Leave services when they get huge

 esc

I think this is worth a 100$, but only if it works the way I want it to:

I need an “Esc” button to set my life free from any company that has grown bigger than a certain size and that can control my habbits, decisions and lifestyle, and shows tendency to do so.

I am happy with the already purchased MacBook, although it was a forced choice in the absence of a true competition and among non-existing alternatives previously killed by giants like Apple.

But instead I will not check my Facebook feed today.

P.S. Since this is copied from Facebook: Facebook’s AI machines should (if they already don’t) identify this post as not in line with the company’s profits and adjust the parameters to limit its spread. Next, they should discover obvious patterns of some million profiles like mine, that [for some unimportant reasons] do not contribute to the companies metrics which are supposed to drive profit. So they should start adding us to a dynamic blacklist until we come back and contribute to those short-term metrics again.

Revolution or Reform?

vincent-callebaut-paris-smart-city-2050-3

Imagine this hypothetical landscape: You live in 2300. Humanity is still around and somehow through calculated global programs, colonizing mars or deadly wars has reduced its earth population from ten down to three billion already. And has fixed it there. The earth is tolerably warm but sustained.

Politics:

Countries are provinces of the world federal government and they have different state rules to practice their local cultural differences.
Different races campaign politically to defend the continuation of their gene traits and complaining about the others reproducing more than regulated.
The word “freedom” has mixed meanings and is used with the word “from” not to be misunderstood.

Economy:

There is no centralized money and even digital currency is just a hidden layer of the world economy that some expert may still look at.
People use public services more than their private properties, however that’s a cultural thing; Everyone is given a minimum of private ownership by birth, and several times during their life span. People can lose their private stuff accidentally or choose to donate it at will, however the world welfare system may restore it for them.

There is a notion of money, but that is negative (like debt) which is calculated by an individual’s cost of living such as their footprint as long as it is calculably affected by their personal choices.
Therefore there is no money. There is fine.

Business:

Growth of companies are limited through regulating their shareholder’s wealth. New-capitalism is practiced safely.
Work is constitutional right but voluntary and companies act more like temporary social games shaped by entrepreneurs and closed and cashed out once they serve their purpose. Land and land resources, infrastructure, utilities, transport and media belong to the public and can not be bought by companies or other legal entities by the world constitution.

Every citizen is granted an equivalent of some work/office space and work equipment after a certain age. They can use the equivalent of their office space for individual business or they can exchange it with an equivalent of that when they get a job or build a company.
Education is too a constitutional right and voluntary. People get educated to fit the available work opportunities. Public education is accessible globally and private education is the service that educational companies serve.

Democracy:

Terms above are regulated by the world federal government, which is a distributed post-digital consensus system on the Internet. Democracy is not a hard-coded system and is a complicated structure for collective decision making by humans (and partly even by pets and rightful animals). It senses and collects data from different levels of humans’ lives and aggregate it organically to sense what people want (implicit voting) and thus regulates the society democratically. It’s optimisation will be focused on human’s psychological level and it’s well being. Feeling good is a constitutional right. Citizens get notified about the important updates of their local or federal rules depending on importance and relevance to their lives, and can always overwrite their predicted vote or temporarily exit the decision-making networks voluntarily. Politicians, lawyers and developers aid the machine. General assemblies are held by politicians who are themselves through the machine. Newer versions of democracies are be deployed. All citizens of the world have constitutional right to access the overall simulations and predictions that the system provide based upon the latest rules. Cultural differences will be shaped by local rules decided by the local people at the time. Climate, genetic differences and culture will self-organise the world to a peaceful multicultural equilibrium.

Legal system:

Over-scaling is a unified crime. Occupying other’s territories, violence, killing of rightful beings, exceeding the individual footprint limit, are all forms of over-scaling and will be fined by custody or private property depending on the degree of crime. People scale for sport in the virtual world.

Celebrities:

Plato, Darwin and Mandelbrot are more famous than Einstein. Few nerds know Obama. No body knows Kanye West. But there’s this terrible dancing monkey all over the fucking virtual world.

Other species:

People talk to pets through chips and devices. Eating animals (and humans!) is highly regulated and lab-grown meat (and a lot of other lab food) has taken off. People consume them according to their fashion, taste and lifestyle.

Animals or humans are not being slaughtered in the real world unless there is a legal warrant or a specific type of digital authorization signed for it. Of course people (and pets) still cheat when you don’t see them, but machines watch, warn and stop the cheaters who kill “rightful animals” illegally. There are debates around the definition of that term. Say there is a list including mammals and big land animals. There are debates and protests to include or exclude a certain species.

In Spain (or north Africa?) they still chase bulls in a safer and non-fatal form of bullfighting. And those who love fishing have to go to, let’s say china, because it’s still legal there.

Parenthood:

There are still families, although people are free to live in different social settings and move on to new groups. This will be reinforced by cultural differences in each region and the cultural differences will be maintained.

Psychology:

People take things for granted. They are civilized and they behave but they can easily get depressed and die a fragile life if they get isolated. It’s called “laziside”.
People have become even lazier than us in a sense that they have outsourced their surviving “actions” to the technology and thus they have also outsourced many of their “sensations” because keeping them is not crucial. Shortly, many sensorimotor functions of the brain are practically outsourced to the machines and that’s worrisome due to the depression and numbness that it creates.

Sport:

For the reason mentioned above, “nature gyms” are all around and somewhat mandatory to train people to practice their sensations in the absence of some practical technologies. Professional sports have become intellectual. People compete over their “nature gym” skills by using their physical, social and cognitive skills to show off that they are best. There are cognitive games in the “nature gyms” where people look into each other’s eyes to read feelings and stuff like that. Sex comes to sport with different forms of convertors.

Architecture:

Nature and civilization are mixed up technologically. Buildings breathe and cities are self-sustained. Rooms rotate and change size and adapt with the light conditions democratically by the wishes of people in them.

The list goes on.

A future landscape that is missing a lot of unimaginable technological advances or their cultural artefacts. Just one in a zillion possibilities. Just fantasize and expand it on your own vision.

Then, question:

Is it fun? Should we start talking about a scenery like this? If yes, should we discuss how we should act accordingly to move towards something like this? And not further away from it? Should we wait till machines do it for us?

Or should we – really painfully – go extinct?

Functional Empathy

Here it comes a call for addressing an unpleasant need. A need for recognizing a broader definition of some modern and civilized traits of psychopathy that will functionally include every one of us. A hidden angle of our truth that we need to face and recognize, as this can be the main cause behind the biggest problems that our world faces today.

Hell

A phrase from hell: At any cost

A simple mechanisms has become the fuel for our capitalistic growth and the driving force of our technology: Boards of corporations are pressured by shareholders to make decisions as quick as possible to deliver profit at any cost.

The profit is measured by money, a totally fake entity, and that is not where the problem lies. If it was, would be totally fine to play around with a fake thing that does not pose a danger. That would be as harmless as playing a video game.

The problem lies in those three words: “At any cost”. A capitalistic mantra that is designed to exclude all the affected “unavluable things” that can suffer as the byproduct of our value maximization. Wherever this term appears it could be replaced by longer phrases, articles and albeit books if we had decided to ellaborate on that. As a result of every single act of our value maximization, lives and feelings of many beings are fractally at stake. Our capitalistic ideology can not afford such uninmportant semiology, thus it refers them to hell; at any cost.

A conventional psychopath has a “good story”

Psychopaths are portrayed by public as ruttless killers with ugly faces and creepy eyes.

Conventional psychopaths, activated or not are just people with relatively smaller or less active amygdala (the so-called empathy center of the brain). Biologically they are hunters or parasites fighting for their own survival, only that their victim can easily be another human from a close social proximity, aka a “tribe”.

A killer, raper or torturer will not acquire that title until they fit in the same pictured frame or same short story, together with their human pray/victim. A conventional psychopath gets detected and makes newspaper headlines only when their crime have a short and comprehensible story for our simple minds, carried on our primal brains.

We will not understand that an abusive tie between two humans exists or hurts, until it can form a comprehensible story and touches the limited range of our human emotions.

Modern humans are functional psychopaths

We are all very likely to be functional psychopaths.

This will strike us to know that a shareholder or consumer of an irresonsible business and the victim of that business can easily be two people in a one-way and abusive bond or relation unknown to both sides. And sadly even more so unknown to the abuser than to the victim. Somtimes the victims get to understand who is running over them before the abuser starts to care.

Forget other species, only between the humans functionally psychopathic bonds are much more common and statistically widespread than urban instances of anti-social crime that make headlines in the media and spark national outrages. You don’t know them because they lack a comprehensible narrative, a “good story”.

As a shareholder or a consumer of an unethical business that delivers profit at any cost, we may already be remote psychopaths with effects worse than the movie characters in slaughterhauses, as we are living off harming many other victims. Only that the prays are not close members of our tribe. We just don’t know or see them.

We need a more general and philosophical definition of “psychopathy” beyond the conventional psychiatric terminology that limits that concept to just an anti-social disorder.

We need that broader definition of psychopathy to see and understand what our increasingly powerful collective civilization is doing to the world and ultimately to ourselves.

We need that for the survival of our species.

Greed before empathy, A recipe for extinction

With power comes responsibity. Why? For survival.

Now imagine tribal/local empathy with global influence.

Do you know how to wipe out a species from inside? Empower their individuals, without accordingly granting them an increased level of empathy. Their equilburium will collapse and they will harm each other to ultimate extinction.

Capitalism is the last instrument that we have used to follow up with this recipe.
Capitalism increases the range of our individual power much faster than ever before, while not helping our empathy circle growing any bigger. As the workers of the capitalistic machine we are not supposed to feel that something is wrong as long as we are functional.

Our global influence is in action to harm many other beings, while our tribal empathy is fairly satisfied inside our own social bubble. That is why we naturally feel fine and follow the system until a danger comes to our visibility and touches our basic emotions and stimulates our rather weak empathy that is much smaller now than it should be with respect to our power.

Our empathy is tribally limited

Human society was during its longest history of evolution a scattered group of isolated homo tribes. Reletively recently our society has scaled up to have become this huge interconnected network. Still at every point and at each individual it is just a local tribe. And each of us is just a naked ape with a primal brain that hasn’t evolved according to the fast pace that it has created in its environment.

We are still naked apes playing around and messing with the nature with technological tools. We are equipped with things that we don’t understand although we have collectively made them. As individuals we still run around with our ancient brains that doesn’t seem to have added many brain circuits to that of our prehistoric ancestors. And particularly to their amygdala.

The empathy mechanisms in that brain has evolved slowly as social mechanisms of control, to assure the survival only in a tribal level. As for most of our evolution our behavior could influence things only within that limited social structure.

We have no care or attention whatsoever, towards the creatures outside our social proximity. This made us a regular animal in the nature, until our power surpassed the borders of our fine-tuned empathy and reached beyond our tribe. Ever since we have been blindly increasing the territory of our influence faster than the territory of our affective understanding and in an ever acllerating pace.

The modern interconnected world has stretched our influence way beyond the visible range of our cognition, let alone the much narrower circle of our affective empathy. We have no care or attention whatsoever towards those who get trapped outside our narrow empathy circle, let alone the affected beings completely outside our visible zone.

All you need to do is to ask yourself this one question: How many people (let alone other beings) you harm during our lives, without seeing or registering them?

We are much moer terrible than what we want to believe we are.

We need functional empathy

To systematically neutralize our “functional psychopathy” and reverse some of its harms we need to invent “functional empathy”. Our natural empathy is way too limited to carry such burden.

In order to reduce the unpredictable harms that technology causes to the environment, it should start to feel it to decide whether or not it should change it in that direction.

That one principle with any interpretation, could have saved us from much of our modern problems and could made our growth much more sustainable and genuine. And should become prioritized with something even more aggressive the capitalism itself.

How could we potentially use our technology to “feel” the world is not to be addressed here, but that poses the fundamental question:

How can we care for something that we don’t see?

I will not try to answer this right here. We need to build a paradigm. I will try to throw some ideas later with sparks I see in the world of big data. Empathetic data-driven decision making.

A blueprint awaits us. Help if you agree!

Congratulations! Mergers are coming for your food

Bayer proudly acquired Monsanto for $57B $66B. B means Billion.

To anyone out there who doesn’t quite [care to] understand why this is terrible news:

It’s very much understandable that we don’t like politics and it is fair that we don’t want to waste energy and nerve on potentially bad, or irrelevant news. It’s also very natural that we do not really know by heart what is the difference between $66B and say $66M. Or remembering that one of them is 1000 times bigger than the other.

Three quick questions

1. Do you eat food sometimes? Any kind of food.
2. Do you think you will be alive in 10 years from now?
3. Do you NOT work for Bayer or Monsanto or hold shares in any of them?

If your answers are positive, then yesterday’s final approval of Bayer buying the unethical evil firm, Monsanto, will hurt you and your children PRETTY SOON.

It will certainly affect you negatively in 10 years from now. It will make you and your family afford less food, in a more polluted and wasteful environment. Even if you are not a farmer or you are completely outside the supply chain.

And it doesn’t matter where you live!

Should we care?

We may not care that such mergers inflate prices. We are confident that we will afford it, no matter what. Or that they are just playing with “money” which after all is a fake entity.

We may as well not care that they make farmers lose their jobs. Afterall it is inevitable. Right? (However, on its right time and after the RIGHT process!)

Mergers will control market in the future with their monopoly. Is that the biggest problem?

No.

The problem is that they will feed us what they want, at any cost for our body or our environment. Well, they are not our enemies. They just don’t care! They are after one profit and your lif is the cost!

That’s how they will poison you in a long run and pollute your surroundings. No cinspiracy theory. It’s simpler than that.

Industry-sponsored research and monopoly of big money

I am not a naturalist actually! In fact am pro GMOs and some of its applications. And some of the sustainable biotechnological innovations the big firms come up with. But when it comes to research there are principles.

It is a problem when big firms hijack science to rush profit instead of letting it be where it belongs to help a sustainable development.

Technology should move forward humbly, and with cafreful considerations.

Not everything that can be made should be made!

Such mergers patent natural development and abuse their monopoly later. Even worse. they make unnatural and dangerous developments that will hurt us in a long run. They lie to you too. Look at the sugar scandal that just leaked out at the same time, after half a century.

Final word

We are in trouble already. We should – today and not tomorrow – rush anything that will reverse the mess that we have made with our planet, not to make it worse. The only thing we don’t need now is a $66B acquisition like this that will end our hopes.

So you may want to read about what happened yesterday, act upon it, share some petitions, or be prepared to act against the next evil merger.

These mergers borrow from your future to add value to someone else’s now.

It’s a big f*cking club and you AIN’T in it!

Let’s wake up.

Robots Take Over

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
– Stephen Hawking

“I am in the camp that is concerned about superintelligence.”
– Bill Gates

“If I were to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably artficial intelligence.”
– Elon Musk

“I would have made you my bitch, if I were smarter than you!”
– Søren

The Big Data Gold Rush

From optimizing advertisement industry to manipulating financial markets or predicting electoral results Big Data has mobilized much of its army in a highly competitive battle of exhausting opportunities. This on its good side has pushed the limits of creativity and has sparked innovations in technology and science, but the competition has also justified new evil means from exploiting the last resources and violating your privacy to forming bad habits and personal recommendation of things that you don’t need. All for the local short-term benefit of the soldiers in the forefront of this battle and their fewer commanders, and at someone else’s bigger loss.

unsustainable! Is there no tomorrow?

It is the gold rush for Big Data but much of the army at its best is redistributing the gold that others have created, looking away from the magical opportunities to create gold out of the thin air!

Let’s be on the right (and smart) side of the history and create more initiatives, for example, like this.

Smart house

I just woke up from a dream that we were in a smart house and lots of weird things were connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Several interesting products in that house that all doesn’t make sense to me now. I mention two:

There were smart plates and people were playing an eating game based on the dart game 301. So we started eating random portions of a soup and the goal was to finish it up just with the right portion on the last spoon. It was not allowed to tilt the plate at the end of the game.

And this one: Upon exiting the house there were animated carpets!

Facebook will die

I have used Facebook for more than 8 years now, constantly and regularly. I have used it for laid-back surfing, as a gaming platform, a political forum and for business. I have also spent a lot of money on it to promote the cafe page and particularly its events. Facebook charged me more and more at the same time that was charging my competitors more and more to reach out to the same audience. It made it really obvious lately to the extent that people who were not coming from Tech and had no familiarity with such tricks also felt something is very shady and got pissed off. This is when you wish the same opportunity that was taken advantage of a decade ago in sillicon valley, was siezed by other people so may the dominant social network of our time have been in the hands of a humbler and less greedy company.

Facebook is investing a lot in other things and so it will be very dissapointing if the future of innovation in this company is not super bright. Still, given the current state of the social network service it does not seem that they can last this way for so long. Facebook as a company may last as long as Coca Cola. And  the concept of digital social networking will also continue with the future human just like alphabet stayed with us. So say both will survive but not necessarily in link with each other. Why social networking does not have to stay locked in the hands of the Facebook company?

For many reasons.

Facebook as we know it (the service) although has grown, improved algorithmically and then monetized agressively, hasn’t provided a different user experience from day one. Now it has hit the limit and is losing the new generations, alarming that it will lose even more of the future generations. All Facebook has is the momentom, piles of cash, huge user-base and invaluable data. This is enough to stay big for a long time, but data can get old like food and a user-base can die out. And most importantly big data insights will be more widespread and be accessible to many more companies, bug and small and that will not be a competitive advantage in a long run.

What if a small service grows so fast and feels the gap, like what Snapchat only much better.

What Facebook (the service) is doing can be done much better. But they don’t innovate unless it’s about making short-term cash. Very important, life changing and profitable predictions must be possible now with their valuable data and they are only showing ordinary improvements. Nothing really amazing comes out of that company, except for more advanced methods to trick and rob the addicted page-owners so they pay more cash and get less, to make them want to pay even more. This will not sustain and they will quit once a better channel appears.

I doubt if the company that owns the next generation of social networks is Facebook. The people in that future company right now lack huge capital, their active userbase, and their valuable data. But there are many other shortcuts as well as enough smart people out there to bridge that gap to grow and eat Facebook. Such process doesn’t have to show its symptoms to the naked eye before it’s too late. I can’t wait to see how and when it is going to happen but it will soon.

Of course any innovation that takes place in social networking or related technologies if not already in Facebook, is gonna be aquired immediately by them. The current way we are using Facebook will not last long, either they keep the continuum intact and manage to ride the next wave of social need and technological advancement or will eventually leave it to the next creative player.

Facebook is huge, rich and powerful. Too big to fail? The exact opposite. Big things can also change rapidly. Such as the inevitable downfall of the corporate Empire. It is in the proceess already and can’t be stopped, although how will it fall through, and through which is not clear yet.