REALITY

7. “social media”


This essay is about the empirical/scientific way of thinking that enables you/me to understand the Reality in which we find our selves. On this page, I will draw attention to the pressing moral issue for human beings, which is now so apparent and must urgently be faced.


The end game of Western Civilisation is playing out now, across this Planet. It is the triumph of greed and lying and violence spectacularly brought to us by those institutions we have learned to call “social media”.


Today, the very companies which conjure up the liars and thieves who dominate online communications are now selling to governments the ability they say they have to curb those liars and thieves. Governments are complicit in this great con because it relieves them of the burden they once had of supporting and governing human communication. This is the mess to which the long process of privatisation has brought us.


Every one should realise that the agenda of each and every one of those self-designated "social media" is evil, in the sense, precisely, that its aim is to subvert the autonomy/life of individual human beings like you and me, and thereby bring more money/power to the billionaire owners of "social media" companies in California, USA, and elsewhere.


From

     • “it is not our responsibility"

     Facebook/Cambridge Analytica, to

     • “we don’t on-sell your metadata” Apple, to

     • “do no evil” Google,

the overt purpose of each of those ostensibly well-meaning "social media", is to further enrich/empower the super-greedy, already super-rich owners of those companies.


Greed is the human weakness that St Paul warned about when he said that "the love of money is the root of all evil". You can endorse that claim, as I do, without accepting Paul's Christianity.


Unfortunately Australian governments, media and universities, have taken to “social media” as if they are a gift from God — as if to welcome the gift of speaking without thinking that “social media” offer to their faithful believers. This is the very gift that brought the Presidency of Donald Trump to the USA.


The agenda of each and every one of those self-designated "social media" is evil, in the sense, precisely, that its aim is to subvert the autonomy/life of individual human beings like you and me, and thereby bring more money/power to the billionaire owners of "social media" companies in California, and elsewhere.


Any one interested in the frightening origins of “social media” should read Tamsin Shaw’s article Invisible Manipulators of Your Mind, April 20, 2017 Issue of the New York Review of Books, noting, in particular, that in 2007, and again in 2008, the behaviourist Daniel Kahneman gave a masterclass in “Thinking About Thinking” to, among others, Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon), Larry Page (Google), Sergey Brin (Google), Nathan Myhrvold (Microsoft), Sean Parker (Facebook), Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla), Evan Williams (Twitter), and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia).


Each "social medium" aims to undermine your personal autonomy, and mine too, and to enslave our children, by tailoring its interactions with each individual to feed the particular greeds of that individual. Prominent among the lies supporting the capture of your child’s mind is the advertising which tells you that the child’s iPad “is a computer”. On the contrary, information stored on an offline computer is under the owner’s control while information stored on an always-connected iPad is under Apple’s absolute control. Apple’s pretend competitors, including Microsoft and Google and Amazon, do the same.


Apple stores the information it chooses about you in the Apple Cloud, and sells that to advertisers; and it has devalued  your Mac by taking away the control you once had of the information stored on your machine and putting that information under Apple’s absolute control. That is theft, plain and simple.


This triumph of Capitalism should be its death nell. To say that is not to endorse some competing way of thinking like Communism or Socialism. It is simply to urge every individual able to think for her/him self to realise that the aim we share should/must be the well-being of Humanity.


That is the moral imperative which has escaped the academic "Philosophers" who should be leading our thinking about the singular Reality in which you find yourself, and I find myself.


The self-denominated “social media” foster the greed and lying and violence to which individual human beings are prone. Those individuals include you; and me of course!


The billionaire owners of the many “competing” social media companies are motivated by greed and lies of their own and what they intend to do to you and to me and to our children, and their children, is the kind of violence that was once called slavery. This violence is enabled by the elaborately interacting technologies “social media” have “created”. Of course, that work is not done by those billionaires, but by the many slave programmers their companies employ.


When you use an iPad or iPhone or, nowadays, a Mac Computer, you are nothing but a “client” using Safari as a browser and, wittingly or unwittingly, supplying data about yourself and your friends to the immense servers in California which make gross profits for Apple by selling that data to advertisers.


Companies like Apple have successfully diverted attention from their blatant attacks on individual autonomy by treating what they do as if it was a privacy issue. Privacy is gone, I think, and good riddance to it. Honest individuals should have nothing to fear from the words they choose to say.


A recent diversion by Apple was to suspend Parler from its App store, following the banning of Trump tweets by its pretend competitor Twitter.


You can find out a good deal about browsers and servers from Wikipedia; but be sceptical about the "expert" opinions Wikipedia displays, because Wikipedia does not exclude contributions, directly or indirectly, from venial self-promoters, like Apple and its “competitors”, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and the rest. Some alarming quotes from Wikipedia are appended to this page [in red].


Here we glimpse the phoney war between "social media" billionaires in California, USA, as they divide their sucker clients into ours and theirs. Enough of us are enslaved by “social media” to support many billionaires.


The original mechanism “social media” used to extract your personal data was the surreptitious placement of tiny bits of code, called cookies, upon your computer which record bits of information about you and what you choose to do. The very first kind of cookie had a seemingly innocent purpose; it left a record in place on your personal computer that told the Server who you are.


In fact, those cookies are unnecessary because the memory work they do could easily be done, and should be, by those powerful Servers.


The Government of Australia has the power to FIX those “social media”, at least locally, but whether it has the will to do that is another question. If it can find that will, then other Governments might follow its lead.


Our Government is able to speak the language of money that  "social media" barons understand. It is able to use its Tax System to limit undesirable activities like drug dealing. The business of "social media" is to promote the addiction of Australian individuals, especially children, to a greed that hugely benefits the billionaire owners of those "social media".


You and I pay taxes to support the benefits that our Government provides. Those foreign companies pay virtually no tax on their immense profits. Our Government has the power to figure out the details of new taxes that will bring in very substantial new revenues. Here are some suggestions:


• companies like Amazon and Apple use our electricity and roads and other infrastructure and should pay directly for those privileges, if only through GST on their profits.


• as for Australian companies, the business of recording those profits must be a legal obligation of the owners of "social media".


• those billionaire owners who fail to fulfil their legal obligations should be held to account in just the way that all of us are, with substantial penalties, including possible gaol.


• the noxious cookies that "social media" make their money from should simply be banned. Failing that, specific taxes on the cookies placed on people's machines should be worked out and paid automatically, with record-keeping done by those noxious companies themselves.


• the arguments about jurisdiction that will be made by companies located in the USA, must be rejected in the same way that such arguments are rejected when they come from China or Vietnam or Indonesia.


Government does not consult drug addicts when it criminalizes drug dealers. So, the bottom line here is that our Government should not consult the victims of "social media" when it acts to limit the particular addiction those victims have acquired.


FROM Wikipedia: Servers, Browsers, Clients

Apple uses a tracking technique called "identifier for advertisers" (IDFA). This technique assigns a unique identifier to every user who buys an Apple iOS device (such as an iPhone or iPad). This identifier is then used by Apple's advertising network, iAd, to determine the ads that individuals are viewing and responding to.[78]


In 2010, data centers (servers, cooling, and other electrical infrastructure) were responsible for 1.1- 1.5% of electrical energy consumption worldwide and 1.7-2.2% in the United States.[17] One estimate is that total energy consumption for information and communications technology saves more than 5 times its carbon footprint[18] in the rest of the economy by increasing efficiency.


Global energy consumption is increasing due to the increasing demand of data and bandwidth. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that data centers used 91 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) electrical energy in 2013 which accounts to 3% of global electricity usage.

(https://lifelinedatacenters.com/data-center/reduce-data-center-carbon-footprints/)


This page is under development, and I would welcome suggestions about improving it from anyone who makes contact with me via my Academia contact page:


https://desmondsander.academia.edu