Friday, January 26, 2018

One more iteration of "X" is ruining America and poisoning its youth

One advantage of being on Medicare but not yet senile is that you're old enough to remember previous iterations of "whatever" -- in other words, the moral panic that the media and the politicians are pushing this week.
Today's bette noir is social media in general and Facebook in particular. Although that company is trying to clamp down, still many people are writing whatever they want on Facebook,undermining the company's efforts to help the government tell us what to think. Now, I know a lot of you are saying, "first amendment" but that's just wrong. The Constitution guarantees freedom of SPEECH, not freedom of WRITING (nor does freedom of the press cover it, since that belongs only to those who own one). So thus we have Marc Benioff, a tech company CEO, who told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Social networks would be regulated “exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry.” “I think that, for sure, technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive, and we need to rein that back as much as possible,” he added. You know, I heard the same thing about long hair on boys and AM radio on NBC's Huntley-Brinkley Report in 1964 after the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. Later I discovered that the NBC news hacks had plagiarized old stories about Elvis Presley's hip swaying and Chuck Berry's guitar playing and just changed a few names. And over the years we've had both media (television, 8-track tapes) and content (folk music, hip hop) blamed for juvenile addiction. Along, of course, with the perennial triumvirate, sex and drugs and rock and roll. [And the utterly American bat-shit crazy collective hysterias, like the child care centers that engaged in Satanic ritual abuse that sacrificed children to drink their blood, etc., in the 1980s and1990s. [And, yes, it happened and, yes, people were accused, tried found guilty and sentenced. The main difference with the Salem witch trials of the 1690s being that after three centuries, we did not hang people for witchcraft, just sentenced them to prison until they died of their own accord.] So who is this Benioff character that is channeling network news anchors from half a century ago? The boss of Salesforce, which peddles "customer relations management", socalled "solutions." Which is why, I suspect, he's thinks Facebook is so dangerous -- because instead of listening to whatever his outfit is putting out on behalf of its client, we might ask our friends about some product. In other words, the modern incarnation of the noble race of door-to-door fuller brush salesmen. And its not just Benioff. "A string of Silicon Valley heads have spoken out in recent months about their fear that social media could be more psychologically damaging than anyone expected," reports the Guardian. You know, just like Elvis's hips and that pinko commie plot, Sesame Street. This would be hysterically funny except that in a country so farkled as to have Donald Trump become president after he lost by three million votes, anything is not just possible, but actually happens. All the time.

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