Internet as Fief

arthur In today’s Advertising Age, Patrick Moorhead, senior VP, group management director, mobile platforms for Draftfcb Chicago, makes an apt and important point about how the corporation-dominated internet works:

We live in a kind of digital feudal economy these days. We live on land we don’t own, and we provide the masters of the realm (Facebook, Google, etc.) with unlimited free access to our data and behavior, which they monetize for billions of dollars. We get to keep our little plots of digital land for free and are otherwise pretty much at the whim of the feudal masters.

Of course, the masters are actually corporate capitalists, and the corporate capitalists at Facebook and Google are, as their founders now admit, 100 percent in the advertising business, meaning their product is both harvesting data and delivering eyeballs, eardrums, and mindshares to other corporate capitalists, who use those products to plan and execute marketing campaigns.

Nonetheless, the analogy to feudalism is apt. Surrendering corvée to exploiting overlords is the price of admission to almost all internet activities in the United States, including the basic search engine services mediated by Google.

Of course, there is no technical reason why the internet could not include first-class, not-for-profit, data-secure search engines and other services. It’s just that the overclass won’t permit such possibilities to be discussed, let alone implemented.

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8 years ago

Looked for the Moorhead article at AdWeek but couldn’t find it (our fault, not yours) — can you post a link …?


Michael Dawson
8 years ago

It’s on Advertising Age, not Ad Week, and, alas, they keep their stuff behind a pay wall, I believe. In any event, I can’t tell for sure, because I pay. Try this and see.

8 years ago

you certain the “its just more nowhere ing ”
take on the occ gets enough of the ground covered to leave it at that
even from your perspective ?? ???

i like this point :

“movements” that can’t name or show or even suggest any victories are in big trouble”

the occ needs a few wins and a few vanishments before nbanishments followed by a re appearance else where

static liberate zones are for pigeons

8 years ago

charlotte home of america’s bank

i’d want a union 0fficial presence there too
the heart of right to work country

i understand an action versious demand movement
but a focus is neeeded
a class focus in particular
the nascent job site liberation movement
needs a job class charter
a declaration of the rights of the jobbled ala brits WC produced fanchise movement of the 1830’s and 40’s
a social contract for jobbled america

Michael Dawson
8 years ago

I haven’t looked again recently, but I thought the manifesto they issued a while back was a pretty big train wreck on the class issues. Talk of job training and hints of China-bashing, but no “jobs for all,” no specifics of income redist, and a generally conventional “middle class society” tone.

Personally, as much as I appreciate the superpowers possessed within the upper 1 percent, I’d also have preferred “We are the 90.” In my experience, the top ten is quite thoroughly enemy territory.

8 years ago

” That’s the level to which SMBIVA has descended? While still trading in ultra-outdated cop-hate?”

help me unpack this line md

Michael Dawson
8 years ago

The video showed a guy spouting shite about “our troops” and how they “protect our freedom.” How does that get labeled anything but awful by the SMBIVA we once knew and loved? Meanwhile, the police are certainly not our friends, but neither are they out there randomly beating people. In fact, the change in tactics might have been a major theme for SMBIVA and OWS to ponder. And I generally hate the SMBIVA line about schools and teachers, which is related to the nostalgia for cop-fighting in that it smacks of roteness and remoteness from ordinary people’s lives and needs.… Read more »

8 years ago

i may be wrong buit the stream kkeps rolling on mjs prolly never saw that “passage” “smacks of roteness and remoteness from ordinary people’s lives and needs” i know i have lots of remote views i think likewise with mjs its just self indulgence i need party discipline to stick to a mass line give me any slack and i go off the edge to me the points is simple would you go silent on this fringe meme stuff i believe mjs put himself on record at the site: “The old ML war horse in me is certainly not dead,… Read more »

8 years ago

“So I call up my preacher
I say: gimme strength for round 5
He said: you don’t need no strength, you need to grow up, son
I said: growing up leads to growing old and then to dying,
And dying to me don’t sound like all that much fun

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