robertogreco + telecommunications   16

Opinion | Be Afraid of Economic ‘Bigness.’ Be Very Afraid. - The New York Times
"There are many differences between the situation in 1930s and our predicament today. But given what we know, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that we are conducting a dangerous economic and political experiment: We have chosen to weaken the laws — the antitrust laws — that are meant to resist the concentration of economic power in the United States and around the world.

From a political perspective, we have recklessly chosen to tolerate global monopolies and oligopolies in finance, media, airlines, telecommunications and elsewhere, to say nothing of the growing size and power of the major technology platforms. In doing so, we have cast aside the safeguards that were supposed to protect democracy against a dangerous marriage of private and public power.

Unfortunately, there are abundant signs that we are suffering the consequences, both in the United States and elsewhere. There is a reason that extremist, populist leaders like Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Xi Jinping of China and Viktor Orban of Hungary have taken center stage, all following some version of the same script. And here in the United States, we have witnessed the anger borne of ordinary citizens who have lost almost any influence over economic policy — and by extension, their lives. The middle class has no political influence over their stagnant wages, tax policy, the price of essential goods or health care. This powerlessness is brewing a powerful feeling of outrage."

"In recent years, we have allowed unhealthy consolidations of hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry; accepted an extraordinarily concentrated banking industry, despite its repeated misfeasance; failed to prevent firms like Facebook from buying up their most effective competitors; allowed AT&T to reconsolidate after a well-deserved breakup in the 1980s; and the list goes on. Over the last two decades, more than 75 percent of United States industries have experienced an increase in concentration, while United States public markets have lost almost 50 percent of their publicly traded firms.

There is a direct link between concentration and the distortion of democratic process. As any undergraduate political science major could tell you, the more concentrated an industry — the fewer members it has — the easier it is to cooperate to achieve its political goals. A group like the middle class is hopelessly disorganized and has limited influence in Congress. But concentrated industries, like the pharmaceutical industry, find it easy to organize to take from the public for their own benefit. Consider the law preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices: That particular lobbying project cost the industry more than $100 million — but it returns some $15 billion a year in higher payments for its products.

We need to figure out how the classic antidote to bigness — the antitrust and other antimonopoly laws — might be recovered and updated to address the specific challenges of our time. For a start, Congress should pass a new Anti-Merger Act reasserting that it meant what it said in 1950, and create new levels of scrutiny for mega-mergers like the proposed union of T-Mobile and Sprint.

But we also need judges who better understand the political as well as economic goals of antitrust. We need prosecutors willing to bring big cases with the courage of trustbusters like Theodore Roosevelt, who brought to heel the empires of J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, and with the economic sophistication of the men and women who challenged AT&T and Microsoft in the 1980s and 1990s. Europe needs to do its part as well, blocking more mergers, especially those like Bayer’s recent acquisition of Monsanto that threaten to put entire global industries in just a few hands.

The United States seems to constantly forget its own traditions, to forget what this country at its best stands for. We forget that America pioneered a kind of law — antitrust — that in the words of Roosevelt would “teach the masters of the biggest corporations in the land that they were not, and would not be permitted to regard themselves as, above the law.” We have forgotten that antitrust law had more than an economic goal, that it was meant fundamentally as a kind of constitutional safeguard, a check against the political dangers of unaccountable private power.

As the lawyer and consumer advocate Robert Pitofsky warned in 1979, we must not forget the economic origins of totalitarianism, that “massively concentrated economic power, or state intervention induced by that level of concentration, is incompatible with liberal, constitutional democracy.”"
timwu  economics  monopolies  history  bigness  scale  size  2018  telecommunications  healthcare  medicine  governance  democracy  fascism  government  influence  power  bigpharma  law  legal  robertpitofsky  consolidation  mergers  lobbying  middleclass  class  inequality 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Google’s insidious shadow lobbying: How the Internet giant is bankrolling friendly academics—and skirting federal investigations -
"Google habitually increases their presence in Washington and the ivory tower whenever their business lines are at risk. In 2011-2012, when the FTC and multiple state investigations opened, Google more than doubled their lobbying expenses, hiring twelve outside lobbying firms and a former Congresswoman from New York, Susan Molinari. And with the FTC’s decision to not prosecute, Google’s activities clearly were money well spent. (Google did pay the FTC $22.5 million in a separate case about privacy violations.)

The growing peril of corporations buying off academics to support their perspective recently came to light when Senator Elizabeth Warren called out Robert Litan, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, for producing suspect industry-funded research. Litan was subsequently relieved of his position with Brookings. It should come as no surprise that Litan also received money from Google to issue a paper in May 2012.

Joshua Wright recently ended his tenure at the FTC, going back to George Mason to teach. With Google again threatened in the U.S. and Europe with additional lawsuits over anti-competitive practices, he is free to write on their behalf again and benefit from Google’s large storehouse of funds for academic underwriting."
google  lobbying  regulation  2015  policy  politics  influence  telecommunications  ftc  corruption  academia 
november 2015 by robertogreco
I have no idea what a smart city means: Rahul Mehrotra - Livemint
"There can’t be one solution for India like the Corbusian model was for Nehru. The trajectory of architects in the 1960s and 1970s was clearer than it is now, because they had state patronage. Now the only architecture that the state talks about is GDP (gross domestic product)—it’s a statistical architecture by which the state defines its identity. All state projects now are of infrastructure, telecommunications, highways, freeways, rapid trains, etc. Even smart cities are never talked about in terms of their architecture, but only in terms of their infrastructure. So, of course, there is a crisis for young architects.

For me, personally, I do believe that architecture is always of a place. My aspiration is to take global programmes like corporate offices and information technology centres, and root them in the place through material, climate and the way that people in that city use a building. We are now trying to reconcile fundamental values that make good architecture with a new form of patronage and that opens up its own sets of problems."

"I have no idea what a smart city means because this is a universal term that has no real value except for the people who are sloshing capital around. The problem with smart cities is that they are founded on capital and investment, but don’t consider the human being as part of this equation. I fear these will end up being gated communities for an elite, skilled, upper middle-class population. People say a smart city is one that uses technology to create connectivity and efficiencies. So I can stand at a bus stop and know that the bus is going to arrive in 10 minutes, and that’ll save me 10 minutes, but if it’s an inhuman city then I’m not interested in saving those 10 minutes."
smartcities  architecture  urban  urbanism  2015  rahulmehrotra  via:javierarbona  capitalism  qualityoflife  gdp  infrastructure  telecommunications 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Michael Wesch at Pasadena City College - YouTube
[Questions that burn in the souls of Wesch's students:
Who am I?
What is the meaning of life?
What am I going to do with my life?
Am I going to make it?]

[See also: ]
education  teaching  michaelwesch  identity  cv  soulmaking  spirituality  why  whyweteach  howweteach  learning  unschooling  deschooling  life  purpose  relationships  anthropology  ethnography  canon  meaning  meaningmaking  schooliness  schools  schooling  achievement  bigpicture  counseling  society  seymourpapert  empathy  perspective  assessment  fakingit  presentationofself  burnout  web  internet  wonder  curiosity  ambiguity  controversy  questions  questioning  askingquestions  questionasking  modeling  quests  risk  risktaking  2014  death  vulnerability  connectedness  sharedvulnerability  cars  technology  telecommunications  boxes  robertputnam  community  lievendecauter  capsules  openness  trust  peterwhite  safety  pubictrust  exploration  helicopterparenting  interestedness  ambition  ericagoldson  structure  institutions  organizations  constructionism  patricksuppes  instructionism  adaptivelearning  khanacademy  play  cocreationtesting  challenge  rules  engagement  novelty  simulation  compassion  digitalethnography  classideas  projectideas  collaboration  lcproject  tcsnmy  op 
july 2014 by robertogreco
FreedomBox Foundation
"What is FreedomBox?

Email and telecommunications that protects privacy and resists eavesdropping

A publishing platform that resists oppression and censorship.

An organizing tool for democratic activists in hostile regimes.

An emergency communication network in times of crisis.

FreedomBox will put in people's own hands and under their own control encrypted voice and text communication, anonymous publishing, social networking, media sharing, and (micro)blogging.

Much of the software already exists: onion routing, encryption, virtual private networks, etc. There are tiny, low-watt computers known as "plug servers" to run this software. The hard parts is integrating that technology, distributing it, and making it easy to use without expertise. The harder part is to decentralize it so users have no need to rely on and trust centralized infrastructure."
decentralized  decentralizedcomputing  decentralization  infrastructure  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  mediasharing  encryption  eavesdropping  telecommunications  email  oppression  censorship  microblogging  publishing  ebenmoglen  activism  hardware  technology  linux  security  freedom  privacy  opensource  software  freedombox  from delicious
may 2012 by robertogreco
The Oversaturation Project
"“The Oversaturation Project. Travel Under Late Globalization” is an initiative of the Network Architecture Lab at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Ralph Appelbaum Associates.

Our goal, which we will begin to explore in this research blog, is to investigate the changing landscape of travel at a crucial juncture in world history. It’s our hypothesis that globalization as a process has reached a new condition, akin to that reached by modernization in the 1950s. In using the term “late globalization,” we are referring to Ernst Mandel’s concept of late capitalism, the point when capitalism was everywhere, saturating the world. WIth the spread of the Internet and mobile telecommunicational devices the disconnected world of the past is now gone and is rapidly becoming unfamiliar to us, a past that recedes rapidly day by day. Soon, like the premodern world, the disconnected world will become unintelligible to us."
cross-bordercommunication  sustainability  peakoil  shipping  trade  gloabltrade  timventimiglia  leighadennis  peaktravel  urbanism  urban  architecture  modernization  latecapitalism  telecommunications  ernstmandel  jetage  globalization  networkarchitecturelab  networkarchitecture  kazysvarnelis  oversaturation 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Infrastructural City: Places: Design Observer
"argues convincingly that the layering of transportation, communications, hydrologic & power systems atop one another & atop a semi-arid terrain is giving rise to new hybridized or mutated social-environmental-technological dynamics that are unique & robust & deserving of serious critical reflection. Underlying this position is an unstated realization — that LA, only now, is mature enough to have developed these emergent, intrinsic & complex metropolitan ecologies...Varnelis suggests that the book might function best as a field manual for the metropolitan hacker, whose gateway may be one of a million local points on a myriad of overlaid continental & global networks of exchange that intersect at this sunny piece of land on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The collection’s various maps, diagrams & photographs underscore its potential for such covert operations, & perhaps for more mainstream & touristic agendas as well — itineraries for the 21st-century metropolitan flaneur."
infrastructure  networks  kazysvarnelis  books  losangeles  telecommunications 
october 2009 by robertogreco
RConversation: Silicon Valley's benevolent dictatorship - ""Power over our communications and identities is much too concentrated in the hands of people who are more accountable...
" v.c.'s and shareholders wanting profits than to users who want their rights and interests protected. We need to have more choices - which should include plenty of non-proprietary, grassroots, open alternatives."
via:preoccupations  internet  business  freedom  privacy  government  future  openness  technology  censorship  china  rebeccamackinnon  siliconvalley  power  policy  politics  ethics  surveillance  rights  telecommunications  vc  autonomy  money  capitalism  world  joiito  larrylessig 
july 2008 by robertogreco Is the pace of change really such a shock?
"My sense of these media organisations that use this argument of incredibly rapid technology change is that they're screaming that they're being pursued by a snail and yet they cannot get away! 'The snail! The snail!', they cry. 'How can we possibly escap
media  future  technology  entertainment  tv  television  digital  broadcasting  broadcast  radio  change  telecommunications  culture  trends 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Calit2 : California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology
"Calit2 represents a new mechanism to address large-scale societal issues by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of the best minds (both on and beyond UC campuses) in a way that had been impossible earlier."
sandiego  ucsd  lajolla  glvo  calit2  classideas  math  education  engineering  art  academia  research  science  telecom  mobile  phones  mobility  communication  interdisciplinary  collaboration  gradschool  telecommunications  multidisciplinary  innovation  prototyping  design 
may 2008 by robertogreco » Diputados aprueban historico acuerdo sobre temas digitales
"Establecer Internet como un servicio público...Incentivar e incrementar...competencia...y diversificación del mercado de Telecomunicaciones...Modernización urgente de la legislación clave que regula Internet y el uso de nuevas tecnologías..."
chile  technology  government  telecommunications  activism  law 
april 2008 by robertogreco
IFTF's Future Now: The Future of Presence, Continued
"My own view of subject is pessimistic...if history is lesson, more telepresence we get, more mobility we're going to need...telecommunications is good at maintaining long-distance relationships that generate demand for long-distance travel"
presence  travel  f2f  mobility  sustainability  johnthackara  telecommunications  telepresence 
march 2008 by robertogreco
"The phone is ringing, and I don't recognize the number, All Caller ID says is, "NAME UNAVAILABLE". Please help me figure out who is calling and what they want"
callerid  telemarketers  lookup  phones  crowdsourcing  aggregator  calls  telecommunications  identification  consumer 
march 2008 by robertogreco
NYTE: New York Talk Exchange
"New York Talk Exchange illustrates the global exchange of information in real time by visualizing volumes of long distance telephone and IP (Internet Protocol) data flowing between New York and cities around the world."
internet  ip  mit  traffic  nyc  visualization  communication  global  international  telecommunications 
february 2008 by robertogreco
The city that never sleeps ... nor stops talking - MIT News Office
"We are interested in visualizing and exploring the connections that New York entertains with the rest of the world, how they change over the course of a day, and how the city's neighborhoods differ from each other by maintaining special and distinct rela
cartography  connections  demographics  economics  exhibitions  globalism  mapping  nyc  traffic  urban  visualization  communication  telecommunications  telecom  art 
february 2008 by robertogreco
IFTF's Future Now: The Future of Presence
"I was trying to unpack some of our hopes and fears about the prospects of emerging immersive telecommunications technologies to displace high-energy, high-impact air travel."
mobile  mobility  presence  travel  communication  technology  internet  web  online  telecommunications  airplanes  sustainability  environment  ambientintimacy  presentations  dopplr  future  awareness  chat 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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