dan on Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:55:53 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Shoshana Zuboff > The Secrets of Surveillance

I do *not* want argument on this point to derail the larger
and more important issues discussion, but when you say:

 >To answer your questions, Patrice, for sure, both North America
 >and the EU are sunk in governmental gridlock, and that is the
 >essence of the crisis: an inability to collectively respond. In
 >the US, the classic sequence of a long downswing is unfolding:
 >inventions pile up while the economy stagnates, so the inventions
 >are not brought to market. They pile up: electric cars, vastly
 >more efficient batteries, driverless cars, digital manufacturing,
 >smart grids, solar power, Internet of things, to list just a few.
 >Some of this research is crucially sponsored by the federal
 >governments (batteries and digital manufacturing are the US ones
 >I happen to know about).

it doesn't square with what I am seeing (in the mid-space between
investment capital and government programs).  What I see is way,
way too much private money looking at way, way too few differentiated
ideas.  There are literally hundreds of startups in cybersecurity
(my speciality) -- Kleiner Perkins is said to be tracking 1100
cybersecurity startups that are in some stage of the funding game.
And the money is, indeed, flowing; the demand for cybersecurity so
exceeds supply that the charlatan fraction is rising.  As far as I
can tell, the exact same sentence would largely apply to data
science, to wireless sensor networks / Internet of Things, to low
power chipsets, to flatly frightening diddling with one or another
genome, to automation of damned near everything, and so on.  Either
the market picks the winners or state power does; either way, there
will be a lot of losers, however tallied.

Or am I totally misunderstanding your point?

Not that it matters, but I fully agree with Prof. Zuboff and have
for some time.  Her succinct statement of personal purpose is
"Will we be the masters of information, or will we be its slaves?"
I quote her three laws often, and will do so now:

 1. Everything that can be automated will be automated.
 2. Everything that can be informated will be informated.
 3. Every digital application that can be used for surveillance and
    control will be used for surveillance and control.

Consider her description of Facebook and Google as absolutists,
and other essays found there.

We now return you to the regularly scheduled discussion of whether
the developed world has a future, already in progress.


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