doctorow — 2014-07-05T10:39:25-04:00 — #1
vonbobo — 2014-07-05T11:38:01-04:00 — #2
kimmo — 2014-07-05T11:50:11-04:00 — #3
Our biggest problem globally is general disenfranchisement and a lack of democracy and accountability from our alleged representatives. This is the single biggest obstacle standing in the way of even being able to start seriously tackling any one of our rapidly impending existential crises.
This tragic state of affairs is facilitated by this stuff called money, which in its current form is pretty much just essence of scam.
It's pretty sad to think the that almost our entire species is enslaved by this stuff, except for those doing the enslaving, and it's fucking imaginary.
Isn't it about time we got our shit together and came up with something clever? Surely we can crowdsource an end-run around the scum... if we can get enough folks on board, we could just, sidestep half of this... bullshit.
In fact, I know someone who has the germ of an idea.
Over to you, @William_Holz.
jman — 2014-07-05T12:38:39-04:00 — #4
This is a perfectly stated and balanced summary of the current state of affairs. I don't think enough people realize how far Russia has devolved over the past ten years or so. Russia has become a proto-facist state and Cory correctly outlines how they will use the latest spying revelations as an excuse to further deteriorate what little political freedoms the Russians now have.
anonymaus — 2014-07-05T13:03:45-04:00 — #5
What happens if you don't put your servers in Russia?
Will they just block you, or is there a risk of an American or other westerner getting extradited to face charges under Russian law.
jman — 2014-07-05T13:45:45-04:00 — #6
They'll just block it, like China and Iran.
retepslluerb — 2014-07-05T14:09:34-04:00 — #7
I think I'd actually give a duck if I didn't know that all my data stored on American servers were basically open to the NSA and related services, with them using our own services to spy on me domestically.
So frankly, I don't give a duck, especially since the Russians are exposed to censorship regardless of where their data is stored.
theloverspeaks — 2014-07-05T16:51:19-04:00 — #8
This seems like a fine time to revive the term "useful idiots". I'm not sure if there's much that's useful about the sort of executives who would become complicit in this, but they definitely look like idiots from here.
ygret — 2014-07-05T17:28:48-04:00 — #9
Russia is as Russia has been for centuries. The reason Russian governments are so corrupt and wield power so mercilessly is that the people for the most part accept this treatment. The fatalism and "realism" of the Russian people mean nothing ever changes for the better, no matter what political system is currently being inflicted on them.
Culture is everything.
ygret — 2014-07-05T17:30:01-04:00 — #10
Not likely. Unless they want to give us Snowden in exchange for her .
ygret — 2014-07-05T17:36:48-04:00 — #11
Honestly, this is the sick logic of "shareholders uber alles". CEO's and upper management feel compelled to expand into every possible market for fear stock prices will fall. Since their compensation is directly tied to stock price they gear everything towards that goal, which is of course short-sighted and in fact runs counter to the way these corporations used to run. Until the 1970's shareholders were way down the list of priorities, below long term health of the company, the employees, the law... its only in recent decades that we've started seeing this short term idiotic behavior from our largest corporations. Despite the fact that shareholders technically "own" the firm, just take a look at what happens if a firm goes bankrupt to see who really owns what: shareholders lose their investment first. The bondholders are the real owners, which is one reason the shareholders/stock price primacy is so ridiculous. Its long past time for upper management pay to be structured around long term goals. This will remove the apparently irresistible drive towards short termism and stupid moves like selling out to China/Russia.
melted_crayons — 2014-07-05T17:53:43-04:00 — #12
And the origin of most of this is greed. As vocal as some major organized religions are about selected political issues today, none of them are speaking out about greed.
bwv812 — 2014-07-05T18:15:26-04:00 — #13
Yeah, but the NSA isn't going to criminalize or confiscate the property of Russian gay-rights activists, political opponents, muckrakers, etc.
I bet that the short-term focus on profits correlates pretty well with the proportion of the public that owns stocks.
And how is this different than how anything else is owned? If I go bankrupt, who gets my house: me, or the mortgage company? If my business goes bankrupt, who loses their investment first: me, or the bank who gave me the loan?
Owners bear the losses and reap the gains. Debtors are the last to lose, but their upside is contractually limited (usually to interest).
walterplinge — 2014-07-05T18:30:15-04:00 — #14
Yep, those Russians are suffering from some serious fatalism. If only we could inject them with some American exceptionalism or British phlegmatism, they'd all get better!
In the distant future, when armchair anthropology becomes the queen of all sciences, the last remnants of our dying civilization will build a monument to cultural relativism, and on the pedestal these words appear: "Culture is everything". Of course, by that point, earthlings will have long been enslaved by the sentient crab people, so that will be of little consolation.
namenotreserved — 2014-07-05T20:13:16-04:00 — #15
Can anyone explain to me why internet companies cannot simply keep their infrastructure outside of Russia and just thumb their noses at Putin? If they don't have any employees in Russia, how can Russia do anything to them?
bobtato — 2014-07-05T20:46:54-04:00 — #16
Actually the Church of England periodically does speak on this subject, which is to its credit, but the message is more than a little diluted by the fact that it's an integral part of the British state.
bobtato — 2014-07-05T21:03:36-04:00 — #17
It seems like this would be the best thing to hope for. If the biggest foreign businesses stood firm, the Russian government would have to either back down or shut off a significant chunk of the internet for their citizens. Apparently "patriotism" has a lot of sway over Russians, but still, wasn't the selling point of the post-Soviet regime supposed to be that you could have nice things now?
retepslluerb — 2014-07-06T00:02:35-04:00 — #18
Yes, but as I wrote, the Russians are subject to this anyway,
I know perfectly way that the NSA isn't going to put me on their drone target list because I say critical things about the USA on this extremist board, yet I still detest that they record anything I do on the net - with the help on our own spies, who help them assassinate “suspects” by providing additional data.
retepslluerb — 2014-07-06T00:04:27-04:00 — #19
Yes, that's why so many East Germans opted for reunification, even though the NSA has more data on them than the Stasi ever did.
kimmo — 2014-07-06T00:17:26-04:00 — #20
Culture is everything. It's the reason we in the 'west' let our politicians, bankers, media moguls, 'entrepreneurs', and other scum of the rich list employ less and less subtlety about pissing in our faces each year. And I'm pretty sure @Ygret would be among the first to point out the gaping flaws in our own culture...
Look, of course it's easy to get carried away with cultural relativism (see colonialism, the cold war, etc), but that doesn't mean for a moment it isn't a thing. Nothing was ever achieved by people sitting around playing my PC-ness is bigger than yours on this score, because throwing one's hands up in the air regarding value judgements on elements of culture is a fucking profoundly useless position to take.
Cultural equivalence is logically absurd, but I guess you need to care more about reality than what others think of you to tell.
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