By now the agenda of Silicon Valley and the Seattle region is crystal clear- exploit and indoctrinate the end user.
It almost sounds like a radical slogan out of the totalitarian regimes of Maoist China and Stalinist Russia, in keeping the upside down societal order in check, by simply eliminating the will of the worker to exercise individual freedoms. In adding insult to injury, Google and the other massive conglomerates of advertising agencies disguised as social networking empires, are so ingrained within the bureaucratic nightmare of the federal government, that accountability remains a concept as foreign to the modern digital culture of instant gratification as reason serves in the critical thought process employed by a vast majority of millennials. Throw into the volatile mix, the inability of the mainstream media to practice fair and balanced journalism in forwarding a toxic, unfair and regressive dialogue highlighted by the omission of right of center content, and the entire press should simply congeal into a single newsroom referred to as, “Trump is truly sexist”, with the synonym of the acronym aptly describing the inanity of reporters and editors.
In throwing high octane gasoline on the current dumpster fire in deconstructing truth, The Verge shares the latest campaign by Google in an attempt to completely isolate and ignore one side of the political spectrum, with the release of an insidiously sneaky automated news app. Didn’t F*&(book already dabble into the whole deliberate algorithm thing? This is the same Google that saves CIA-grade dossiers of every user chalk full of personal information, the same corporate entity that fired a worker for sending out an inter-office memo voicing concerns over a systemic attack on conservative viewpoints festering in a culture of intolerance, the same organization that receives heavy government subsidies, and finally the same tech firm that has been criticized for influencing a biased trending news feed, in a reckless and egregious manner rivaling the efforts of Zuckerberg and the F*&(book brass. And this abbreviated laundry list of indiscretions does not even include the massive search engine’s experimentation with controversial self-driving car technologies. Even though the company has contributed an array of monumental innovations to search technology, artificial intelligence, mapping software and productive interfaces for the academic and business world, the ulterior motive of the software development galaxy simply boils down to control.
Allegedly, the news app will “learn” the preferences of a customer in further data mining efforts and offer paid subscription services for exclusive content. There is no word out yet on the specific consequences a customer faces, if the app decides to dislike the account owner based on choice of content. Will this result in a full-scale Hal 9000 space horror love triangle homicide, or will the phone simply utter an insult, before the screen gently dissolves into a perpetual sleep mode. Siri can cure be a bitch at times. Wait. Is that sexist?
With the recent alarming trend of tech companies reckless in protecting the personal data of users, including the monumental and inexcusable crises at Twitter, where hundreds of millions of accounts were potentially exposed to the precarious digital wastelands of the criminal hacking community, why anyone would put their faith in adding another security weakness to a phone or device is beyond comprehension. However, that is exactly what Google is banking on, as more data equates to more net worth and bountiful profits.
Again, in the immortal words describing the current environment of software environment, “No, nothing can go wrong here, blank, blank, blank.” No, nothing can go wrong here, when a known biased entity develops the ultimate Trojan horse to invade a virtual personal assistant, while promoting all of the ominous quasi-journalistic dinosaur organizations pushing the agenda to fracture the nation and employ an ideology that is the antithesis to exercising personal liberties.
Of course, at the center of the conundrum is that the decentralized vastness of the internet simply offers too many choices for the consumer, and the majority favor familiarity over exploring a plethora of suitable alternatives, a reality that can cause discomfort and wariness. Google and the other heavy hitters are well aware of a widespread aversion of true technological immersion and rely on the fear of the unknown in keeping a brand name stranglehold on the marketplace. The ugly phenomenon is illustrated by the presence of search engine Duckduckgo. Even though the platform offers a search experience similar to Google in speed and quality, and guarantees that personal information will not be stored, end users habitually default to the more well-known name, despite repeated concerns over privacy.
As tech companies profit from the natural human inclination of being naturally resistant to change, the idea that the software world is based on reshaping the future by controlling the current and past flow of information, creates the perfect storm typified by the alarming phrase, “one click we’re in and we win,” a disconcerting product of a world driven by the instant gratification for interaction.
And for God’s sake, please live a little bit and start internet searches on duckduckgo, the logo alone makes the visit worthwhile.
Read the Verge column here.