books, economics, ethics, Facebook, internet, product complaints

Zucked by Roger McNamee (2019)

Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Roger McNamee was early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. And an early investor.

A big Facebook promoter.

ZUCKED is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing.

I’ve not heard any other critic as astute, nor as fair, as to exactly why Facebook is harming and even killing some of their customers around the world.

As Facebook is unable to police itself, governments should step in.

books, economics, education, ethics, government, happiness, human rights, internet

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly

Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The Inevitable is a 2016 nonfiction book by Kevin Kelly that forecasts the twelve technological forces that will shape the next thirty years:

  1. Becoming: Moving from fixed products to always upgrading services and subscriptions
  2. Cognifying: Making everything much smarter using cheap powerful AI that we get from the cloud
  3. Flowing: Depending on unstoppable streams in real time for everything
  4. Screening: Turning all surfaces into screens
  5. Accessing: Shifting society from one where we own assets to one where instead we will have access to services at all times.
  6. Sharing: Collaboration at mass scale. Kelly writes, “On my imaginary Sharing Meter Index we are still at 2 out of 10.”
  7. Filtering: Harnessing intense personalization in order to anticipate our desires
  8. Remixing: Unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombining in all possible ways
  9. Interacting: Immersing ourselves inside our computers to maximize their engagement
  10. Tracking: Employing total surveillance for the benefit of citizens and consumers
  11. Questioning: Promoting good questions is far more valuable than good answers
  12. Beginning: Constructing a planetary system connecting all humans and machines into a global matrix

Though it might sound scary, the book is surprisingly upbeat and optimistic about the future.

Kevin Kelly (born 1952) is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review.

Amazon

 

economics, ethics, Facebook

Would you pay for ad-free Facebook?

I would.

In addition I’d want personal controls over my feed.

As Professor Galloway points out so clearly, it’s the algorithm driving monetization that causes MOST of the problems with Facebook.

Both right and left leaning Americans are convinced that Facebook currently is biased against their beliefs. Both GOP and DEMs want to change Facebook.

Facebook is a private company and can do anything it wants — unless laws are changed. And they will be.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ad-free-facebook.jpeg
Results of one online survey.

Facebook would continue their free service with advertising, of course.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.

economics, ethics, GOP USA

On the U.S. / Canada border

I’m with the vast majority of Canadians who want to keep the border closed as of October 2020.

The USA has had about 663 deaths / million so far. And is getting worse.

Canada about 263 deaths / million. And getting worse at this moment in time. Not good, but a LOT better than the States.

I don’t want to get the virus. I want to be one of the 20-40% who never get it once herd immunity is reached.

Though Trump totally bungled the U.S. response, almost 43% of Americans still support him.

They are the same ones who told me COVID-19 is less deadly than the common flu. They believed FOX and Trump.

They are the same ones who told me hydroxychloroquine was a ‘cure’. Not even Trump took it when he got sick.

I don’t want that 43% of Americans anywhere near me or my family.

I’m willing to suffer the economic and personal consequences.

Some families are now separated by the border. Canadians can still fly to the States, so it’s possible for them to get together — but that doesn’t work for those who can’t fly.

I might reconsider under a Biden Presidency. But it’s unlikely. Covid denying Americans will be even more agitated.

This morning I spoke with a Canadian who somehow just drove back from California. There are exceptions to the border crossing rule.

Here’s the sign she had to put on her window.

economics, government

History of the world’s tallest buildings

Here’s a video showing the history.

Dubai Creek Tower, likely to be completed 2022, perhaps should not be included as it’s a tower not a building.

The world’s tallest artificial structure is the 829.8-metre-tall (2,722 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). …

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the “World’s Tallest”, recognizes a building only if at least 50% of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area.

Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as “towers“.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

bad news, economics, education, ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights, things getting worse

Rise and Fall of the American Empire – Wade Davis

UPDATE – Deanna Kreisel posted a rebuttal to the Wade Davis article:

The Unraveling of “The Unraveling of America”

Wade Davis is a Colombian / Canadian professor of anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.

One brilliant man.

A recent article of his in Rolling Stone sums up how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.

In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. …

No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise …

In 1940, with Europe already ablaze, the United States had a smaller army than either Portugal or Bulgaria. Within four years, 18 million men and women would serve in uniform, with millions more working double shifts in mines and factories that made America, as President Roosevelt promised, the arsenal of democracy.

When the Japanese within six weeks of Pearl Harbor took control of 90 percent of the world’s rubber supply, the U.S. dropped the speed limit to 35 mph to protect tires, and then, in three years, invented from scratch a synthetic-rubber industry that allowed Allied armies to roll over the Nazis. At its peak, Henry Ford’s Willow Run Plant produced a B-24 Liberator every two hours, around the clock. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito spat out Liberty ships at a rate of two a day for four years; the record was a ship built in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich. 

In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. … 

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken.

As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.

… With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. … 

Odious as he may be, Trump is less the cause of America’s decline than a product of its descent. As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country.  …

The Unraveling of America

 

If Trump were gone tomorrow, the USA is still screwed because of FOX News and right wing media. And the GOP.

If a vaccine were available tomorrow, half of Americans would refuse to take it.

Wade Davis:

… even should Trump be resoundingly defeated, it’s not at all clear that such a profoundly polarized nation will be able to find a way forward. For better or for worse, America has had its time. …

BAYONNE, NJ – MAY 3: A wind blown American flag at the Tear Drop 9/11 Memorial flies over the skyline of New York City as the sun sets on May 3, 2020 in Bayonne, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

economics, ethics, government

U.S. Federal minimum wage SHOULD be $20

One huge and unsustainable dynamic of the U.S. economic system is the growing gap between rich and poor.

That’s going to reverse direction. One way or another.

BEST would be the Democrats taking power. And effecting a small part of the changes they’ve claimed to want.

Worst would be another 4 years of Trump stupid, incompetent and wasteful corruption.

Read No Mercy / No Malice – What We Leave Behind

economics, government

I support free trade

Free trade is one way to ensure efficient use of resources.

In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties generally support protectionismthe opposite of free trade.

So when you see Trump impose tariffs, know that he’s a protectionist. And nationalist. Not a fiscal conservative.

Since at least 2005 there’s been increasing distrust in ‘globalisation’. We ended up with idiots like Trump making decisions, his unsuccessful trade war with China, for example. Both sides lose in trade wars.

Expect everything to get more expensive and/or unavailable as free trade continues to decline.

Singapore is the #1 ranked nation as of 2016 in the Global Enabling Trade Report published by the World Economic Forum.

It is made up of four sub-indexes:

  1. Market access
  2. Border administration
  3. Transport and communications infrastructure
  4. Business environment

USA is #22. Canada #24.

Trade with Singapore

There is a broad consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth and economic stability.

One bit of good newsUSMCA Free Trade Agreement will come into effect soon. That’s NAFTA 2.0 with minor tinkering of auto exports, steel and aluminum tariffs, dairy, egg, and poultry markets.

The agreement also provides updated intellectual property protections.