic performance and quality measures, the whole sliding scale could be shifted up or down. For example, in an overheated economy it could be shifted up, and in a difficult period, like now, it could be shifted down, such as, 5-6-7-8, etc.
From its roots as an information sharing infrastructure, the internet is now increasingly composed of marketing and sophisticated attempts at private information harvesting. This has led to an adversarial relationship between providers and consumers.
Advertising is important. Commerce is important. Getting information on new products and solutions is important. Consumerism as culture is not important (it leads to a debtor nation). Advertising that preys on the bases ‘instincts’ and misinforms is not good. There are no easy solutions to fair advertising and fair use of personal information. Invariably, the consumer will be pimped.
When telephone soliciting became absurd, a Do Not Call registry was created. The same approach may not work in the web, for even the act of searching for something is subject to ad-fluenced manipulation.
A top level domain (TLD) that prohibits advertising will be useful if and only if it is also transparent. Since it must be funded and probably would not survive on donations or sponsorship by users, an ad-free domain must rely on organizations and companies. These must be explicit. No shenanigans like we have in the political process where influence is nefarious like the Political Action Committees (PAC) that subvert the democratic process.
Oh well, perhaps a bad idea. It was out there, my brain picked it up.
I wrote about advertising and privacy before, but in a fictional short story format: Scattered.