(China is, in that connection, an interesting case study. China attempting to be a totalitarian system that is transforming itself into an authoritarian one. It remaining to be seen if this can be managed.)That all said, in most of what has historically been the West, there is little reason to believe that there is a move toward totalitarianism. The tools of control are too uncertain, the civil society and the economic system too vibrant to make it likely. This not to say that a certain caution is to be observed. One of the ironies of modern technology is that while it makes state control more difficult as a practical matter, it tends to reinforce the very human habit of people to live in their own mental universe. Thus, making possible - at least in theory though it has not yet been seen in practice - a more insidious form of social control. Thus not for nothing did George Washington say that, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." That said, at least at this moment in time, there is little to suggest that the West is heading toward an incipient totalitarianism or indeed even authoritarianism.
But social control from big corporations like Facebook can be a new kind of totalitarianism where corporations are dictating rather than government. And they are doing this wisely by manipulating people to enjoy being socially controlled
@Broken_doll Except that there is precious little evidence that they exert such control. What, in fact, is happening, is that as the technology has advanced it has individualized. Thus people are not reading to learn and analyze, but to confirm their pre-existing biases. Where Facebook or any other similar entity does not feed that bias, it carries minimal weight. This being my point above that the new technology tends to reinforce the very human habit of people living in their own heads. The nature of the technology being that there will be a market for new platforms and media where a pre-existing bias is not satisfied.In this then the new technologies are more effect than cause. Though of course this is a reciprocal and ever ongoing process.
There's much more control than people think, otherwise Mark Fuckenberg wouldn't have been on trial for promoting fake news
@Broken_doll Then please do provide some studies or other examples to illustrate the point. Also. Mr. Zuckerberg was not on trial. The problem being, at the moment, that an attempt was made to apply "equal time standards" that used to apply to the television networks but were repealed by the Reagan Administration to social media. That effort was defeated.
Facebook invests highly on facial recognition systems and other biometrics to track us. I don't have to paste a link, you can Google this. It's pretty common.
@Broken_doll You are making the case, so prove it. The Federal government invests in facial recognition technology as an anti-terrorism weapon and has had its use limited and curtailed by both the courts and Congress. About as it should work.Seriously, if I might, you would do well to remember Walter Bagheot's remark, "A diffuse distrust and an indiscriminate suspicion are characteristic of a semi-barbarous people." All life is practiced on a slippery slope and any policy must have prudential limits placed upon it. However, in a society where the President of the United States is routinely and publicly called a warmonger, a racist and much worse to boot, that is hardly indicative of an incipient totalitarian state. Indeed, this I promise you. No one dared ever say that anything like that publicly about Stalin. If you want to see how totalitarian states handle dissent, that might be a good example for to compare to the United States.
I didn't say we were a totaltarian state, I said we're heading there. Only it'll be run by corporations. I can't post links on here because I'm not at a high enough level. It's not hard to Google Facebook and facial recognition
@Broken_doll Please show examples. A declarative sentence, by itself, does not a case make. Certainly, based on the evidence of the moment, the vitriol in our politics - criticism of the President being one measure of that - is going wildly upward. Not downward.That hardly suggests an incipient totalitarian state. This before we get to questions of culture, extant law and all the rest.
Here you are vox. com/future-perfect/2019/9/4/20849307/facebook-facial-recognition-privacy-zuckerberg
@Broken_doll So? People objected to the technology and so they are changing its use. That hardly amounts to creeping totalitarianism. Indeed, quite the reverse. Moreover, you have the FTC stepping in on behalf of the public's privacy. What totalitarian state does that?Beyond that, you seem to have a wildly simplistic view of how societies move toward totalitarianism. Look at any of the examples of states that became totalitarian. I would ask you to then point out how they compare to the contemporary United States. You do not find very many parallels in their history and social development.If you do, kindly point them out.
They might have changed its use--for now, but they were getting away with it without permission, and I'm sure there are other things they do in secret too.What causes a totaltarian state in history is fear. Fear put Hitler in power
@Broken_doll Please believe me. I am genuinely sorry, but I just cannot follow your first point. There is no clear antecedent to it and I just cannot follow you.As to your second point, that is a description of a totalitarian state. It does NOT explain the social and other conditions that typically facilitate the development of such a state. That is much more complex. Just as a starting point, I direct you to the studies of Will and Ariel Durant. There are other social and cultural predicates beyond even those that the Durants point to. See also, France, 1789. Russia, 1917. Italy, 1922. Germany, 1933. Spain, 1939. China, 1949 for other historical examples. Track what circumstance those cultures had in common and then please explain in some detail how they track with the contemporary United States.
The reason social media develops facial recognition and other profiling technology is not to feed people's egos or give them a better experience, it's to get all the information from someone as possible so they can sell it to marketers and data mining companies
@Broken_doll You are fixating on a tool and only potentially a symptom. Please address the broader questions that I have put to you.Any tool can be misused. By your logic we should have banned the telephone, the radio and the automobile. The question is how a tool will be used, what effects using it will have and what are the cultural and social indicators suggesting that it will be so used in a fashion conducive to the establishment of the totalitarian government that you suggest we are facing.
These tools that you are suggesting are minor or misused are the ones that push us into a totaltarian society.Facial recognition and social media is HUGE profit. Why? Because the information is sold to marketers and the government can now use it to profile people and there has been an increase in racial profiling since. If Hitler had this technology along with location tracking, there would be way more casualties. Thus, it's a tool to help totaltarian advancement
@Broken_doll To repeat, please show examples of where that is the case in the United States. Compare it to the historical and cultural precedents that have lent themselves to totalitarianism in the past.To borrow from your own analogy. Why, for example, did radio lend itself to totalitarianism in 1930s Germany, but not in Britain or the United States? What was the difference? Why did the same essential technologies produce such radically different outcomes?You are chasing phantoms. You are proffering simplified, not to say simplistic, explanations for complex phenomenon. Then backing it up with mere slogans. This is not analysis on your part. It is mere emotion masquerading as thought.
I'll give you an example. The data mining company Viant bought MySpace so they could have all the user info to sell it to marketersIt would be difficult to compare modern day totalitarianism to history when we are so technologically advanced now. The tools are here (social media), and sometimes the tools could come before totalitarianism.In the past, totalitarianism came before the tools. For instance, radio and media were transformed into propaganda tools in Germany. But social media doesn't have to be transformed because its sole purpose is to data mine
@Broken_doll So? How is that totalitarianism? Marketing has been around since the 19th century - if really not before. So why does this technology change it? In what way does it subvert your will or conduce to the exercise of power against your will.As to your latter point, how is that? The radio was the social media of its day. The printing press before that. Television after that.Again, different tools in different circumstances. You STILL are not addressing the question of how one tool in one social and cultural context had a different effect and purpose in another. Presumably you seem to assume that the use of a tool is preordained in its use and effect.One more time, answer the question I put to you.
Corporations couldn't purchase political power if there was no political power to be sold.
@ShortCircuit exactly. That's why I'm anti-government and anti-corporation. They will kill off the human race, like they have been doing but without responsibility
Fair, but I think you're being too hard on corporations and not hard enough on the state. You and I can choose not to do business with corporations. We can't choose not to do business with the state.
I upvoted too soon! What damage will 5g do to people? It certainly doesn't give people a virus.
Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions