Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thank you for Facebooking!

Reviewing my posts on Facebook, I find that my earliest post on Facebook's business model goes back to October 2010.  More than seven years ago!

In that post, I commented about one of the most popular games that people were playing, at that time, in Faccebook--Farmville.  I could not understand why people were wasting their time tending to their virtual farms, wasting time and money on it.  When a student talked to me about Farmville, I told her about the millions that were made by the game makers (with Facebook getting a commission) but, "I didn't tell her that according to Zynga all the Farmville players in Facebook are considered as beta testers of the game."

Facebook users have always been the "raw material" that in so many different ways provided the company with dollar generating avenues.  If the users were stupid enough to play games and take quizzes that are clickbaits, well, they were forgetting that fundamental aspect of the market economy: Caveat emptor!

In July 2011, I wrote about the first of many posts in which I warned myself--and any interested reader--about how Facebook and other tech companies were mining us for data.

And there are more.  Plenty of posts.

Which is why I am not even a little bit surprised that Facebook's user data was (mis)used by cambridge analytica in the trump election.  Even a nincompoop like me was well aware that our data was out there for Facebook to monetize.  Tell me something new!

What we are forgetting in all this new-found (haha) wisdom about Facebook is that every big tech company deals with this same shit.  Some merely pretend to be holier than others.  But, they are all after the same thing--to know more and more about us, what we do, where we go, who we talk to, and more, and all these go into the developing the truly next big thing.  And that next big thing that will mess up our life more than we can imagine?  Artificial intelligence.

In a future world of AI, even dissent won't be possible.  Where would we possibly hide away in order to organize protests and plot against the government or a corporation, when our every move and every word that we speak and write will be tracked?  You can now see that precogs are just round the corner :(

We are fucked, folks.  But, there is no going back either.  Enjoy the ride, as they say!