Where are we going Google?
Since the arrival of Internet we have seen great shifts in society. Technology networks now enable hyper-efficiencies. The growth landscape now belongs to those who can macro manage faster data streams and disrupt industry on global scale.
Driven by technological advantage, our present cycle ruthlessly optimizes the system. But are we driving headfirst into a new poverty?
Make a purchase on Amazon, and your capital is taken out of your community.
Buy a device from Apple or shoes from Nike and to support low paid jobs in far flung countries.
When you load your data onto Facebook or Google, you’re not being paid. You’re being sold.
Can the small local guys ever really compete?
Like it or not, today’s world is globalised. This has been driven by network technology. Businesses use the network for productivity gains and consumers for information access.
Collectively, we spend aeons on the network. We build data, share stories and discover. But does this time equate into a better standard of life?
Most of us gawk, hawk and squawk online but has that mouse and keyboard made you rich yet? For the most part we spend time and earn nothing.
Almost all money on the web is advertising, sales and marketing. We’re spending not earning. And for all the time we spend online, we’re producing ideas and communication but not commodity value.
Our new ways to spend time are not enriching the worlds people. We still live in an economy that must grow or it will crash. And in the network we trade and even grow virtual goods, we share stories, music, films & software. But where is the cash out?
Add up all the man hours and online labor is insignificant. There is still yet no real peer to peer economy online. And that’s making us poorer. For all the hype about revolutionary communication networks, we’re still in amateur hour.
The economy at large has deflated whilst tech companies build businesses on your personal data. Did you agree to sell your profile, preferences and location to advertisers trying to get a step ahead?
This digital slavery is a missed opportunity. The Information Age will not bring pure democracy until real world society gains from your next tweet, tag, like, comment… etc.
But today the new technology advantage concentrates networking power on commercial surveillance. Google know everything about you and you are their product. Allured by efficient software, people add more data into the system. And so the companies make bigger smarter systems and new improved ways to sell you stuff. It’s a great way to drive consumption. But the entire network is just one big sales tool.
Whilst we are free to fascinate within Google’s library, we’re not earning. People cannot live on SEO alone. The deeper forms of democratic medium go unheralded. Our capital redistributed far away. Our ecosystem under resourced. Our time squandered.
For a good life people must benefit from their efforts. For online networks to be human sustainable, we need capital flows to develop in far broader context. We must place value on the ideas, imagination, romance and generosity that we as human beings endow.
But we’re just mainlining consumption. All the latest technologies are paid purely to sell more shit. Streamline this economy much further and we will bankrupt ourselves or the planet.
The virtual wallet is the next big thing. Install once and hey presto, it’s easier to buy more stuff. And all your receipts can be tracked so companies can use the data to sell more shit. Good for business. Bad for humanity.
We don’t need more plastic junk? We don’t need an easier way to spend more money. We need to ways to make money work harder. We need to circulate money faster in local cycles.
Where are we going Google? Are you just building a wallet or can you build a new economy? Let’s try and fill the wallet, not empty it.