Morlock Elloi on Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:20:30 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Differences between tech conference for suits and Chinese Communist Party congress: very few

Sometimes the problem in examining social phenomena is too much context and too little insights. It may turn out that all societies are the same, with apparently huge external differences being just cosmetic. Like with wildly different languages, the I language is the same.

Case in point: a tech security conference for suits, in a major US city, with registration cost of several thousand USD, the total cost per participant likely over $5K.

The proceedings consists mostly of sleazy ex-government consultants peddling their services, but the angle and hook are of interest:

- Things are bad and will get worse, unless;
- We need more of (some undefined) security;
- Word 'trust' is mentioned on average every 7-8 seconds;
- We need unified interoperable identities for everything, from consumers to things;
- Trust is important;
- Consumers like to share their data with businesses and the government;
- Everything must be centralized on the 'cloud';


The ideology of central control is wrapped into presumably technical solutions. Speakers utter complete idiocies with confident and enthusiastic voice (it is inconceivable that they are not aware of dissociation with reality, but they appear to have mastered that cognitive dissonance.) The language of warfare and state security has smoothly migrated into 'tech' talks. Cyber warfare. Perimeters. ALL CAPS acronyms. Security officers.

The very few tech people present (no one pays $5K to send techie to a conference) are deeply confused. Sometimes they interrupt with inappropriate questions, but are promptly hushed (think Zizek at Chinese party congress.)

The audience quietly listens. They came to fulfill the ritualistic duty of supporting the ideology. Most of them are clueless and have percolated to middle/upper management via the mechanism of Imhoff's Law. They will go back and relay the message to their minions.

What they do will shape the world. Are you going to keep your eyes glued to the plastic screen most of your waking hours, or will implants do the trick, is not up to you to decide - you are out of the loop. The first world has discovered the power of technology, and proceeded to organize its power structures around it. The real politics and the political struggle have shifted to the realm that very few can comprehend. The rest are entertained by the irrelevant old-style politics ("elections", the 'people will prevail' mantras etc.) The struggle in question does not appear to be between classes - it's between global entities, nation states, so it's really not a political struggle (two sides are required for it.) They all really want the same, but for themselves.

So if you lament about dismal state of the visible politics, it's because it's not where the action is. Where the action is you have no access.

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