Time to quit being batteries

To understand the matter of Scoble vs. Facebook, you need to understand the matter of Neo vs. Matrix.

I explain in Dependence vs. Independence. That’s the choice. Over in Linux Journal.

[Later...] Much more in the comments below both that post and this one.

4 comments

  1. Jay Deragon’s avatar

    The great historian George Santana once said “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    The history of social movements have demonstrated the human desire for independence while the “portals of power” have always tried to make people dependent on the power structures.

    More and more people are becoming dependent on social networks for multiple purposes. These dependencies are flying in the face of the basic human desire for independence. Consider the resent Robert Scoble story about being banned from Facebook.

    The battle between the people and the technology is just beginning. As Doc says, we can choose to depend on the matrix and thus become dependent or we can choose to be free. The choice is ours and if history repeats itself we’re in for a battle regardless of the choices we make.

    Independence actually has a set of dependencies. The dependencies are at the conversational intersections between and among people. One to one to millions. The power of these dependencies is when the conversations become united and stand together on common principles that enable our independence.

    Facebook reinstated Robert Scoble’s membership because the people spoke up in swarms but did they change the rules of the matrix?

    What say you?

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    I think we’re just beginning to understand that in a “Giant Zero” world — one in which we are all essentially zero distance from each other, and in which the costs of communicating also approach zero — we will go through a series of adapaptive stages in which the technical must adjust to the human, rather than the reverse. Long-established social values and systems may become better equipped, but will not go away. Hopefully the best among those will be improved, and the worst (such as the institutionalized hatred of others, and war over tolerable differences) will be obsoleted.

    A few years ago, when Google’s Orkut presented the first of the truly useful and enjoyable “social networks,” Rael Dornfest one night at a bar jokingly walked up to a series of people, pushed his face into theirs and yelled “YOU ARE MY FRIEND! YES OR NO!”, to mimic the extremely clunky way that Orkut failed to replicate the nuanced methods by which humans have always formed and maintained friendships.

    Facebook is hardly any better. Instead it has created many features and conveniences that serve (I believe) as Faustian bargains that tempt “members” who pay nothing to become the very products sold to advertisers. It is a business model no different in essence than that of commercial broadcasting, which makes an identical distinction between its consumers and customers, and also sells the former to the latter.

    Perhaps Facebook will learn. They’re young and smart and resourceful and technically very competent, and also graced with millions of moslty happy users. Yet so far as I can tell they still fail to see the irony between the essential independence of all their users and the high premium that both traditional advertising and traditional big-company technology place on locking those same users into a walled garden or a silo’d system.

    The presence of these dependency-tempting systems in the networked world will cause us to visit the dependencies &#151 both necessary and elective — we have had all along in the physical world. I believe we will in the long run become fully conscious of what we choose to do, who or what we choose to associate with, and why, in a Giant Zero world.

    I just hope this comes to pass in my lifetime.

    And a public thanks to you and your colleagues for helping make that happen, too, Jay. Rock on.

  3. Are You a Battery? : Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4’s avatar

    [...] I would take the blue pill every time. I’m happy being a battery. If I didn’t want Facebook to have control of my data, then I would not give that data to [...]

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