Is the Internet dying?

Do you remember the good old days? The days when the internet was awesome? Un-censored, free, and enticing…

Now, we have this…

WSJ

If I want to read articles online, not only do I have to use pop-up blockers, ad-blockers, and reload java & flash applets, I also need to subscribe and pay!? The funny part about the above snippet is that it links to an article about how the web is dying, and blames “apps”…But you need to pay The Wall Street Journal $$ first before you can find out how your evil phone is killing the web…

Content is filtered, censored, and only available in certain locations. Not to mention how personalized the internet is becoming. Google & Facebook only show you what they think they want you to see. And in most cases, they know you REALLY well! During Christmas, my wife was leery about loading up her Facebook News Feed, as EVERY SINGLE TIME it fed her an ad for something she was shopping for on another site! Surprise kids, you are getting a hockey net. Facebook is shitty at keeping secrets…

You start to get paranoid. Did I search for those shoes on a site, on did I see them at a store, and Facebook knew I was at that store? In the same colour none the less?

I think it is fair to say that the glory days of the Internet are coming to an end. Retailers, Search Engines, Copyright holders; they are all looking to sell, sell, sell.

The internet started out communist (for the benefit of all), and has been taken

www.ddg.gg
http://www.ddg.gg

over by capitalism (for the benefit of a few).

Maybe the internet isn’t dying, it’s just getting creepy…

Time to create a fake name, and switch search engines?

 

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What did the Occupy movement achieve? It sold extra papers!

Over the last couple of days most of the Occupy movement camps have been dismantled across North America. So, what did they achieve?

I think the answer is nothing. Really. The movement has faded. What’s left are a bunch of desperate people looking for any way to be heard. They are the fringe.

I think that the governments, local and otherwise, and the police have learned that they need the media on their side. The occupy movement started by getting the sympathy of the general population, and the media. There was plenty to say about the 99% and how wealth has been distributed unfairly. Everyone gets it. But the media wants to sell papers and boost ratings right?

Once the more desperate members of our society took over the tents, ate the food, tried to stay warm, and get some medical attention, it was only a matter of time before the cameras captured real poverty, and people with addictions and mental issues. Why not join the movement if they have heaters, food, blankets, and shelter?

Eventually you have irrational, desperate people getting their 5 minutes of fame, the media treats them like they are the representatives of the movement. But they aren’t of course. But it is all that is needed to discredit the message. “Look at those bums! Why don’t they just go get a job?”

The same thing would happen at events I protested at while in university. The cameras would film the balaclava wearing anarchists causing trouble, and it would ruin the message we were trying to get out in the first place.

This is why I think that for real change to occur, our economic and political systems need to change. Much like the credit unions’ slogan, People before Profits, compassion needs to be the main crux of our society. Not economic development, and globalization. Many people call this revolution. How it is done peacefully is still unknown. Sit-ins, camping in parks, and the leaderless occupy movement are not going to effect change. The general public will just get bored and go back to work. Here are a few words by a “fake” Noam Chomsky Twitter account that seems to put a lot of these sentiments in 140 characters or less.

https://twitter.com/#!/NoamChomski/status/135543655221051393
https://twitter.com/#!/NoamChomski/status/135497058500091904
https://twitter.com/#!/NoamChomski/status/135068703799779328
https://twitter.com/#!/NoamChomski/status/134824766027743234

What do you think went wrong with the Occupy movement?

Our Capitalist system as defined by George Carlin

George Carlin was a very smart man. And funny as hell. I have enjoyed watching so many of his videos over the years. I saw this image today over on Reddit and thought I would share it. With the economic turmoil going on globally, and the rich not getting any poorer, this quote seems bang on!

Here he is telling it like it really is in America. “The American Dream”…

Was Marx Right? Some Capitalists are re-visiting his ideas

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)
Image via Wikipedia

Today I was talking to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law about objective journalism and keeping an open mind to ideas. One of the people that came up in the conversation was Leon Trotsky. I don’t know how the topic jumped from Al-jazeera to him, but somehow it did…

During my university years I attended the left-leaning school Simon Fraser University, and was exposed to many different theories on politics, and became quite active in student politics on the campus. Though I never studied the works of Leon Trotsky and Karl Marx in depth, I read a few of their shorter readings about Capitalism and Communism.

We can all see today that Communism in it’s form of the time failed miserably, and that our current Capitalism is showing major signs of failure too.

When I saw the following article written by someone at the Harvard Business Review asking whether Karl Marx was right in his predictions of the failures of Capitalism, I was interested too!

I hate to see people suffer. I hate to see people suffer for the sake of profits and greed. I have no answers on how to fix the world’s financial woes, but reading lively debates and seeing smarter people than me looking around for answers gives me some piece of mind.

In case you’ve been on Mars (or even just on vacation), here’s a surprising idea that’s been making the rounds lately: there might have been something to Marx’s critiques of capitalism after all.

Now, before you leap into the intertubes, seize me by the arm, perform a citizens’ arrest, and frog-march me into the nearest FBI office, exclaiming “See this suspicious looking brown guy? He’s a card-carrying communist!!” please note: I’m, well, not. I’m a staunch believer in capitalism

via Was Marx Right? – Umair Haque – Harvard Business Review.

The sky is falling and everyone knows why

20110807-_D7K0776.jpg
Image by NickB_LA via Flickr

Today was a grim day for the ‘markets’…Oh dear…To top it off, there are riots and uprising all over the damn place, and my wife dumped coffee on the Mac laptop. What a messed up day!

With a belly full of angst, I think I am better able to ramble my way through the root cause for shit hitting the fan. Lucky you! Continue reading “The sky is falling and everyone knows why”

Which huge un-reachable corporation should I blame?

 

iPhone, iPhone 3G and 3GS
Image via Wikipedia

 

This evening I noticed a friend of mine calling me on my iPhone. Something was amiss though. His name didn’t show along with the phone number. I though it was weird, but we talked about beer, mountain biking, and his great sex life so I forgot about it. Later my son called from his mom’s number. The same thing happened. I looked in my contact list on the phone that syncs with Google Apps, and noticed all my contacts gone! WTF? Do you get that paniced feeling when 400 carefully detailed contacts just goes missing? Ya, me too…

So, now I had a technology problem to fix…Something, that truthfully I enjoy doing most of the time. I tried to check my gmail(google apps) e-mail on my iPhone to see if it was still working. No luck. It was kicking up for an incorrect password. So, I restarted my account, then I tried removing it, then tried to do the hard reboot, and then the thought crossed my mind that maybe I was drunk or something and I had forgotten my most important password that I must have entered 10,000 times! I desperately logged into Lastpass and made sure…Fuck. I hadn’t forgotten it. Good news, as I worry that Alzheimer’s will hit me suddenly one day and maybe today was the day… I was stuck.

I got home and had a few chores to attend to, but was itching to get to fixing this problem. I re-synced the phone with iTunes, checked that my contacts were safe online, etc…All was safe. I breathed a sign of relief.

Then, I went to The Google. No luck. No one posting the same problem in the last hour somewhere in the world?

I am screwed right now not being able to sync my account with my iPhone. What is the big deal? Well, let me tell you, my friend.

I DON’T KNOW WHO TO GET MAD AT! Is it Apple for all of a sudden not working as I expect from them? Isn’t their motto, that it ‘just works’? Well, fuck you, it is not working. Is it Google? Did they do some stupid server upgrade and nuke my account on my iPhone? Seems fine on my laptop, but my phone…not so much. Is it Microsoft? It is all supposed to work because of Mr. Gates Microsoft Exchange Server. I already hate Microsoft, so it is super easy to blame them. Is it Bell, who I pay through the nose for this shiny device that I rely on like toilet paper when I’m in the bathroom? I am looking for someone to blame but have no one…

This got me thinking. I can’t contact any of them. Have you or anyone ever contacted one of these enormous companies to get help when the device relies on such a complex interaction between all these global corporations? Seriously? I realize that I and many of you rely on people complaining online about their problem to other equally desperate people and seeing if their solution works for me.Forums, blogs, google searches, porn sites. Ok, maybe not porn sites…

Are we in an age where we rely on these huge companies to help us keep track of our lives, but have no means of actually owning or controlling that information? I have been guilty of laughing when I see someone grabbing a small address book with handwritten phone numbers on them from their bag. Same goes for the seniors with their cheque registers. Who writes down how much money they have? Not anyone I know. But are they the smart ones?

Are we a society now that pays and relies on some trustworthy company(or companies) to keep track of it all for us, and have a false sense of security that when push comes to shove, we get all our lost ‘stuff’ back with a simple e-mail or phone call? I think we know the answer to that question….yes.

Do we blame the companies for our junk not working? We can try, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Keeping the Sheeple Fearful

In the last week or so, there has been an outbreak of Swine Flu. It is all over the TV, Internet and newspapers. From the media coverage, it seems that we are all going to die from it! For instance, in Canada there are 6 people sick from it. In all of Canada. But we are all being inundated with coverage. Why?

If people are fearful of the world around them, they won’t notice the important things.sheepleImage_source No one wants to hear 2 years of crappy news on the economy, or another young soldier coming home in a body bag, or the killing of innocent civilians in foreign countries, or even that the USA loves to torture captives, and break international law. Keep them all quiet, and issue them a credit card to spend more money they don’t have. We are living in a bred culture of fear. Here is a small introduction to the book “The Culture of Fear” by Barry Glassner.

Why are so many fears in the air, and so many of them unfounded? Why, as crime rates plunged throughout the 1990s, did two-thirds of Americans believe they were soaring? How did it come about that by mid-decade 62 percent of us described ourselves as “truly desperate” about crime-almost twice as many as in the late 1980s, when crime rates were higher? Why, on a survey in 1997, when the crime rate had already fallen for a half dozen consecutive years, did more than half of us disagree with the statement “This country is finally beginning to make some progress in solving the crime problem”?

In the late 1990s the number of drug users had decreased by half compared to a decade earlier; almost two-thirds of high school seniors had never used any illegal drugs, even marijuana. So why did a majority of adults rank drug abuse as the greatest danger to America’s youth? Why did nine out of ten believe the drug problem is out of control, and only one in six believe the country was making progress?

Remainder of intro

Michael Moore’s movie Bowling for Columbine takes a look at the culture of fear. Though it does talk quite a bit about the USA’s obsession with guns, the movie does a fantastic job of discussing the media’s roll in making us fearful. In case you haven’t seen it, here is the official trailer. But do yourself a favour and rent it…

My solution? Ignore the fluff, and focus on the real issues…