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Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either)
The way you improve your iPad isn't to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps. Buying an iPad for your kids isn't a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it's a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.
2010  opinion  hardware  surveillance  centralisation  corporate  walled-garden 
6 days ago by bignose
Free Markets Don't Create Free People: Bitcoin's Tech Success Masks Its Failure - CoinDesk
A future where every transaction, financial or social, public or private, is irrevocably encoded in a public ledger which is utterly transparent to those in power is the very opposite of a democratic, egalitarian crypto utopia. Rather, it is the reinstatement of the divine right of kings, transposed to an elevated elite class where those with the money, whether they be state actors, central bankers, winner-takes-all libertarians or property-absolutist anarcho-capitalists, have total power over those who do not.
cryptography  encryption  communication  security  WorldWarII  PGP  government  ZimmermannPhil  Clipper  privacy  policing  distribution  money  KublaiKhan  authority  centralisation  creditCards  ChaumDavid  Cypherpunks  surveillance  control  technoUtopianism  blockchain  ledger  NakamotoSatoshi  identity  sacrifice  names  nyms  pseudonymity  Bitcoin  energy  sustainability  trust  politics  community  dctagged  dc:creator=BridleJames 
24 days ago by petej
Where You Should Move to Make the Most Money: America’s Superstar Cities - WSJ
A tech-driven concentration of talent since the 1980s has helped the rich get richer. But it has also sharpened an urban-rural divide that, some say, threatens growth.
cities  urbandevelopment  winnertakesall  centralisation  NewYork  SanFrancisco  SiliconValley  Austin  Boston  Seattle  review  USA  WallStreetJournal  2018 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
The Rise and Demise of RSS
There are two stories here. The first is a story about a vision of the web’s future that never quite came to fruition. The second is a story about how a collaborative effort to improve a popular standard devolved into one of the most contentious forks in the history of open-source software development.
internet  rss  history  web  p:Two-Bit-History  2018  a:Sinclair-Target  centralisation  computer  data  feeds  longreads  loopinsight  spike  standards  syndication  technology  tonews 
september 2018 by andrewjbates
» The centralisation of the web and the constraints on academic speech The Sociological Imagination
There are many ways to publish without these centralised systems but we remain dependent upon them for discovery. Unfortunately, as he puts it, “the ability to publish without the ability to be discovered is an empty promise” and “In a world of scarce attention, those who control curation and discovery systems control what we encounter and what we know.” This is bringing about a radical transformation of the knowledge system:
web  technology  research  academia  centralisation  power  politics  society 
march 2017 by timcowlishaw
Manifestos and Monopolies – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
That, though, is why for me this manifesto crosses the line: contra Spider-Man, Facebook’s great power does not entail great responsibility; said power ought to entail the refusal to apply it, no matter how altruistic the aims, and barring that, it is on the rest of us to act in opposition.
Facebook  centralisation  review  critique  regulation  Stratechery  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Tom Crewe · The Strange Death of Municipal England: Assault on Local Government · LRB 15 December 2016
The governing political philosophy of the last 35 years has held that the market is best placed to provide for the needs of the people. Local government has been divested of much of its power and independence, leaving the gap between the public and their government to be bridged by private companies, if at all. But it has only ensured that richer Britons are taxed less and poorer ones obliged to spend a much larger proportion of their income on goods they could once have gained for a fraction of the price. In 1981, rent for a council property absorbed less than 7 per cent of an average income; in 2015, for a private tenancy, the figure was 52 per cent (72 per cent in London), far higher than anywhere else in Europe. Soon councils themselves will be floated on the market, cut loose from most of their government funding, with every possibility that they will sink. The institutions that sustained a progressive ‘municipal view of the world’ have been destroyed: the last relics of the expansive, inclusive ‘care-oriented’ state are being shredded. Whatever it does, Theresa May’s top-down, selective ‘protective state’ will not bring them back.
UK  politics  localGovernment  funding  cuts  austerity  policy  welfare  history  publicServices  nationalisation  centralisation  councilTax  control  coercion  accountability  transport  leisure  arts  socialCare  housing  homelessness  OsborneGeorge  PicklesEric  NorthernPowerhouse  mayors  dctagged  dc:creator=CreweTom  councils 
february 2017 by petej

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