FYI: Stack Overflow... seems there's quite a revolt of sorts going on over there and everywhere.

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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? FYI: Stack Overflow... seems there's quite a revolt of sorts going on over there and everywhere.
# 1  
Old 02-19-2020
FYI: Stack Overflow... seems there's quite a revolt of sorts going on over there and everywhere.

I realize all online communities go though some rough times every now and then; but I did not realize things had gone so far "south" at Stack until a friend forwarded me this today.

Hey... I "bumped into" this new theme on Stack Overflow... it seems there's quite a revolt of sorts going on over there... I'll paste you a few links

The Stack Overflow I wish to build and participate in is no longer supported - Meta Stack Overflow

Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community? - Meta Stack Exchange

Dear Stack Exchange, Inc.

A lot of their "top answerers" have left (you can see in last link)... just thought you might be interested
I have no idea what is going on in other online communities (especially Stack places) ; but I do know from our small, tight-knit community here, over the years, sometimes people can get quite upset with the people who run the site; and I assume (without first hand experience) the larger the community, the more problems can arise.

Personally, I have never wanted to "go big commercial" and "go very big" where money and investors dominate our lives. I do not want to be richer and richer and richer. I do not need billions of dollars. There is no fun in that, as far as I am concerned. I made a decision years ago to keep my life and this site "small" and always commercial free to registered users.

On that note and on a related topic, I recently finished an audio book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power By: Shoshana Zuboff and I was surprised to learn that most of the "big tech" corporate businesses moved heavily into surveillance capitalism when they (all of them) had no choice, because of financial problems. In fact, my guess is that 100% of the big tech, super rich firms all have adopted the model of surveillance capitalism. Dr. Zubroff certainly thinks so and makes this very clear in her book.

From Wikipedia:


In Zuboff's theory, surveillance capitalism is a novel market form and a specific logic of capitalist accumulation. In her 2014 essay A Digital Declaration: Big Data as Surveillance Capitalism, she characterized it as a "radically disembedded and extractive variant of information capitalism" based on the commodification of "reality" and its transformation into behavioral data for analysis and sales.[14][15][16][17]

In a subsequent 2015 article, Zuboff analyzed the societal implications of this mutation of capitalism. She differentiated "surveillance assets", "surveillance capital", and "surveillance capitalism" and their dependence on a global architecture of computer mediation that she calls "Big Other", a distributed and largely uncontested new expression of power which constitutes hidden mechanisms of extraction, commodification, and control that threatens core values such as freedom, democracy, and privacy.[18][3]

According to Zuboff, surveillance capitalism was pioneered at Google and later Facebook, in much the same way that mass-production and managerial capitalism were pioneered at Ford and General Motors a century earlier, and has now become the dominant form of information capitalism.[5]

In her Oxford University lecture published in 2016, Zuboff identified surveillance capitalism's mechanisms and practices, including the manufacture of "prediction products" for sale in new "behavioral futures markets". She introduced the concept "dispossession by surveillance" and argued that it challenges the psychological and political bases of self-determination as it concentrates rights in the surveillance regime. This is described as a "coup from above".[19]
I took away a bit of a different view on all this after finishing the book above, as follows:

Zuboff describes this new form of capitalism as dependent on "instrumentarian power", where "everything" is a sensor and "Big Other" processes all that "big data" to create predictive markets for human behavior (from what she calls "behavioral exhaust") , which is obviously very successful for these "super tech" companies (they are the richest in the world, as we all know, and have tremendous power). Zuboff wants people to revolt against surveillance capitalism and push governments to heavily regulate tech; while at the same time acknowledging China and other countries has fully embraced similar models; but I don't want to spoil the book for those who have read it yet.

My take on this is that it is up to us, the little people, to develop our own "instrumentarian power"; but not for the sake or benefit of surveillance capitalism, but against it.

In other words, we should move to search engines which do not track our every movement, and should move to small, niche social networks that do not track our behavior or process our "behavioral exhaust" to create behavioral models to target, influence and manipulate us.

So, in practical terms, is like a small "mom and pop" grocery store or book store. We do not create behavioral models on user behavior and nor do we sell advertising based on any models created from "behavioral data". In fact, we do not even show ads to registered users. I have always put the users above profit and always will.

So, back to Stack* and other large social networks with huge commercial investments. All of them, to my knowledge, rely on some form of surveillance capitalism to make money. That is how they pay the bills (and get rich). There are no other ways (so the tech firms have showed us) for these tech firms to make money (and make investors in stock markets happy) but from models which predict human behavior coming out of "big data" and the bigger the social network, the more raw materials to produce behavioral models. These predictive behavioral models are the products advertisers are willing to pay for. I am guessing Slack* and other big social tech communities have a similar model and so their corporate governance policy is as other large corporate-based communities which produce predictive behavioral models from the "behavioral byproducts" of all online activity (clicks, likes, connections, every aspect of online life).

All I can say, in near conclusion, and that I have never worked for any such corporation, never would, and never will (but of course I am retired from all that anyway); and this site will never engage in any form of behavioral analysis to help advertisers target users. Honestly, I am basically "disgusted" by this consumer model of turning "online behavioral exhaust" into profit. But, as a very small, tiny, little, fish, most insignificant person in the vast, huge, world of dystopian, topsy-turvey, surveillance capitalism we live in today, I can offer some advice:
  • Try to engage in online communities which are small and not huge "behavioral analysis" machines (like our small community and others like it who do not operate a "surveillance capital" business model).
  • Try to use search engines which do not track your every click and scroll.
  • Try to avoid all the large social networks and look for smaller online communities; or build your own.
  • All of you have the power to build your own IT systems and networks, to create your own form of "instrumentarian power" (no matter how small it may seem). It is mind-boggling how much high quality free software is available to everyone on the planet. Use these gifts wisely to create your own networks and build your own future.
  • Do not let huge surveillance capital driven corporations determine your future. You have a choice. When you choose large social networks which are very commercial in nature, they must push the boundaries on what we consider "acceptable" to generate revenue from human behavioral exhaust.
  • Do not buy nor user IoT devices which require you to "register and login" to use. The next bit wave of "surveillance capitalism" is coming from IoT devices. Beware! Do you want "Big Other" knowing every time you open the refrigerator or turn on a light bulb? Just think of what behavior models "they" can and certainly will create and sell from all that IoT "behavioral exhaust" raw material.

The only way to "fight back" that I can think of is to build it yourself. Do not allow yourself to be dependent on being a member of a very large online community which is backed by big money. They all must depend on surveillance to turn a profit. Resist the "feeling" or the "need" to be a part of something much bigger than yourself (the huge online communities) and lower your dependance on them. Build your own "home automation" system. You don't need "the big others" do be a part of it. Build your own systems; it's easy and very inexpensive these days. Drop your dependance on "big tech and big networks doing it for you." Give up the "candy" and live a healthier life, for you, your family and your families future. Our children need for you to move away from dependance on "big tech". Build the tech you need, yourself.

Well, I have already said a lot on these connected topics.

Live Long and Prosper

Resist all forms of surveillance capitalism. The future depends on it.

Thanks for getting this far in a very important story.

These 6 Users Gave Thanks to Neo For This Post:
# 2  
Old 02-19-2020
Wow took me some time to read all... Thanks for your contribution Neo
This User Gave Thanks to vbe For This Post:
# 3  
Old 02-19-2020
Originally Posted by vbe
Wow took me some time to read all... Thanks for your contribution Neo
Welcome!I recommend reading or listening to the book I mentioned above. It is not for the faint of heart:

FYI:  Stack Overflow... seems there's quite a revolt of sorts going on over there and everywhere.-book_survelljpg
This User Gave Thanks to Neo For This Post:
# 4  
Old 02-20-2020
Hard to translate. So far I've realized that even time will be put up for auction soon Smilie
# 5  
Old 02-23-2020
Viewpoint: ‘We're living in an age of surveillance capitalism' | BBC Ideas(3 minutes) YouTube
# 6  
Old 02-23-2020
Originally Posted by nezabudka
Viewpoint: ‘We're living in an age of surveillance capitalism' | BBC Ideas(3 minutes) YouTube
Yes. That is correct. All of the big (multibillion) dollar social-media-based and search-based big tech companies make the vast majority of their money on the surveillance capital business model.

Since people are increasingly dependent (addicted would probably be a better term) on "free" social-media services and feel a human need to be a "part of a large social network" (or "not to be left out", or feel they are "missing out"); people exchange their privacy to be a part of the herd on social media and in search. This is "unstoppable". Pandora's box has already been opened wide and there is no turning back, I am afraid.

I have, in fact, experienced this, when I recently decided to stop YouTube from tracking me and recommending videos. Then, I found I could not "stand it" because YT is nearly unbearable (for me) unless it is recommending the latest Node-RED, ESP32, electronics, Arduino tutorials, arbitrary waveform generator videos, etc.

So, in fact, I found that when I tried to end the ability for YT to track and surveil all my online video-watching activities, I could not bear YT anymore, so I reversed course and permitted YT to track me again even though I well understand "surveillance capitalism" and what is going on (but I permit this to happen so I can get the YT recommendations I love every day). It's only only me. It's just about everyone. We are increasingly dependent on the surveillance capital business model because there are (so far) few viable alternatives.

Society is trading the illusion of privacy for the ease of use of "information networks" in all aspects of our daily lives. People say they want "privacy," but in reality they really want "information convenience" (more and more information relevant to them) ; and that is why the tech companies can grow to such wealth and power. It is precisely because the only raw material these "big other" corporation have to produce goods is from the behavioral exhaust (Zuboff) of online activity.

This new age of "instrumentarian power" as defined by Zuboff:

From the WIki:

Zuboff describes surveillance capitalism as an economic and social logic. Her book originates the concept of 'instrumentarian power', in contrast to totalitarian power. Instrumentarian power is a consequence of surveillance capitalist operations that threaten individual autonomy and democracy.
Since, I have come to believe, there is no way (and nor is their "human will") to stop surveillance capitalism and the rise of "instrumentarian power", one logical conclusion / direction is for individuals, group, communities, etc. is to create their own alternative "instrumentarian power" which is not a part "big other" surveillance capitalism.

In other words, one key viable path forward for human society, now in the early stages of the rise of instrumentarianism, is to create their own "DYI Instrumetarianism" (my term).

This is a very interesting topic and I think everyone should read Zuboff's book (or listen to the audio book). The problem is that, in Zuboff's book , her recommendation is for "the people to rise up" to try to force governments to regulate the big tech companies. In my opinion, it is far to too late for that and (anyway) it will not work in countries where where the government and industry are in a symbiotic surveillance capitalists relationship. Futhermore, as we are starting to see clearly, globally, the rise of instrumentarian power is making governments a more-than-a-bit obsolete and quite "old fashioned" anyway. Government power is becoming secondary to instrumentarian power.

Again, with so much amazing, powerful, free software to create IT applications and networks, the way ahead (according to my foggy crystal ball), is the rise of anti-surveillance capitalism via DYI Instrumentarianism.

This can also be viewed as an kind of " instrumentarianism arms race"

New terms I just introduced (derived) above, not directly in Zuboff's book (FYI):
  • DYI Instrumentarianism (DYII)
  • symbiotic surveillance capitalism
  • symbiotic surveillance capitalists
  • instrumentarianism arms race

However, if you search for "anti-surveillance capitalism" (which I just did for the first time), there are a lot of hits on this term.
These 2 Users Gave Thanks to Neo For This Post:
# 7  
Old 02-24-2020
Originally Posted by Neo
However, if you search for "anti-surveillance capitalism"...
No, I'm just trying to find an easy way to understand not simple things.
Thanks so much for your clarification.
This User Gave Thanks to nezabudka For This Post:
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