3v + merlin integrated media

research + understand + manage | tech + social change + risk


big data is ours

The strangest thing about the business models of both search (google), and social media (facebook, twitter, amazon, etc) is that a lot of money is made from your private information, and all you get in return is some database lists with e-commerce attached, free email, chat, and a few webpages. And you aren't told what happens to your personal information.

Oh, and you get connected to people you know, or who are like you. All which you did quite well using email and lists without facebook, google and friends ( for a long time before they arrived on the scene).

That's the deal, and it's a lousy one. It's a scam.

The services provided work out to around USD $8.25 per month (AUD $10.75)*, but the big data psychographics and weaponisation of user (that's to say your private) information (cf. Cambridge Analytica, SCM, and Palantir, etc) businesses makes USD $22.50 per month per user (AUD $29.30 per month) and that's where their enormous profits come from each year. From your data. From you. From your private information and activities. You get little or no money in return and should get a whole lot more. Not just money, but respect.

You lose USD $14.25 (AUD $19.50 - and rising) each month, so that others can profit from your personal and private information, ideas, and likes. If you have a good idea on social media Mark Zuckerberg owns it.

3v mobile nets

It's like a poker game you're in with all the cards being held by people you DON'T know.

As the saying goes, "look around the poker table; if you can’t see the sucker, you’re it". Or, to put it another way, "you are the product" on social media.

Behind the scenes, social media *big* data has been weaponised by defense firms that target (profile) "terrorists" by their social online activities (such as card transactions, facebook posts and likes, and use of social chat spaces like Messenger, etc) and their mobile phone GSM coordinates, treating all of us (citizens) as potential "terrorists" (cf the movie Priority Report, etc).

In Australia (and we have to suspect in the US as well) this new Nanny State vehicle surveillance technology records our images from 200 or more yards away as we approach the cameras. They look for: are we holding a phone, a joint, a gun, etc . They think this warrants the same aggressive action by police to pull you over and arrest you!

Nice civics huh? In a similar way highway cameras peer into our cars from a long distance to see - using image/facial analysis - if we have paid our fines, tax, where we have, been what political parties we are associated with and whether we should be where we are! Talk about a Liberal/Country Party Nanny State! This goes way beyond pub, greyhound and stadium closures, at this rate we are likely talking about cameras in our bedrooms in a few month's time!

A reasonable observer may look at this and say "this is just a giant scam".

*these are indicative figures derived from recent company reports, rival offers for the businesses, and recent US court cases.

social control networks

Our social networks were once solely provided by family, the 'village', religion, and government, and fulfilled many civic duties for the common good, or as Nugget Coombes would have it, "the Commonwealth".

The real "users" or owners of social networks - like the high rollers or "whales" at casinos - are the most powerful and the wealthiest people in the world - and their interests have little to do with you or with anyone using the network.

Now social networks are secretly used by the most powerful people in the world, such as Trump, Putin, the Koch brothers, and Robert Mercer, to - through fake news confusion and propaganda - control the body politic and the public while the wealth of our nations is drained - rather than any Washington swamps - by the New Kleptocrats who pay little tax, and want the tax to be lowered still further until little remains of our common wealth and the nation. Then money - not a government - controls society.

ancient networks 3v

This is a classic example of a lack of appropriate regulation where oligopolies "own" the new frontier before the sheriff comes to the new town. Worse, through politicians such as Trump and Turnbull, they deny the sheriff a job. The idea of the internet democratising our world may just, after all, be another kind of propaganda or fake news.

A reasonable observer may look at this and say "this is just a giant scam".