Molly Hankwitz on Tue, 13 May 2014 04:54:49 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> tensions within the bay area elites

Brian, nettime,
Brian, you have said this so succinctly...the Bay Area as epicenter of this
technologicalized spread of an apparently securely spreading monoculture,
the globalization of management and work in which a giant like Google or
Twitter or Facebook defines what that is and how much it costs and how many
can use it and who the players are going to be; as if we all were players.
I agree with Jaron Lanier, that everyone working on FB should be paid. We
are, after all, sources.

One lens to see this through, in terms of Google's"pervasive" power, is the
adoption of Google by huge sections of the municipal public sector,
presumably because there is no equal alternative. No questions asked, The
San Francisco Unified School District - a direct indoctrination of 50,000
children grades K- 12 to forms of work structured through use of Google now
uses Google as its online educational platform. They bought secured space
so that email addresses of kids are not accessible, intranets per each
school, but all on google platform. Yet, this was the default position -
Google because there was no alternative. Google because many of the tools
are accessible and easy to use.  Our children, their ideas of education,
the intermingling of market research with education, are all intertwined in
this massive widespread municipal acceptance of Google's authority and
product. The controversial Google buses are a visible sign of the times.
Literally, urban planning may be  more conditioned by where Google picks up
its workers in the morning, and where, then, the Google workforce would buy
condos close to transport, than by any other kinds of concerns. And if
Google already has convinced the public schools, and is transforming real
estate, and may be putting wi fi into the parks, then why not just change
the name of our city to Google CA? We could be incorporated all the way
down the peninsula.

It's as if the bus represents a frame into which the city is being stuffed;
a frame, which is much larger and clearly more in tune with the "future" of
all things, than the one in which residents now living here (but possibly
soon to be evicted) have a stake. The very ground plane of the city of San
Francisco is being altered as if it were a Google Map, by Google itself and
with a tacit nod from city hall. Maybe we all just need to own stock to
have a say in city government?

Google's answer to complaints is to pay for free transportation on city
buses for young people - the Free Muni Pass for Youth program. They have
just signed on to do this for the next 2 years. How can anyone criticize
that? That's good for families and young people, but again its a micro
lens. The same poor kids for whom this project was originally designed, by
an activist from Coalition for the Homeless, are being forced to leave SF
in droves due to rising costs. How far will Google's bandaid attempts to
make good in SF go? Their offer to put free wi fi in all the parks, so the
"utopian" dream of seamless connectivity, need not be disrupted is similar.
They wanted to supply all the wifi ten years ago. And someone needs to pay
for this service.

 I look around and see the white cords of ipod headphones inserted into
ears, the more I think of that iPod advertising campaign that was so creepy
at the turn of the 21st c.
---where silhouettes were dancing and all that was white was the headphone
and ipod. and they were everywhere. The idea of the "everywhere" that we
are everywhere and everywhere is us...the all seeing eye of Google...the
all pervasive use of this one tool, all in one...and you are one and i am
one, and our identities are now privatized because against the backdrop of
monoculturalism, anything else seems a wierd anachronism; a throwback to
what is happening 'now'.
I'm afraid its corporate imagination running away with the bacon once gain,
and don't get me started on Bill Gates and Windows 8 and the take over of
higher education!


Molly Hankwitz

On Mon, May 12, 2014 at 5:56 AM, Brian Holmes

> On 05/12/2014 04:47 AM, d.garcia wrote:
>  Which company is currently in the spotlight and today's designated Dr.
>> Evil is less important than the legitimate hostility and generalised
>> anger at the winner takes all economy of info capitalism that these
>> companies collectively represent.
> This is the key point. Google represents the new managerialists because
> it's the most visible and also, the most hypocritical (Burning Man, fun,
> and all that). But what's impressive is how the Bay Area has become the
> single most important point of production for the software that organizes
> work and daily life for users of devices around the globe. US and
> especially Californian discourse is so apolitical that most of these new
> managerialists probably don't even realize the degree of direct algorithmic
> control they exert, nor the standardizing influence which their ethos,
> values, economic profiles and lifestyles is having on national and regional
> managerial classes everywhere else. This is a major social phenomenon of
> the early 21st century. The revolts against it have just begun.

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