|Morlock Elloi on Tue, 29 Jan 2019 05:07:39 +0100 (CET)|
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|Re: <nettime> John Naughton on Shoshana Zuboff: 'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism|
The point is something else, and I'll try to explain it from the utilitarian perspective:
The only observable effects of any amount of vacuous ruminations about capitalism, on nettime or elsewhere, are:
- gaining points in the target pseudointelectual circuits;- reinforcing the stature, perhaps leading towards paid conference talk or commissioned work;
- pitching the latest book.Just to remind everyone, even Fox News is regularly talking about surveillance capitalism.
There will be no calls for referendums on abolishing capitalism. There will be no points in political party programs mentioning capitalism.
This is why the said ruminations are effective sabotage by talking heads looking after their own interests. They should be ashamed.
The observable effects of calling for legislation can be rather different: statistically speaking, there is a politician that will latch on any such call, out of desperation or other reasons. The calls just need to get loud.
Point legislations are possible, because we have a system for them. It doesn't matter how dumb they are - like incarcerating all left-handed etc (more atrocious legislations have been enacted.)
So instead of driveling about capitalism, just calling for BAN ON COLLECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, UNDER PENALTY OF IMPRISONMENT can have actual real-world effects. Activities can be banned, and people can be put in prisons. We have a system for that, we did that before, and no conferences are needed.
The real question is why talking heads are not mentioning this, and instead dig into fatalistic "it's the capitalism" bs. My guess is that it has something to do with money.
Say what you will about 'capitalism' but I'd like to suggest that the use of the term 'capitalism' in this context refers to the unfortunate truth that in recent years capitalism has come to be dominated by surveillance. Specifically, the success of much of the Western (and perhaps Eastern, too) economy has come to depend upon the success of surveillance platforms. If you aren't selling a way to manipulate millions of people cheaply, then you aren't selling much. In the zero-sum world of human power and control, the wealthy want for nothing but the ability to manipulate and subdue the masses, preferably without creating civil unrest. So it stands to reason that their money, and therefore capitalism itself, will build that mechanism to the fullest extent permitted by law, and until something changes, it is all legal.
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