Who Owns the Internet? — What Big Tech’s Monopoly Powers Mean for our Culture | The New Yorker

Who Owns the Internet? — What Big Tech’s Monopoly Powers Mean for our Culture, also appearing in non-clickbait non-machine readable settings (i.e. in paper-print) as “The Content of No Content”; Elizabeth Kolbert (bio); In The New Yorker; 2017-08-28.
Teaser: What Big Tech’s monopoly powers mean for our culture.

tl;dr → a paean to the two jeremiads.

Occasion

Book Promotion

Irony

Each reference in the original article points at Amazon.
Why?
Because she can; because it is easy. And, most importantly: what else could she do?

Does this obviate the argument presented?
Of course.

Scope

GAFA, attributed to “the Europeans”
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Apple

Mentions

The Victorian Internet

By way of convention in these things, requisite throat clearing: a story, a parable, concerning the election of 1876 wherein the Republicans, once before had lost the popular vote but “stole” the election with subtrefuge, misdirection, technical trickery and outright dishonesty. To wit:

  • 1876-11-07,
  • Lucy Hayes, Mrs. Rutherford B Hayes.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Samuel J. Tilden, Democrat, candidate for President (he lost).
  • Electoral College.
  • William Henry Smith
    “ran” the “western arm” Associated Press
  • Collusion, there was.
  • Western Union
    a “monopoly” over telgraph lines
  • The election is thrown into dispute.
  • “Hayesociated Press”
  • 1877-03-05, the New York Sun appeared with a black border on the front page.
  • 1877-03-07, Rutherford B. Hayes is inaugurated.
  • <quote>History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.</quote>, attributed to Mark Twain.

Offenders

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
    • Google Books
    • YouTube
  • Napster, deceased

Pantheon

Moguls
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Dale Andrew Carnegie
  • Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer, Facebook.
  • Mark Zuckerberg
Entertainers
  • Judy Collins
  • Bob Dylan
  • Levon Helm, drummer, The Band
  • George Harrison, sponsor, The Concert for Bangladesh.

Legislation

  • Digital Media Copyright Act
  • Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
    • Jimi Wales’ Wiki
    • 2011-Fall
    • Sponsors
      • Senator Marco Rubio, FL
      • Someone else
    • Backers
      • National District Attorneys Association
      • National League of Cities,
      • Association of Talent Agencies
      • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
    • 2012-02, Google acts: the black search page.

Offenses

  • “The Koch brothers” are bad, per Jonathan Taplin.
  • Google is bad, like “The Koch brothers”, per Jonathan Taplin.
  • The Huffington Post (a.k.a. HuffPost) stands accused of pilfering aggregating “content” by Franklin Foer.
  • Newspapers are good,
    exemplars of such goodness:
  • The Washington Times
  • The Washington Post.
  • Big Tech
  • Facebook, is bad
  • paywalls, are good.

Stolley’s Law

  • Attributed to Dick Stolley, in “the nineteen-eighties.”
  • Dick Stolley, was founding editor of People
  • A formula for magazine cover images
    • Young is better than old.
    • Pretty is better than ugly.
    • Rich is better than poor.
    • Movies are better than music.
    • Music is better than television.
    • Television is better than sports.
    • And anything is better than politics.

On “Virality”

  • Chartbeat,
    automates Stolley’s Law.
  • Cecil The Lion, 2015, shot, arrow, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, a dentist, from Minnesota.
  • Donald Trump
  • <quote>Trump began as Cecil the Lion, and then ended up president of the United States</quote>, attributed to Franklin Foer.

Recitation

  • Stewart Brand
  • Ken Kesey
    dropping a lot of acid
  • The Whole Earth Catalog
  • Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (WELL)
  • Rolling Stone, 1972
  • a prediction of “no more [need for] editors”, attributed to Stewart Brand
Vignette on the “Virality”
Something about politics and money…
  • Silicon Valley
  • Hillary Clinton.
  • Democratic National Committee
  • e-mails (But her emails? No, their emails, via Russia)
  • Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer, Facebook.
  • John Podesta, campaign chairman, Hilary Clinton 2016.
  • listicles
  • fake news
  • Beqa Latsabidze
    • age 22
    • undergraduate, computer-science
    • Tbilisi
  • A traffic generation scheme
    • Pro-Hillary Clinton generates revenue.
    • Pro-Donald Trunp generates revenue.
    • <quote>For me, this is all about income<quote>, attributed to Beqa Latsabidze.

Anti-Trust Action

  • European Union
  • Google
  • $2.7-billion fine.
  • United States, Department of Justice
  • A.T. & T.,
  • Alleged
    Violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • Result
    • Consent decree
    • Signed 1956
    • A.T. & T. to license all the patents of Bell Labs, for a small fee.
Recital
  • The transistor.
  • The salubrious effect.
Claimed

Google in 2016 is like A.T.&T . in 1956.

Remediation

  • The craft workers must seize the means of production, attributed to Jonathan Like.
  • The parable of the artisanal cheesemakers, <quote>The culture industries need to present themselves as the organic alternative, a symbol of status and aspiration. Subscriptions are the route away from the aisles of clickbait. <snip>admonition to read a book</snip> If the tech companies hope to absorb the totality of human existence, then reading on paper is one of the few slivers of life that they can’t fully integrate”, attributed to Franklin Foer.

Exemplars

  • Magnum Photos
    • founded 1947
    • Robert Capa
    • Henri Cartier-Bresson
    • and others.

Contra Getty Images and Corbis.

Previously

In The New Yorker

 

He’s at that awkward age—too old to be cute, but not dead yet.

“He’s at that awkward age—too old to be cute, but not dead yet.”

 

The Coming Tech-Lash | The Economist

Adrian Wooldrich; The Coming Tech-Lash; In The Economist; 2013-11-18.
Teaser: The tech elite will join bankers and oilmen in public demonology, predicts Adrian Wooldridge

Mentions

As a litany of an indictment.

  • <quote>So far they have succeeded in protecting themselves from the tax authorities and shareholders alike.</quote>
  • <quote>Geeks have turned out to be some of the most ruthless capitalists around.</quote>
  • <quote>They employ remarkably few people</quote>
  • <quote>At the same time the tech tycoons have displayed a banker-like enthusiasm for hoovering up public subsidies and then avoiding taxes.</quote>
  • <quote>But tech giants have structured their businesses so that they give as little back as possible.</quote>
  • <quote>Top techies are upping their profile in politics. This is partly by design: they are employing an army of Washington lobbyists to advance their interests.</quote>