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Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance (idlewords.com)
71 points by maxerickson 94 days ago | hide | past | web | 10 comments | favorite



I find this pretty entertaining: The author laments the outcome of Brexit and Donald Trump, and points to the tech world as the source of the problem. But Facebook/Google/Apple and the rest of Silicon Valley are all in lockstep with the author. (Peter Thiel being the only exception.) So the author's problem is not that Facebook/Google created Trump or Brexit. It's that EVEN the mighty Facebook and Google couldn't stop it. It turns out the the folks in flyover country VEHEMENTLY DISAGREE with the elites in the tech sector. And these regrettable unwashed masses came out and voted. Perhaps these deplorables can be convinced of the superiority of secular humanistic socialism. Perhaps not. But blaming Facebook or Google or "Fake News" for these folks' long-held beliefs and desires is either delusion or intentional misdirection.


So the goal is to demolish the tech monopolies. There is no plan on how to do that.

We also have to think one step further. If the big power players are broken then there is space to fill and the next player will try to rush in. Many revolutions just exchange one tyrant for another one. We need a vision of the alternative system, an utopia.

The decentralization people can provide a vision, but can you really envision that nearly every household runs its own vserver for $20 a month? Or buys a $200 homeserver every three years? Government-subsidized servers for the poor?


I was impressed by the author's plan, actually. They listed many forms of leverage that _wouldn't_ work on tech monopolies and then arrived at one that would:

> The one effective lever we have against tech companies is employee pressure. Software engineers are difficult to hire, expensive to train, and take a long time to replace. Small teams in critical roles (like operations or security) have the power to shut down a tech company if they act in concert.


> An off switch on Internet-connected devices, that physically cuts heir access to the network.

Cutting off heir access might require legacy software.


I'm surprised to not see any discussion of unionization or guilds in this. Even some PBC or B corp stuff could also help.


The entire talk is a call for unionization.


So you didn't read the article? Perhaps you skimmed past the closing section.


His arguments continue to sound reasonable to me. I really like all his suggestions for what companies could adopt to address some of this. Let things forget.


Pac Man is a Japanese game, not American.


Yet it was unusually popular in America:

> When first launched in Japan by Namco in 1980, the game received a lukewarm response, as Space Invaders and other similar games were more popular at the time. However, Pac-Man's success in North America in the same year took competitors and distributors completely by surprise.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man#Reception




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