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Showing posts from February 17, 2019

Notes to the New Improved 1984

The subjects of the previous blog are complex and warrant further explanation. A friend of mine and I have had a lively discussion on several issues I brought up in that blog.  With his permission, I have decided to publish some of his comments with slight edits.

Let us start from this comment:

"You lumped Internet, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple (FAGMA) into one lot. This is not entirely accurate. These companies have different business models and different degrees of abuse. You also did not include Twitter, Netflix, eBay, and a myriad of companies that probably are more intrusive than, say, Apple or Microsoft."

Here is my reasoning. I have used annual revenues of the FAGMA oligopoly and other companies to compare their relative sizes. FAGMA dominates their respective markets so much so that all other runners up simply do not compare. Twitter is tiny (2018 revenue of $3 billion); and Netflix (2018 revenue of $14 billion) only deals in movies, however bad th…

The New Improved 1984

Many people ask me how can I be happy writing and thinking about so many sad and desperate things? Well, let me explain. Happiness is the fleeting rush of dopamine I feel seeing my little grandson, my wife or children.  As good as it might feel, it comes and goes. Think, please, about the happiness you purchase by sharing with your "friends" on Facebook a picture of a new pair of pink sneakers. Or think of the happiness you bring to your partner by giving her/him a bouquet of roses on the Valentine day.

You probably never pay attention to over a billion roses which are imported that day for your bouquet.  They are flown refrigerated on transport flights from Columbia, Ecuador and Mexico.  Once these cold roses land in Miami, they are rushed to other refrigerated planes and trucks, so that you can get them from a store refrigerator anywhere in the US.  The energy cost of your bouquet is absolutely ginormous, but it is worth another minute or two of dopamine rush. Or is it?

Yo…