I posted this on the Palo Alto Weekly comments board, the lone dissenter among a dozen or more zealot-regulars salivating for the corporate-pseudo-donation of fiber ring (faster internet to the homes):
Posted by Mark Weiss , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
3 minutes ago
What else can we do to make ourselves more useful to their agenda? Please!
I am probably over-due to update my Ludditte and pro-Democracy rant. I started to post something slightly longer (and more smarmy) with references to Anthony Burgess (“A Clockwork Orange” “queer as a clockwork orange” the Locovic or whatever Technique, pun on corporate name in instant case compared with slang “droogs”), Allen Ginsberg (“Moloch” – cannot tell if I use that line too much or not enough, plus “what Phoenix smashed and ate their brains?”) George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick (caught exactly 13 minutes of “Minority Report” or captured it and viewed: reminded of Planning Commissioner M. Alcheck stating that he admired the futuristic cars in that movie, for traffic control), McChesney (“Dollar-ocracy” on Moyers, on tape, may view again), Jeff Clements (“corporations are not people” i.e. fighting “citizens united”), Jerry Mander (four arguments, absence of the sacred), George Packer (The Unwinding; also Nancy Packer “fifo” riff), Abraham Lincoln (Gettysburg address– see below, excerpt). Also, new David Eggers book.
I am phasing out posting on PAW site. Trying to channel the energy to other places. Wanted to post a pro- Kevin Skelly message but found they had limited the comments, after 100, to registered users, plus they delete a lot of stuff. Almost split the difference with “maybe we can contract this corporation to issue us a driverless car to run the school district” a little obscure, under fiber thread.
I will have to look it up whether what I posted is too simply “troll”. No room for dissent on the net.
See also: click thru to Palo Alto Hacker day and database databases (sic).
To Solve Everything Click here, by Evgene Morozov — have read quickly should try again and learn to spell his name. Evgeny, that is. (Not to be confused with Eugene S. Robinson rookie card). Also, the title is “save everything” not “solve”. Techno-solutionism, his neologism. Actually, he uses “solutionism”, my bad.
Am off to Frank Capra Science films, for whatever that adds to the equation. After five or six nights of Capra at the Pack, I think now of “capra-esque” as a back-handed compliment, thanks to David Thomson.
Here is link to Weekly on what was this topic:
we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln, 1863 at Gettysburg
Basically I am bemoaning how much of the public space is devoted to corporate public relations agenda, plus still questioning the role of the proliferation of computing. How soon until all dissent is deleted?
also: Kurt Vonnegutt, “Player Piano” from about 1960
edit to add, a few minutes later, after checking back to see when my post makes me like the famous martyr struck by arrows, after re-reading Paul Losch and someone else offering a link to said Corporate’s own propaganda, I quote, re-naming as
STEAMROLLING OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROCESSES
Streamline local government processes. Finally, cities and counties can take a look at some of their existing government processes and think about how to streamline and standardize them. For example, building a fiber network can require a lot of construction permits. By establishing a standard permitting process and publishing it for potential providers to see, localities can clearly indicate to network providers that they’re ready for a major infrastructure project. These providers can play a role, too — if they decide to build fiber in an area, they can share their building plans with localities ahead of time, and determine a rolling timeline of permit requests, to save localities from being inundated with thousands of permits at once.
George Packer, in May, 2013 The New Yorker plugging Evgeny Morozov. The article is called CHANGE THE WORLD: How Silicon Valley is Applying its Mindset to Local Government or something like that.
This all reminds me of the scene in the Matrix where the character is offered the chance, via a blue pill, to forget that he is part of the resistance and join the matrix, which is basically all of human race save a few dissenters, being happily hooked up to the system, used as pure power source and lifeblood to the actual players, in this case a network of machines. As in, how much in flat cash, as opposed to a small (on order of ten million dollars) in kind donation by a large (on order of 100 billion, i.e. at least 500 times greater entity — we are a tick on their mastiff back) for each of us to renounce citizen ship in the human race in exchange for being just one more asset? How much in cash would each of you take, today, to renounce membership in the human race and open society to become forever merely the property of a corporate entity? And what is Feudalism in a post-Democratic completely wired corporate dollarocracy? It is not a stupor with arteries coming out of our necks to lubricate the machine but how far from that are we?
“Building a fiber network requires a lot of construction permits” to me reads as “Building a ‘dollarocracy’ or whatever we call this requires a lot of people taking the blue pill…why don’t we just put it in the water?” I mean too bad these guys didn’t get here ahead of Columbus and instead of merely spreading chicken pox they might have re-wired our brains by technologies…Gives new meaning to “rape and pill-age”. Maybe they will invent a time machine and actually go do that. (Although Steven Hawking says if time machines will someday be invented we would already by overwhelmed by tourists from the future).
Here is a brief excerpt from Packer; the article is like a preview for “The Unwinding” which is much longer, not didactic, and describes interrelated phenomena in various cases and parts of the country:
Technology can be an answer to incompetence and inefficiency. But it has little to say about larger issues of justice and fairness, unless you think that political problems are bugs that can be fixed by engineering rather than fundamental conflicts of interest and value. Evgeny Morozov, in his new book “To Save Everything, Click Here,” calls this belief “solutionism.”
edit to add, days later:
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Barron Park
0 minutes ago
Government is a “we” not a “they”.
Jeff Hoel is a citizen.
Google is a corporation seeking to maximize, in their every act, their profits, power and sphere of influence. They are not a philanthropy or our friend.
Read my blog, “Plastic Alto: Corporate Hardwire to the Home”, for more of my qualms about this but simply put I do not think we should spend any tax dollars or staff time on this contest or stunt.
(see link in my previous post)
When FTTP is right for Palo Alto, we should budget for it ourselves.