The Rich and the Normal


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/22/i-ricchi-e-i-poveri.html

A few weeks ago, the Italian people finally broke the political framework that dates to the end of World War II. The M5S Five Stars Movement, a party without a heritage, won the most popular votes. The M5S has been on a wave of growth since winning mayoral control of some Italian cities.


#2

I’m just waiting for their super-yachts’ Electronic Chart Display System autopilot navigation system to get hacked by cyber-pirates looking for a YUUUGE pay off. I mean, it’s been done already with a commercial ship (though only for ten hours or so and, ultimately unsuccessful–unless it was just a test), so who’s to say?


#3

Many pleasure boat navigation systems are vulnerable but the insanely wealthy usually have better security teams than the average shipping company. They will update or replace the systems or just not use the vessel if it’s a real risk.


#4

But the LULZ!

However you are correct about the laziness of shipping companies when it comes to cybersecurity. They’ve been stepping up recently, but the tendency towards putting profit over common-sense concerns is the cause of their latency.

Speaking of “the LULZ,” where there is a will, there is a way. And a good defense costs more than a good offense.


#5

I’m not sure what this means. In Italy, the status quo is (was) a disaster. The old mainstream parties all succumbed to neoliberal dogma, and let things fall apart. No infrastructure investment, no social safety net, goodby middle class. So a radical break with the past is essential. The question is whether any of the new populist parties have a blueprint that could bring about an equitable, sustainable society. The 5 star movement at least has a promising platform (modulo its nativist stance on migrants) - the five stars are: public water, sustainable transport, sustainable development, right to Internet access, and environmentalism.

So remind me again why this is worse than the status quo?


#6

According to this Independent article,

“Its programme includes plans for “drastic” cuts to corporate taxes, slashing red tape and guaranteeing a minimum monthly income of up to 780 £685) euros for the poor …”

I’m guessing that the libertarian draining of the State’s revenue system will perpetually postpone that whole ‘universal income’ bit, and the libertarian ‘cut red tape’ part might just render the environmental tidbit unfeasible. So we’re left with just hoping that they keep their word about not following through on the whole anti-immigrant, isolationist, italexit thing.

But hey! A comedian and bucking the system! What’s not to love?


#7

Let’s see. Who to boil in oil. The insanely wealthy, or the average shipping company. Hmm. Quite the conundrum. Quite the quandary. Such confusion.


#8

Depends on your goals. If it’s money then the container ship is a safer and easier quick buck than holding somebody for ransom. If you just want to tear down the .0001% then a grenade or rocket launcher is way easier than being a l33t hax0r.


#9

*ding ding ding*
Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Here’s the deal, some of these jokers think they can outlive the poor folks if Thiel and company are right about longevity medicine. And sadly, I think they’re right too. So expect more of this inhumanity from the rich to be overt. It won’t be Skynet that kills us but a rich guy who wants to become a godlike robot (damn it Frank Herbert, why do you gotta be so right on this one?) or whatever suits their fancy about the future. This should’ve been expected considering how the rich of the distant past built entire building complexes for their own burial with extra tombs to bury their living servants, pets, and loved ones too. They didn’t see themselves as humans then and the rich are repeating the same mistake now. This is just an old pattern updated to our times. Instead of pharaohs with pyramids and template complexes we’re getting rich folks with yachts, HGH injections, and soon cybernetics and other longevity technologies. I expect it to be far more monstrous than I can even imagine. I hope people in technology jobs wake up to this and fight back however they can. The best tools to deal with these jerks are being built today. It’s really a question of organizing and fighting back. Otherwise, they’ll get to define our species’ future forever.


#10

They have the swollen, weary look of white elephants; they’re marching toward a graveyard.

Maybe we should be digging pits and surrounding them with banana peels…


#11

Well it’s more that they have to worry about their own security staff not getting paid (or that if their staff’s kids not being well cared for). Like in the times of the Roman emperors, those that lived only did so as long as they kept the soldiers well paid. No pay means forfeiture of one’s life. The rich better read history.


#12

It’s interesting how they plan to provide a minimum monthly income while cutting down costs, getting rid of civil servants that will then necessarily go and increase the number of people receiving the minimum income that their firing helped finance. This magnificent operation that creates money from nowhere probably breaks new frontiers both in Finance and mathematics


#13

Such as in Tad Williams Otherland where the main villain was super rich and wanted to live forever as a literal Pharaoh inside a computer program.


#14

I never finished the first book. I really need to get back into it.


#15

Marvelous line.


#16

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