LFP119 – New Year Special! Is FS + Tech Ushering In Orwellian Tyranny Rather Than Freeing The People?

It’s time for the New Year Special and we tackle what is surely the most important topic of our times – “Is FS + Tech Ushering In Orwellian Tyrrany Rather Than Freeing The People?”. The BigTech giants increasingly act as public censors with the modern equivalent of Nazi book burning, Big FS firms and Fintechs such as Mastercard, Paypal, Patreon deplatform, unperson people and collude to block their income in the name of holding people to “reasonable” (ie their) political/moral/ethical standards. In this they are egged on by the dying MSM, by some politicians and by activists organising online to pursue the culture wars so dividing the US in particular but exported elsewhere too.

But wasn’t the internet supposed to liberate people, to connect them directly, in conversation or in Finance via P2P?

What has gone wrong when instead of decentralisation of power and communications tech has led to the greatest concentration of global power ever known to man?

What can be done about it? Can we use tech as a force for good? As a way of empowering the people not billionaires and distant bureaucrats?

O tempora o mores!

Topics covered in this annual solo show include: 

  • China’s social credit score
  • FS/BigTech is very busy right now creating an Orwellian dystopia of digitally unpersoning people
  • we hear a lot about financial inclusion but its sinister evil twin is deliberate financial exclusion thanks to the likes of Mastercard, Paypal, and Patreon
  • Niall Ferguson on the impact of the Gutenberg printing press
  • oligopoly is the watchword – Mastercard, Visa  & Amex control 97% of US card processing. Paypal controls 2/3rds of internet spending. Patreon was the only main such site to date
  • the failure to stay decentralised is leading to all the sins, all the Orwellianism of the internet age
  • Chomsky’s comparison to the 1890’s
  • former BoE governor Mervyn King on “populism” as a word to delegitimise citizens views and concerns
  • Paleoliths to Neoliths
  • social media and mental illness; the design of platforms to be addictive
  • a scalpel in the hands of a surgeon can save lives, in the hands of a madman it can kill so in whose hands is tech being used or abused?
  • minarchism
  • Tim Cook and sin
  • you can’t vote out Tim Cook – unelected power
  •  bitcoin in a parable for our times became a super centralised oligopoly and subject to internal political wranglings.
  • making more and more of our life virtual and app based is handing power over to oligopolists – to a handful of global barons
  • the English peasants revolt of 1391 – how we are (cough, splutter) inferior to the French in this regard
  • Sargon of Akkad’s deplatforming from Patreon as a watershed
  • BigTech as Wild West sheriffs
  • YouTuberLaw and the putative suit with the FTC against Patreon and Paypal
  • ex-President Carter “the U.S. Is an Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery’
  • undermining democracy in the UK
  • democracy – what democracy?
  • Ken Livingstone’s autobiography “If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish it”
  • the collapse of the USSR, cf increasing cracks in the US Humpty Dumpty
  • the IDW (Intellectual Dark Web)
  • the irony that it is children of the most prosperous society ever who are most against it. Educations role. Haidt’s “The Coddling of the American Mind”
  • oikophobia (no not what you think…  :-))
  • the US constitution as written before corporates existed and therefore not considering this tyranny gap (being focused as it was on restricting tyranny from State or Religion)
  • the Archbishops of Silicon Valley
  • the free market?
  • HHDL and Ethiopian President Zewde on how emigration harms countries
  • politicians self-interest being in not having a digital bill of rights
  • anarcho-tyranny
  • pathological altruism
  • Cicero on “treason from within” as the most dangerous enemy of all
  • the archetypal meaning of “rescuing your father from the belly of the whale”

And much much more 🙂

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