Do you know how to boil a living frog? Slowly!
You put it in a pan full of nice room-temperature water, turn the stove on & watch it die slowly. The frog won’t actually perceive the slow change of temperature and it will boil to death.
Do you know how to cow a population into submission? Step by step!
A sudden, dramatic change in the environment where the population is apparently thriving will most often upset the members. A step-by-step change, though, could actually go unnoticed given a long-enough timeline.
This has been happening for quite a while now, in most parts of the world. Like the frog & given our ever-narrowing perspective, we don’t have a clue of what actually is going on.
The Rise Of The Big IT Corporations
It all started when the dot com bubble imploded in the early 2000s. Some smallish IT companies survived and not only that, but soon after, they began to thrive offering Internet users more and more convenience and ease of access. Those company’s names?
Amazon, Google, PayPal…
Soon enough, other companies joined the party, this time promising virtual bridges between friends who were miles away between each other. They also promised ease of communication and YES, a social scaling like never seen before.
You know those company’s names, so I won’t bother mentioning them…
Naturally, we began to gravitate around those platforms to the point everyone was using them. Centralization and monopoly at its finest.
What came next was the grandeur of power and the immediate need to monetize that power. So these fairly big corporations by now started gathering data about our behavior.
We didn’t pay attention. We just kept skipping mile-long policies & terms of service and clicked instinctively Agree... Accept… Submit.
It was convenient… indeed.
The behavioral data gathering skyrocketed the profits and the corporations took the next step: analyze the data & use it to alter our behavior so we may want & need more: the next state-of-the-art smartphone, the big screen & ultimately, the rich life.
As always, we didn’t even blink. We kept clicking & after that... we clicked some more not giving a damn about what we were actually clicking on.
NOTE! For a much inner-depth analysis and research about the ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ subject – term used by author Shoshana Zuboff – I strongly recommend reading 'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism article published at the beginning of this year on The Guardian. I’m planning on buying & reading book by Shoshana Zuboff ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.’ Based on the article, the book should be a very good one.
Control & Censorship
I don’t know where politics got into the mix, but it very well did. It’s no wonder money & politics mix up very well.
INFO! There is a story I heard on some podcast a while ago, don’t know if it’s actually true or not, but it seems not long after Facebook went worldwide, CEO Mark Zuckerberg happened to be in the same building with some FBI bigshots. Hearing that Zuckerberg was in the building, one FBI bigshot (don’t remember if it was the actual director, I listen to that particular podcast years ago) burst into the meeting the Facebook CEO was having only to congratulate him & tell him what a great job he has done with the social media platform. You get the picture and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was true.
As we gave more & more data about our life WILLINGLY AND FOR FREE, another step was taken: instead of altering our consumer behavior for more profits, they now are simply trying to fully control us – dance to their own music – by telling us how to speak & behave online.
Obviously, this needs a degree of censorship: banning those who don’t ‘obey.’ We can clearly see this trend on the mainstream social media platforms like Twitter & YouTube.
Fortunately, this has raised some eyebrows, but still, too few to really matter. Some action was taken (the creation of Steemit included) but not that much to really make a difference.
Meaningless Censorship Today & Fully-Fledged Ban Tomorrow
Which bring us to why I wrote this post.
I was shocked a few days ago when I saw this message as I was trying to access BitTorrent platform & aggregator PirateBay.org:
The message states: ‘Unauthorized Access: Content protected by the copyright legislation.’
For many, I imagine this is nothing that important. Pirate Bay is censored on many countries and who cares, we have access to all the other important BitTorrent trackers right?
ARGUMENT! For those arguing it’s the right call because copyright needs to be protected around the world, I get that… to a point. Yes, it should be definitely protected and we should reward the creators by actually buying their products & services, yet what about if we can’t? Here in Romania, the average wage is a tenth of what a Westerner is earning. You may be comfortable to spend $50 on a game for example when you have a $3,000 monthly salary, but what about if one earns 300 EUR per month. He/She still has to pay 50 EUR (yes not $) for that game. Is it fair, I ask? And what about the regional pricing & double standard which is a big issue around the world? I remember a recent Origin sale and Mass Effect Andromeda PC Game was about 9 EUR when I logged in. I soon found out from reddit in the US, the same game was around $5. Is it fair for the Romanian users I ask? Companies like EA don't clearly give a damn.
The thing is a website has just been censored. This may not be a big deal, but I assure you, it’s a huge step for a country that at least had total freedom online, till recently. The next step towards censoring a much bigger website that for example doesn’t comply with the current censorship protocols is actually quite small. The next step towards banning you for simply not complying with a system you deem faulty and bankrupt is tiny.
If we accept such things (apparently not that important for us in the bigger scheme of things), then we will accept additional unfair censorship much, much easier. In no time, we will accept censorship as something obvious, as way of life.
They are toying with us and are taking all the necessary steps to ultimately cow us into total submission and towards an Orwellian nightmare. We must stop this.
IT’S TIME TO GET MAD! It’s time to say: ‘I’m a human being god dammit. My life has value’ like in the famous The Network movie speech (I highly recommend ‘The Network’ (1976) if you haven’t seen it yet).
I also believe it’s time to stop dancing to their music. Start saying out loud to any measure/decision meant to limit our freedom: ‘F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me!’
It’s now or never, ladies and gents. Time is running out!