I think of these groups as "states-in-waiting." Should their regional government grow too corrupt or too weak, they fill the void.
It might follow something like this pattern, sans prior residents: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company
Each of these companies (FAAMNG) apparently are more worth or near worth the GDP of Luxembourg and other developed countries and their businesses are built like an entire economy.
There are also do’s and don’ts with some of them i.e rules that one citizen should follow. Don’t touch/hack google3 or you will be arrested. Thinking about virtualising macOS/iOS? You will be swiftly dealt with the Supreme Court of Apple Inc, You disagree with Mr. Zuckerberg on his platform? You will be expeditiously banned and charged with high treason with your real name, address, phone no. set to public for the whole world to shame you and list goes on.
Facebook has a population of 3B people and still calls it a community. If it were a country, that’s like the population of China and India put together. They have a town square, news, emergency services and more. The problem is it’s founding member Emperor Zuckerberg still doesn’t understand privacy and trust with its users despite the scandals of the 2010s. If it were a nation state, then it would be like an authoritarian one.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the People’s Republic of Silicon Valley.
Not so with these companies. Step out of line and they can unperson you like that, and you can't vote on their leadership. And increasingly entire livelihoods and social existences are tied into them.
This is why you're seeing states start to get so aggressive with them. The EU fining billions out of them on an ongoing basis. Dragging them before Congress. Etc.
They're not only starting to rival them in power, they're starting to flex power over them -- playing a kingmaker role as they form the platforms on which elections are being won and lost.
If the tech giants win, we lose. They've already shown willingness to coordinate with each other. The non-poaching agreements and the Alex Jones case.
Our defences from power have always been the existence of multiple states (e.g. refugees) and democracy. They would be beholden to neither. Able to destroy social lives and livelihoods at the click of a button, with no defence and no safeguards.
"Computer says no", to your life.
A tech company can deplatform you with impunity, but they’re not inflicting any real violence in the process. Corporations are still agents of real people, and those people are still subject to the laws of nations.
Say you have built up a following of people over many years and you are making thousands of dollars a month from YouTube, and they they decide to shut you down overnight, I bet it's going to feel like violence when it comes time to pay bills and you no longer have any of that income you have become accustomed to.
If YouTube cancels their contract with you, they’ve taken away your ability to make a living on YouTube. What they haven’t taken away is your ability to make a living. You can even make a living in video production, if you can find the means to do so.
YouTube certainly enabled many more people to viably live as video producers, but that doesn’t entitle people to make a living in that profession anymore than it entitles them to make a living roasting coffee or serving in a public office or performing heart surgery.
The thing is, no company is taking away a creator's right to their living. They may take away the opportunity to make a living on that company's platform, but there's a distinct difference.
YouTube (or Twitch, etc) are providing a service to content creators, that service being hosting and broadcasting their content. Service agreements come with clauses about termination of service. A content creator should never put all their eggs into a single basket lest that service cease to support them for whatever reason.
This is normally true, but in the "winner takes all" world, not having access to Youtube (or Twitch, etc) is effectively like being cut off from all customers. I experienced this in the past when running an ad supported website. Adsense paid by far the best (> 10x everyone else), so being shut off by them was like being shut off altogether.
And the problem is that for marketplaces it typically is "winner takes all".
Don’t hold your breath on Europe coming up with dominant consumer tech anytime soon.
This construction is linguistic violence!
The influence of Twitter on say, the Arab Spring, says differently. Or the many other cases of social media platforms and algorithms being used to incite mobs, riots, and revolutions.
Hatred is a prime input/output for algorithms optimized for engagement. We all know what impulsive mass hatred can lead to.
We’re discussing whether deplatforming a person from a private social media platform or video distribution platform is a form of violence.
Of course this was true at the time because of a power vacuum, physical security is a requirement to doing business–at the end of the day someone has to hold the gun.
In a way though, that’s what private security contractors are though, although their authority to engage in violence is legally limited.
Also it is important to note that such corporations as the Dutch East India Company operates their militaries outside and beyond the core jurisdiction, were and of their nations of origin. There was no contradiction of terms in subjugating and governing Indians and Javanese so long as they weren’t subjugating free Dutchmen.
Are you suggesting violence can be only physical in nature? Even if you aren't, your choice of the word violence is intentional because you want to avoid words like "harm" which more fully capture the socioeconomic implications of being fired without due cause from a position which your livelihood depends on.
In an ideal world, nation states would provide UBI for their citizens. A company is not going to provide UBI for someone who does not add to their bottom line. And that's why the American government, for example, could be considered a business instead of a real government. A government by nature serves its people, a company by nature is served by its people.
However, I will agree it is harmful when a supplier terminates its services, particularly so if you were dependent on that supplier. People make their own choices about who to do business with and how to go about their business, but let’s not pretend that YouTube is anything it isn’t. The lesson to take away here isn’t that YouTube should be regulated like some kind of utility and to take away their ability to terminate relations with producers, but that you shouldn’t be so thoroughly dependent on one supplier for your business that it is financially ruinous to lose their services.
I’m not saying there’s no case to be made for YouTube to improve their policies and processes to provide more due process than they do now, but that’s a debate that should be happening between YouTube and the people that use YouTube to distribute their work. They’re not employees, they’re clients, effectively small businesses and a number of the smarter ones already know the danger of depending on YouTube as their sole source of income and have worked to diversify.
People make their own choices about who to do business with and how to go about their business
More attempts to pin the narrative as a business transaction while ignoring the larger implications of phenomena such as deplatformization in public forums operated by unscrupulous corporations who control access to their audiences of millions.
The lesson to take away here isn’t that YouTube should be regulated like some kind of utility and to take away their ability to terminate relations with producers, but that you shouldn’t be so thoroughly dependent on one supplier for your business that it is financially ruinous to lose their services.
Try applying that same logic to someone who is stuck in an abusive relationship, deprived of the resources needed to secure their financial and emotional independence. We shouldn't regulate domestic abuse, because people should not be so thoroughly dependent on one person for their welfare. It's their choice.
Information is the currency of modern society. In a two-decade span we've allowed extreme centralization and gatekeeping of digital information, placing control of its flow into the hands of a dozen or two corporations.
Twenty years ago, decentralization was alive and well and if a community of 50-100 people had a hardass for an admin, that was fine, because there were often plenty of other communities of similar caliber elsewhere for popular topics.
Now we have things like reddit. "Decentralized", but communities are constantly plagued by misguided, ill-informed decisions handed down from the guy upstairs. Entire communities of thousands of people are destroyed overnight. But where else will they go? No one registers for forums anymore, reddit is in the top 20 most popular websites in the world with 300 million users. That's an entire country.
YouTube shares a similar tale. Whether you would like to admit it or not, what these large companies in positions of power are doing today is the equivalent of mass censorship, restriction of speech, and ideological persecution. And these platforms often support user-created censorship as well.
As for violence, I standby what is the more useful and regular definition. There may be useful non-physical extensions in colloquial usage, but the word itself has connotations of a physical forcefulness that nothing else really has.
* More attempts to pin the narrative as a business transaction while ignoring the larger implications of phenomena such as deplatformization in public forums operated by unscrupulous corporations who control access to their audiences of millions.*
I don’t have to pin the narrative as such, that is exactly what this is: a transactional relationship between unscrupulous corporations and small businesses. Both have equal right to make decisions as to who they do business with.
* Information is the currency of modern society. In a two-decade span we've allowed extreme centralization and gatekeeping of digital information, placing control of its flow into the hands of a dozen or two corporations.*
Information has always been an asset in any society. What’s changed is that we can aggregate it at a larger scale than ever before, extract more value than ever before and have many more applications for it than ever before. Let’s say there are a dozen or two companies that have largely centralized it. That in itself is a bit of an oxymoron if there’s as many as a dozen, or two dozen participating in the trade. However, there are far far more companies trading in the information market than that!
To bring this back to social media: no one has yet to make a compelling case to me that this market is in fact centralized. You may be able to make this case in a country by country basis. You may be able to make the case that of the various subtypes of social media companies, there’s maybe one that matters in each category. Social media as a global market has never been centralized, and is decreasingly so every passing year. Facebook having a few billion users hardly matters when many of them are also active users of Reddit, Twitter, WeChat, LINE, Slack, LinkedIn, and so on and so forth. You can setup a community today and host it yourself using basic web tools or something like Mastodon.
Is deplatforming a form of mass censorship? Absolutely it is! Can you make a moral case against it? Absolutely! Can you also make a moral case for it? Again, absolutely! Does it hurt the people it targets socially and/or economically? In many cases, yes.
It’s not the government making those decisions though, which is an important distinction to make. Government censorship comes with the long arm of the law attached, which ends with the guy in the navy blue uniform with the gun. Corporate censorship is inconvenient, but it’s not prison.
I think social media is going to continue to exist, continue to have a business case, and continue to increase the total number of communities. In a couple decades, choosing a platform might be like choosing a pub: you evaluate who the maintainer is, what the community is oriented around and what are their values. Can you post pictures? What kind? Can you also post little clips timed to music? Will the messages expire?
We already see this to some degree today with group chats on different platforms. The platforms have their own rules as to what can be posted, as well as their own technical limitations, but they’re a semi-private space to cordon off a subset of the larger platform and give the members a place to exchange messages and data.
Often, certain commonplace words become terms of art within the disciplines which study them. For example, "kind" or "type" or "resistance" take on special meanings within mathematics and computer science. While these terms are clearly derived from their commonplace definitions, they either work alongside the original meaning (such as in "resistance") or they replace it ("kind").
Scholarship dating to about 1980 describes two forms of violence, objective and subjective. Subjective violence is very easy to spot, it involves physical contact. Objective violence, also related to systemic violence, is not: it's the backdrop against which we measure subjective violence. This is not restricted to the description of society as violent. Go onto Google Scholar and search "systemic violence" - the term is used to describe security searches of children at schools, abusive familial relationships, drug markets, and a plethora of other things.
 "As Žižek would argue, we consistently overlook the objective or "symbolic" violenc eembodied in language and its forms, i.e. democratic state's monopoly on legitimate violence. He asserts that "subjective and objective violence cannot be perceived from the same standpoint: subjective violence is experienced as such against the background of the non-violent zero-level, asa perturbation of the “normal” peaceful state of things; however, objective violence is precisely theviolence sustaining this “normal” state of things. Objective violence is invisible since it sustains thevery zero-level standard against which we perceive something as [visible] violence – in order to perceive it, one has to perform a kind of parallax shift"."
 "One of the great controversies in defining violence pertains to its scope. Vorobej opts from the outset for a wider concept of violence and not for restricting it to cases of direct physical harm. With these cases and the more commonsensical notion of interpersonal violence the analysis begins. The first definition is borrowed from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), to which he adds apparently more sophisticated variations, for example from James Childress, Robert Holmes, or the WHO, before finally returning to the OED as the most useful paradigmatic definition for this type of approach to violence: "Violence is the exercise of physical force as to inflict injury on or damage to persons or properties" (6). After having worked through a series of ambiguities of the definition and questions that arise from it, Vorobej finally rightly problematizes this approach for its one-sidedness. Interpersonal violence "emphasizes what individuals do to others, at the cost of ignoring what happens to people" (52)."
I’ll look for the full paper from your link, it looks interesting, but that will have to wait until the morning. Same with your Google Scholar search, you’ve hooked me.
In the mean time, let me ask you if the difference between subjective and objective violence looks like this: Subjective violence would be the act of a pimp slapping a prostitute within his service, and objective violence would be the entire social apparatus around pimping which enables him to find women who are willing (in this example I’m assuming willing to prevent this from branching into a discussion on slavery and the various gradations of prostitution) to work under him as prostitutes in what is I assume would be considered ultimately a form of violence that works against them and women in general?
Or alternatively, a prison might be a violent place to be in, and thus is subjectively violent, but the existence and operation of the prison is objectively violent?
But not all property is physical. And increasingly, our property is just data located in somebody's servers: your Dropbox contents, your Steam games, the money in your online bank account.
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, but unfortunately from my perspective, in the case of Steam games and software, that is largely covered: you paid for licenses to play games rather than licenses, but some of it is DRM-free so you can take backups.
That money in the bank account is yours, unless seized through a legal process, which can happen and you can challenge it if it does.
Everything else, Dropbox, Google Photos, iCloud, emails, whatever, you should have your own backups. You should have them not just for legal reasons or because your service providers might terminate their services to you, but because they might actually lose your data.
You have some rights to that data, but none of the businesses involved in hosting it are compelled to do business with you specifically, and aren’t required to keep it anymore than the law compels them to.
And this is because through the centuries we have enacted enough laws to deter private banking companies from messing with our money. If left to their own devices, we would have DRM-ed money, random service terminations, unexplained money loses, etc. We just need to extend these rights and safeties to other spheres of our digital property through the use of law and its enforcement.
Now if you’re suggesting we have a law that companies which hold our data have to return our data when they terminate their business relationship with us, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree.
I'd say calling that 'economic violence' is pretty accurate.
> Numbers are inherently binary. You could call 93 "a decimal number", but I would just call it "a number". There's no point in having the term "decimal" since the tech stack is all just "(binary) numbers" beneath layers of indirection.
Surely you see the usefulness in assigning each layer of indirection a unique qualifier?
Take the sanctions against Iran for example. Huawei violated these sanctions and this directly led to Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Canada and her bring charged in the United States. It would appear the extradition hearings are still going on with the trial set to start this month and it might go as long as October.
What happens, historically, when one group wields superior technology to another group? Who has the power?
Do you think we have the power, with our 1 in 300 millionth votes every 4 years for 1 of 2 people?
Sure, let's pretend there'll never be any "senator, I'm afraid if you take that stance on that bill, our algorithm won't be able to help you..." behaviour.
Absolute power corrup... I mean "muh private company -- nothing to see here".
That’s just the ballots you cast. There are countless ways to politically involve yourself in any issue you care to make the time for. We’re not powerless citizens, but our power is diluted, intentionally so, because that’s what democracy does. You wield as much power as you are willing and able to accumulate up until the point where the power you wield competes with people with interests counter to yours.
Yes, it was a simplistic outline of the power of the state vs. the power of a corporation, but it is an accurate one. Corporations are agents of the people they serve, a means of aggregating means and power to more effectively wield it in the interests of the people they are serving. The power they can wield is immense, but it is still ultimately subordinate to the power of a state.
The notional constitutional safeguards of states become eroded over time (n.b., interstate commerce, mass data collection) and the overreach of states is more potentially damaging to its citizens than getting locked out of a platform on which you built a business.
Political power can be spent over and over. Dollars can only be spent once.
States are not meant to be corrupt in this way, and have several avenues for reform by will of the people. Companies benefit from a dictatorial stance, and therefore the only effective recourse against unjust treatment is partial or total destruction.
>Political power can be spent over and over. Dollars can only be spent once.
Credit is a thing.
HR can filter at mass, keeping people from work they enjoy. Advertising has social agency warping effects. And at scale we spend our time prioritizing paid speech. Policing valid speech at scale is how authoritarian states work.
“This is how you view the problem, how you design the solution, and how you speak to people. Or you don’t get to have shelter & eat.”
Sir, yes sir.
“Profits (or some other ideological target) must go up this quarter!”
Not allowed to truly question what happens if AI that can schedule hair appointments isn’t developed. Computing/engineering effort we know is destined for the bin as hardware changes. Seems economical.
That’s hardly a behavioral model for a free society.
Nah sorry. We have friendly oligarchs, and looking at Google’s shifting culture and the Amazon warehouse situation that’s been going on for years... very superficially friendly.
Political power is emotional. It fades generationally as people retire, or we could term limit officials.
A big enough pile of dollars means you can generate more faster than you can spend what you need to in order to stay on top.
Ownership is the root of political theory in America. And a smaller and smaller group really own anything.
And the powers that be know that: they’ve read it in academia’s papers and philosophers notes. If the public took ownership of the manner of production (IMO themselves not factories) and stayed home for a week, politics would be shifting real fast.
We keep looking at history to learn about us. Is it any shock we keep developing top down authoritarian structures when we’re casually fetishizing their previous existence? What was becomes hard to look beyond when continually referencing the material. Wonder what humanity could look like if future people read about past people living differently.
Twitter doesn’t like you(or whoever “Big Tech“TM goes after next)? Yet you can still say whatever they want on their own website.
YouTube doesn’t like you? You can self-host your videos.
Facebook doesn’t like you? No access to FB products then. Nobody will look for the persona non grata there anyway.
Google doesn’t like you? You can log your own traffic and use an alternative email provider, or self-host.
Unranked in SRP? Advertise in the real world or via word of mouth.
Microsoft doesn’t like you? Run Linux.
Azure/AWS doesn’t like you? Use an alternative IaaS or buy your own hardware.
Hardware vendors don’t like you? Secondhand market.
Apple doesn’t like you? Flip phone!
Linus Torvalds himself doesn’t like you!?!? OpenBSD!
The weak point that I can see in living in a world in which the Internet itself doesn’t want you is your connection itself. While there will always be free speech-focused ISPs willing to connect anyone (within the law) the backbones might decide to drop traffic headed for their website. Not much you can do about that I guess.
The internet was around before Larry Page and Sergei Brin, and Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. These companies provide convenient tools which make it easy to do a few things but they are highly unnecessary for life itself, even online life. We have let them get too big. But we have not let them get too necessary.
Actually, it doesn't matter if he likes you or not; you can still run Linux just as well. Unlike the other examples he has no power to stop you from doing this.
Yup, I think we have seen that with Monsanto. US courts mostly got the kid gloves out when dealing with their antics. Cue Monsanto gets acquired by Bayer, next thing you know it's convictions left and right.
Bayer knew exactly what it was buying: they're going to trade a mere year or two of Monsanto profit (maximum), across a decade, to pay for the overall legal hit. In exchange they get to buy a fortress of intellectual property and one of the globe's dominant AG chem / AG biotech businesses (on a planet that will add ~3 billion more people to feed in the coming decades).
You don't get to play unless the global oligarchs can skim off what they want, even if it breaks your economy (all the better! Who doesn't love an entire population in thrall to your whims?). The American government is currently part of that oligarchy, but see what happens if Bernie Sanders is elected.
It's not naive, it's the way life works even though we don't like to admit it. They got the bigger guns. They're in charge. Full stop.
A Constitution and laws just tells us the conditions under which they will use their guns. Even then, they can and will use them on other occasions if they feel the situation warrants.
The idea that companies or citizens are more powerful than governments is fanciful in the extreme. When companies get militaries that can go toe to toe with the militaries of the various governments of the world, then I'll buy it.
The question isn’t whether the government or corporations have more power, it’s whether corporations or the people control the government and in which proportions.
I’m certain King George would have agreed with you in 1775.
The people in the USA specifically are better armed and outnumber the US military many times over. This was by design.
You could make an argument about nukes or tanks or drones - but you know what has to stand on street corners to enforce curfews, stop assembly, or protect supply chains? Soldiers.
The US government as an entity is weaker than the people it sees over - for now. Many people are intent to change that.
No, physical force is only one form of power. Knowledge/information and wealth are other forms of power that can be a far more practical (and scalable) means for achieving different ends.
Countries have dropped rules on tech companies, and tech companies have retaliated to the point that those countries relented and begged the companies to come back.
No, tech companies aren't going to start driving tanks across enemy companies' lawns, but they don't have to. They're so powerful they can use countries' militaries as their pawns.
Seems to me constitutions being widespread is actually quite recent. Also, in many places 'constitutional safeguards' alone don't hold and often haven't held much value.
The only actual safeguard is power.
In companies' case
- the law (as long as it is actually enforced by the state)
- customers' choice on wether or not to buy the company's product
- employees' ability to organize, strike or quit and find another job
- shareholders votes and ability to invest / divest
- If they have fair and meaningful elections, votes. - Otherwise, well... One way or another, it usually doesn't end well.
In these early iterations of social networks, the power to deplatform people is required. Not everyone deserves to broadcast whatever is flitting through their minds, to the largest available susceptable population.
Regulations and big tech itself will evolve as they and their kids and families aren't immune to the dangers. Most people in big tech have a much better sense of what's possible thanks to the Trump election, Brexit etc and the solution are not obvious so it's just taking time to figure out.
Look up Martin Niemöller's famous saying, "first they came for...". Those who forget (or don't care about) history are destined to repeat it.
If big tech are willing and able to act politically in concert, we have a serious risk of dystopia.
There are a few distinctions between calling China a company and calling Apple a nation:
- A nation uphelds the law whereas a company uses proxies (lobbying) to make laws
- A nation has diplomatic rights, a company has to abide by export controls
- A nation has a treasury, has control over interest rates and can prosecute violators, it ensures a level playing field. A company has equity and can fire employees, but has to maximize profits (shareholder interest) and eliminate/beat competition.
- A nation has hard physical military and ability to go to war, a company has office security and HR
- A nation can prosecute criminals, a company can layoff people.
I don't think this analogy provides any interesting insight into Apple besides drawing loose connection between secrecy and censorship.
Diplomatic rights only go so far after you declare war. Most companies are in a constant state of economic war with their competitors.
The nations of Europe gave away the control over their currency.
Most nations can hardly win a war, especially a war against one of the superpowers.
A company can also reassign people to the "retirement building".
You could argue that most nations aren't truly nations. Which I would agree to.
He's more like the chairman. He sets the direction that he wants china to go in, others execute his plan.
> There are a few distinctions between calling China a company and calling Apple a nation:
Nobody is calling china a company and apple a nation. People are talking about money and influence. Apple certainly doesn't have the money and influence of China or the US. But it has more influence than most smaller or even midsized nations.
- A nation has a treasury, has control over interest rates and can prosecute violators,
Banking cartels/central banks like the Fed control interest rates. The treasury mints money and collects taxes.
> - A nation has hard physical military and ability to go to war, a company has office security and HR
So has companies. Companies have even fought wars against each other.
> - A nation can prosecute criminals, a company can layoff people.
Governments prosecute criminals. Companies have been able to try, punish and enslave people.
> A nation uphelds the law whereas a company uses proxies (lobbying) to make laws
Once companies can influence the government, any special abilities of the government (export controls, legal system, etc.) can, at least to some extent, be harnessed by high-net-worth individuals/companies .
> “Many employees don’t like Apple Park [the company’s new headquarters] because it has very few private offices.
... nice one Jony ... design a brave and “beautiful” open plan workspace for a paranoiacally secretive organisation.
Says it all really.
I feel like it's worth pointing out that Steve Jobs was still running Apple when this building was designed. I don't work for Norman Foster so I have no way to know how much changed internally after he died, but I doubt the balance shifted too wildly given the logistical constraints of massive construction projects.
As an aside - and I don't mean this in reference to office layouts - were I in charge of a global consumer products company that competes in multiple cutthroat markets, I'd want to foster a corporate culture of extreme openness and collaboration inside the walls but absolute silence outside. That's not exactly what Apple is today, obviously, but it's within the realm of possibility that it's their goal.
> According to Jobs’ recent biography, the [Pixar] headquarters was to be a place that “promoted encounters and unplanned collaborations.”
> Pixar’s campus design originally separated different employee disciplines into different buildings – one for computer scientists, another for animators, and a third building for everybody else. But because Jobs was fanatic about these unplanned collaborations, he envisioned a campus where these encounters could take place, and his design included a great atrium space that acts as a central hub for the campus.
> Brad Bird, director of The Incredible and Ratatouille, said of the space, “The atrium initially might seem like a waste of space…But Steve realized that when people run into each other, when they make eye contact, things happen.”
> And did it work? “Steve’s theory worked from day one,” said John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer “…I’ve never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one.”
Perhaps it spurs creativity and innovation, but only few programming activities are highly creative and innovative. Rather to me, programming is about writing bug-free code. In this sense, I tend to compare programming activities with Air Traffic Control.
In my past jobs working on tools and infrastructure, the best results usually come from sitting next to the people who use the tools or at least watching them use them. The traditional model used by the teams I've helped typically was partitioned off and people tossed things over the wall, but I always got significantly improved results by actually collaborating with the users.
You can compare programming with Air Traffic Control but in that case you need to realize that ATCs are in constant communication with their customers (i.e. pilots) in order to deliver the best results for passengers. If ATCs behaved like programmers in monolithic organizations they'd simply issue flight plans without talking to pilots at all and they'd be ill-equipped to respond to emergencies and sudden changes in flight situations.
For these really hard problems, long hours of completely undisturbed concentrated working are the key to success.
Strong collaboration ("bumping into each others") is rather helpful if the "problem" is not that the problem is hard, but it is unclear what problem is even to solve, e.g. you don't know what the customer wants.
Addendum: My comparison with ATC is rather meant the way that it is of central importance to avoid mistakes (bugs in software, plane crashing in ATC) and the work environment should be centrally concern itself around this theme.
Open space offices are entirely othogonal to this idea.
So we'd need more information to know whether or not Apple is best optimized in all these, and more, dimensions. Way more information than we'd ever get from one person or team. (Definitely way more than Apple would ever give out.)
As long as your group makes a conscious effort to bounce ideas around and ask each other for advice, what's the difference between sitting at a table wearing headphones or in an office with the door shut? Or, for that matter, everyone being remote?
I can kind of see how you could make a case that open-plan offices change the dynamic of communication, i.e. they make people less willing to "bother" their coworkers, but collaboration can (and probably should, most of the time) happen asynchronously over slack or email or post-it note anyway.
Aspiration driven design it is so ...
EDIT ... with no consideration for the practicalities of what it takes to achieve those aspirations.
SJ was hard and had a lot of stupid ideas, but he also made sure to hire people that knew when to fight him on that. And I think keyboardgate would have been addressed earlier if he had been around.
A bit off topic but: even though I am not a particularly strong Go and Chess player, I really appreciate reading through good games. Looking at the way elites have slowly taken over power since the end of the civil war (again using the USA as an example), with a slow and well played game, I must say “well played Sirs and Madames, well played.”
Anyway, these few were enjoyably, but a warning: I have loaned books by the first two conservative authors to liberal friends and they didn’t like them, too far outside the bubble they like to live in. I like reading authors that have differing world views from myself.
EDIT: The Devil’s Chessboard is also a good read, but parts of it were disturbing to me.
Denmark is a really nice country. Also, it is not a superpower.
I'd argue a sovereign country's assets are essentially invaluable, but in Denmark's case there's the interesting historical fact that the US government offered to buy Greenland several times (and always being rebuffed by the Danes), so at least there's an estimate for the value of that island alone: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposals_for_the_United_State...
> If the United States wants it for the strategic value of its property, both on land and offshore, and to project military power, the answer is that a value of $500 billion is not overly rich
EDIT: I got the numbers wrong. Apple Inc. is currently valued at over $1 trillion (I used Apple's total assets from their Wikipedia page) and they mention Denmark's net worth which is indeed in that ballpark. I'd still argue that you can't compare the valuation of a company to the net worth of a sovereign country.
Greenland does not support agriculture, but it does have natural resources, and can have a good strategic value. So let's say it's 10,000 Euros per hectare, a good discount.
It would cost 2.6 trillion Euros, or 2.9 trillion US Dollars.
Everything has a price, I wonder if that would be acceptable for Denmark and under what conditions.
This idea needs to die. It is simply not true.
It's so stupid to say that, and clearly only people obsessed with money actually believe it. We're killing the planet in the quest for ever more money, and tons of people have absolutely no interest in more money. They want more time and more health.
The Danes went on to say, in a further humiliation on the world stage, that we are past the point in history of buying and selling lands and people, sending Trump off with a red card.
Everything does not have a price, and even exploring the idea that the people of another nation’s protectorate can be traded like hockey cards will only lead to more embarrassment.
p.s. If America wants Greenland, the easiest way would be to simply ask the people of Greenland, who have their own flag and government.
It’s a matter of speculation how they would feel about the prospect of being treated as America has treated Puerto Rico, but that would be their decision to make for themselves.
In his century, Greenland is not a colony.
Give it a few more decades.
It is competition from the iPhone (and the possible control of search traffic on mobile devices that Apple would have) that forced Google to focus on Android after acquiring it and this lead to the demise of Nokia and the mobile division of Microsoft.
I don't know if Nokia knew the marketing budget going towards launching the iPhone along with other resources planned for its launch would that have changed their view on how serious of a competitor the iPhone is going to be.
Nokia R&D had a touchscreen-only phone prototype in early noughties. It got killed, and while I have not seen the actual memo, I've heard people quoting from it: "Nokia will never make a touchscreen-only phone."
Apple launched iPhone a few months later.
They tend to be a bit more open when this isn't a concern, for example Apple TV or the new Mac Pro.
Usually it is in neither parties interest to reveal such an event. I know of at least one such instance and the extreme lengths a Chinese competitor went to steal (not google).
Lenin was a great admirer of Ford Motor Company. His Soviet committees were copied directly from Ford.
You could think of the SSRs as divisions, and satellite countries as wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Fordlândia had its own version of Prohibition, and its own little revolt about the cafeteria.
It is interesting that we only see it in government. Most companies are dictatorships. Some might have a board of directors that is responsible for voting in it's own members, kind of like a tribal elders system.
It's interesting to see these different forms of decision making producing different advantages and disadvantages.
Bad externalities are the downside to dictatorships. The externalities of a corporation are much more limited, and there is more pressure to reduce them (from governments, other corporations, and their customers).
Continuing the dictatorship metaphor, this pushes corporations to be more “benevolent”.
That's an interesting conclusion. I guess one big difference is that in most places you have a choice in whether or not to work for a company, but you don't have this choice when being born in a dictatorship, unless you consider migrating elsewhere a reasonable choice. It seems there are also less good choices when considering where to work (i.e. they're all becoming dictatorships?).
It's also as bad when you consider paying or using a free service provided by a dictatorship company. Do we really have a choice anymore? You may not choose email provider X, but all your friends use X so in the end it doesn't matter, e.g. in terms of data privacy. You may not choose social network Y, but all your friends have so you're forced to participate in the dictatorship, e.g. if you want to have a normal life.
In the same way our world is now flat. While there is much we do not understand we do know this: business (Due to the proliferation of the internet) knows no borders. And the goal of modern businesses that rely on scale is to do just that.
So, look for businesses to become much more powerful than countries and to one day become greater than even the greatest of nations.
Apple News+, Apple Arcade are forgiving as they are only a few hundred million bet. Apple TV+ is a multi billions bet, with no short terms or long term goal or benefits.
Beating up tech companies specifically is getting irksome. There are many things wrong with our industry specifically, but beating them up over something true of many industries is <expletive of your choosing>.
For starters, because of freedom of association. You are free to not work for any company you like. If you feel like an employer is oppressing you, you can simply leave (unless they’re violating labor protection laws, then you can recover damages, and leave). If you feel like your government is oppressing you, you don’t have the freedom to simply stop associating with them.
Then you have the fact that the role of companies in your life is completely different to that of government. The purpose of your relationship with your employer is to exchange your labor for money. That’s it. How you live your life outside of that is completely up to you. If you can’t come to an agreement on terms of employment acceptable to both parties, then you simply don’t have to associate with them.
You also have the fact that if you have skills that employers want, then they have to compete for your labor. An oppressive employer isn’t going to have much luck acquiring such labor.
I know it sounds like a great hot-take, but the two entities play completely different roles in society, and such a comment doesn’t stand up to the most basic scrutiny.
Nice in theory, but what about companies that are so large that they effectively control the labor market? What about companies with non-compete agreements? What about collusive non-poaching agreements between companies that lower the market value of labor? What about companies that disregard employee safety because they know the labor pool is large?
These are not theoretical objections, they are happening now. Employer/employee agreements are not "free" when they break rules like these.
There is no such company in the world, and if there was, it would almost certainly be an illegal monopoly.
All but one of the rest of your theories are illegal everywhere, and the last one is illegal in many places (or at lease unenforceable).
If you have a problem with companies breaking the law, then you have a problem with law enforcement. Not corporate governance in general.
The American rule of costs means it doesn't matter if it's not enforceable (which actually it often is). They still have a cause of action to destroy you by the mere act of dragging you through court (and the associated legal costs). And most lowly employees aren't aware of, or willing to test, the enforceability when they get threatened by their ex employer.
The balance of power is rapidly swinging against all but the corporate elite. The Randroids will have us back to serfdom before this decade's end.
> All but one of the rest of your theories are illegal everywhere, and the last one is illegal in many places (or at lease unenforceable).
The definition of "monopoly" varies widely even within the USA, and enforcement of antitrust issues generally depends on who has political power.
If a company has market control and is monopolistic, but no one with power actually prosecutes them for their behavior, then is what they did actually "illegal"? Whether something is legal depends on both the written law, as well as how it is enforced.
> There is no such company in the world, and if there was, it would almost certainly be an illegal monopoly.
Funny wording, it's like saying "nothing bad as happening, but if there was, it would be illegal." My original point is that yes, there is bad stuff happening, there are many monopolies, but no one is doing much about it.
Why do I even need to ask this?
For starters there are both elected and non-elected offices in government where one person will be given the power to make life changing decisions for millions. This is a perfectly ordinary feature of organised society.
Regarding companies, if you don’t want people who own companies (or their agents) to be able to decide how the companies are run, then you need to prohibit either private property, or employment all together.
An employment agreement is simply one party offering labour, and another offering payment for it, and a company is simply people pooling their resources together to achieve more than they could alone (companies server other purposes to, but this is the relevant purpose for this discussion).
An employer is always going to be able to make decisions that are life changing for their employees, by deciding they no longer require their labor for instance, by ceasing operations, or relocating, or withdrawing a product/service from the market.
If you don’t want employers to have the ability to make decisions that impact the lives of their employees, then you either need to abolish private property (the ability to offer payment for labor now becomes impossible), or outlaw employment agreements. Whether an employer has one employee or one million is really besides the point.
Very true. It's all there. 5 year plans, top-down control, a lot of internal propaganda, suppression of inconvenient opinions.