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From Surveillance Communism to Surveillance Capitalism and Beyond (forbes.com)
89 points by pseudolus 24 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

All the Stasi were missing were computers to make sense of all the information and connect the dots. Modern surveillance is insanely intrusive!

My parents survived full blown communism regime and the stories they eventually shared with me instilled healthy fear of omnipresent surveillance.

And despite this, I am still debating whether wife's request for shark IQ with camera is a good addition to our household ( incidentally, does anyone know if it can be hacked, or at least its feed can be accessed? ).

I don't know. Maybe we just never really learn and are doomed to repeat mistakes of the past.

You could limit it's network connectivity (firewall anything but the home server). If it can't work offline, then it's kind of useless to me personally. I like tech that can outlive the OEM.

One of the more advanced Roomba's I looked at required it to be online to setup and function. Ended up getting the cheap offline model which does the job without the security risks.

Which model was that? I just got the 960 which I think is considered one of the "smart" models(since it maps the room based on cameras rather than randomly bumping into things) and it works perfectly fine without internet connectivity.

I’m curious; that offline model, does it map space as well as their new top of the line models?

Not the one I have. It just kinda bumps all over the place like it has no memory but it does clean the floors so it’s not a total loss!

I would assume it can and will be accessed/hacked. There were security concerns about Roomba’s years ago where they draw a detailed map of your home and the scheduling would allow someone to figure out when the home would be empty. Pretty creepy stuff!

I think we forget because those stories aren't written down. To collect those stories as a reminder would be perhaps one of the strongest innoculations against blindly accepting the nice new shiny, short of having to repeat those mistakes every couple of generations to learn them anew.

One would think there are enough stories already written down. I am not sure I can add any new perspective. I remember, but since I did not really experience it, it remains a memory.

It is kinda like now we seem to inevitably move towards new world war. People already forgot the pain. All the writing about WW2 does little to stop the crawl.

I can definitely see your point though.

Today I just feel, dunno, defeated on privacy front

Perhaps you're right about the stories. People don't want to read real life horror stories. I have actually wondered if VR with realistic reconstructions of war might be of value, to shake them up viscerally, which is really where people think from.

Privacy, well I guess it's up to you in that if others are willing to sell themselves you can't stop them but there's a lot to be gained by blocking ads/JS/cookies in your browser and not having a smart phone. Although as ever there's a cost to doing that, one I'm ok with but others aren't. Good luck with whatever you do.

I hear you. That cost was a lot easier to evaluate when I only had myself to consider.

It seems it really depends on how you sell privacy. For example, my wife did not get why I was playing with setting pihole, but she did notice lack of popups on her kindle and liked that.

As for VR, I think I agree that if it could make you feel sensations, maybe could achieve what stories could not (then again, would people pay to smell the air after D-day?). Right now, gaming allows you to feel detached from your decisions.

And as if by magic https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21504678 "What It’s Really Like to Fight a War (nytimes.com)"

Surveillance communism: Your neighbour might hear you and report on you. The government might go after you.

Surveillance capitalism: "We will give every person a location tracker and microphone, and make them pay for it! Then sell data to anyone."

I tried to get my father to grasp that this isn't the 50s. These aren't file cabinet with dubios ability to find info ever again and massive amounts of space required to store. Data today will be sucked in and may sit but eventually will get indexed and become searchable in seconds. The percentage of your life represented in this data is only getting higher, and collection of all at the current rate will be ubiquitous.

A good example is a authoritarian could take power and decide to reducate any one posting comments not espousing the ideals of the ruler in power.

The data from the past couple years would build you a nice list for your next sessionnof your reeducation camp fun.

>A good example is a authoritarian could take power and decide to reducate any one posting comments not espousing the ideals of the ruler in power.

This already happens on a horrendous scale in China. Since we're buying pretty much everything from there, will it be long before they gladly sell us mass surveillance infrastructure?

>The data from the past couple years would build you a nice list for your next sessionnof your reeducation camp fun.

Imagine a sinister big data implementation of the ironic punishments in Dante. It's possible should the political will arise. There's already enough contempt for privacy in Western governments, it's not too hard to think of what's on the horizon.

> Imagine a sinister big data implementation of the ironic punishments in Dante.

A big "church" with many followers in Hollywood already make you take a detailed personality survey and use the answers to sow doubt within yourself during the following "interview". So yeah, it's probably very easy for someone with more data.

The guy that posted his ebook about data dictators here the other day said something similar. Basically AI and data is the next cold war. And democracy isn't likely to survive it


At least it wasn’t “Like me On Facebook.” Between Google and Facebook, what information can’t be determined about an individual? Add Amazon and now your buying habits are known, your cellular provider and your pattern of life is known — and it’s all for sale if you know whom to ask.

Ironic? Simply a consistent resource extractor. Europeans start the "Forbes experience" with

"We want you to experience the full power of Forbes.com, but we need your consent to continue" - ie accept all our surveillance capitalism so our tracking and ads can strip mine your behavioural resources.

At least they're kind enough to ask.

CCPA is going to be a thing in the US soon. I wonder what that will look like.

Forbes' one is actually a nice accidental workaround of itself. They put that up as a modal and slightly grey out the rest of the page. It disables the various on page JS lazy loads, and load of next article when you've scrolled far enough down the page. Hmm, just like web pages used to be then... :)

So I just read the article and close or back out, GDPR dialogue untouched.

Surveillance capitalism and social media are quite different beasts. One is a constant bubble of narcissism, depression, and bother, and the other is a set of AI-driven binoculars watching you every second for a clue on how to instruct others on how to set a trap you'll fall into and give up some of that sweet sweet cash!

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