Amazon’s history seems to belie this claim. For more than a decade, Wall Street allowed the company to plow any profits into price discounts. Partly as a result, Amazon has grown so large that it can undercut other companies just by announcing that it will soon compete with them. When Amazon purchased Whole Foods, its market cap rose by $15.6 billion—some $2 billion more than it paid for the chain. Meanwhile, the rest of the grocery industry immediately lost $37 billion in market value. (Amazon protests that it has no control over how investors value its competitors.)
When a company has such power, Khan believes, it will almost inevitably wield that power far and wide, distorting not just the market itself, but the whole of American life. With sufficient power, companies can commission studies, rewrite regulations, bulldoze neighborhoods, and impoverish education and welfare systems by securing billions in sweetheart tax cuts. When a company comes to monopolize a market—when it grows so big that it can threaten other industries just by entering them—it ceases to be merely a company. It becomes an institution so powerful that it can rule over people like a government.
Members of the IndieWeb community are building tools to try to make moving your web presence off the corporate web easier, giving you more control over your digital identity. I like to think of the IndieWeb as a way of trying to regain the democratic ideals of early Web 2.0. IndieWeb wants us all to have a web presence that we own and control. We can still use tools like Twitter and Facebook to bring us together but we publish our content first on our own web sites and then decide where we want to share them.
The EU is responding to consumers who feel ripped off. They're tired of having their data stripmined and their attention stolen ... Marketers don't have to race to the bottom. It's better at the top.
Imagine a future state, one of multiple citizenships, so i can be a Citizen of the UK, a Citizen of Apple, and a Citizen of Lego, not traversing physical borders to move from one to the other, but rather conceptual, or internalised ones. Each providing real utility, it’s own type of ‘space’, and each giving us it’s own component of culture. Perhaps in this model, ‘Culture’ becomes a meta entity that we each construct, through a combination of our geolocation within space, and our subscriptions online.
Moments like the one we’re in don’t come often. While advocacy groups who deeply understand the intricacies of online data-collection wait and see what happens with privacy regulation, the news environment is going to move on. They’ll miss their chance. Maybe that’s what they want.
Another interesting listen, with so much to reflect upon.
One thing that stood out though was Will Richardson’s reference to “a post shared on LinkedIn and Facebook.” I wonder if this is the ‘Modern’ world, one ruled by platform capitalism? If:
We need to stop “playing around the edges” and make changes that really get to the core
then I wonder if this is really the core?
I understand our focus should be about ‘learning’, but if there is anything to come out of the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations, then it is surely that we need a better model moving forward.
The future may not involve everyone to #DeleteFacebook, but I would hope that those leading technological change would lead the way? I have the same concern about Anil Dash writing about the open web in a post on Medium. For me, the future is the IndieWeb, for others it is a Domain of One’s Own. I think that both of these discussions touch upon the idea of a canonical URL.
Perhaps then when inside of social platforms people would not so easily give away their data and when they did they would have a better understanding of the scope. What if we were really transparent with the data that learning systems have about students and focused on making the student aware of the existence of their data and emphasised their ownership over their data? What if we taught data literacy to the student with their own data? If decades ago we would have focused on student agency and ownership over platforms and analytics I wonder if Cambridge Analytica would have even had a product to sell to political campaigns let alone ever been a big news story.