Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fearing the Digital Age


For John, BLUFIt's like a big wave, you have to ride it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From The Washington Post and writer Joel Achenbach we have a tirade against the 21st Century and the Internet, headlined "THE RESISTANCE".  As the article says,
They are the digital dissenters.

They see tech companies tracking our every move.

They want to go back to the basics – to a world where the interests of humans come before robots, algorithms and the needs of Silicon Valley.

They are the Luddites of our day.  They want to hold up their hand and scream STOP at progress.  They are Progressives who hate progress.  But, because my buddy Juan Paron is relaxing in Florida and I am up here in Winter, such as it is, he sent the article along to see what I thought.

Here is what I thought:

Sure, this resonates with me.  I think NSA knows too much about me.  On the other hand, I am the sort of "lateral thinker" who believes that when Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) gets serious they will not go for targets in NYC, but for the Mall of the Americas or somewhere in Lowell, MA.

Yes, tech companies earn too much money.  Isn't it scary that a college dropout like Bill Gates is making billions?

On the other hand, I think Uber and Lift are great things, providing a 21st Century taxi service.  What they are doing is breaking the monopolies of the 20th Century and destroy that path to graft and corruption.  It is providing freedom and making an assault on $100,000 taxi medallions.  It is providing an entrance for the little guy.

Sure, the camera on my computer, staring at me, can be (may be) used by some clerk at DA or HHS to spy on me and see me making and eating peanut butter crackers while I type this.  But, so what?  There is a line out there that if they cross it the People will rise up and shut them down.  It has happened before.  Fortunately for them this is the USofA and it doesn't happen that often, not like France, which is on its Fifth Republic, and that is not to mention the various "Empires" and "Monarchies" since we agreed our own Constitution.  And you see how I just dropped a Link to some article with more details, if you want them.  That is thanks to the Internet.

What really scares me is "The New School", in New York City.  There is where the self-appointed do gooders, who would regulate our lives for our own good, hang out.  It is one thing for some CPO to tell some Seaman Second what is good for him, but it is another for some Progressive PhD or Artist or Do-Gooder to tell all of us what is good for us.

So, back to Astra (reminds me that I watched After the Thin Man last night).  From the article "She says she’d like to see more government-supported media platforms — think public radio…"  Why would I want more progressive pabulum?  Not that I have to listen to listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or that PhD from San Francisco, but I want the FREEDOM to listen to whoever manages to get on the airways.

Then we have "Taylor is skeptical of the trope that information wants to be free; actually, she says, information often wants someone to pay for it."  She totally misunderstands "information wants to be free".  It wants to be free of restraints, of being hidden, of laws and rules that violate common sense.  A prime example is Copyright.  The Constitution says Congress can set rules for Copyright.  And they have and they keep extending it from those early, common sense, limits.  Now it seems to go on for ever.  Today it is good for 105 years.  The heirs of Walt Disney have copyright on Steamboat Willie (or could, if they played their cards right).  Tyranny!  Are these progressives growling about that?

Then there is Douglas (“I’m on Team Human!”) Rushkoff, whose upcoming book is titled Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.  Supposedly it provides "a primer on the rise of capitalism, central banks and industrial culture.  He suggested that civilization started making wrong turns in the Middle Ages.  Centralized currency — not good. In the early days, every community could have its own coinage.  We need to 'rebirth the values of the peer-to-peer bazaar culture.'”

We want to go back to the Middle Ages and take a different path?  The Middle Ages were not all that much fun.  On the other hand, today fewer on in poverty than ever before.  Capitalism, for all its faults and evils, brings people out of poverty and allows them to live a decent life.  These people are wacko.

But, to wrap this up, I would like to think about The Donald for a second.  Where did he come from?  Two places.  One is the last 7 years of President Obama and the other is the Media.  Well, giving credit where credit is due, The People deserve a lot of credit.  The Progressives are incredulous that The Donald keeps polling well, and they keep waiting for him to crash and burn.  But, the People are not happy and not happy with either party.  The worst is the Republican establishment, which keeps winning control of Congress and then does nothing with that control.  Then there are the Democrats, who think the event in San Berdoo was all about "gun control".

And a Happy New Year.

Regards  —  Cliff

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