Your privacy or your productivity?
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Which would you give up first?
That’s the choice Silicon Valley is giving us.
In one corner… Google and all the big data-suckers. They’re furious the EU is dropping the regulatory boom on companies that use and profit from our information without regard to copyright.
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But here in the US of A, the sky is the limit. Because it’s only the tech companies our elite has allowed to drive the economy forward. They put everything else on lockdown—making the financial system and its beneficiaries their own private playground.
Just because Americans can’t stand Silicon Valley’s invasive way of world domination doesn’t mean they want the alternative… a weaker economy that stops disrupting the East Coast elite.
And in the other corner? Apple, which under Tim Cook has thrown its warm fuzzy sales pitch into overdrive. Gone is the lethal ethos of Steve Jobs, where you gave the customer what they didn’t know they wanted and pushed them where genius led.
Cook’s Apple is a trusty companion devoted to protecting you and your information… both from Apple’s competitors and from the government.
It’s a nice idea. But what’s Apple’s big reveal this year? The product they’re banking their future on?
Not another iPhone. Smartphones are commodities now. Sales are dipping, and profits with them… not just in China, but overall.
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So Apple’s going with… television.
Partnering with Oprah.
Buying original content.
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What use is your privacy if all you’re doing is hitting the couch and watching the Tube?
It just doesn’t make sense. Apple’s offer is this: feel good about how protected you are, because there’s less and less to feel good about when it comes to your work.
It’s visionary… in a twisted way. Kids are lowering their horizons. Robots are taking even elite jobs. Most of Silicon Valley has only been able to power new economic growth by turning our copyrights into their rocket fuel. Productivity has come at the expense of property.
So why not give up on human work? Sink back into the comfort of high tech television?
Apple doesn’t seem to have an answer. They know the bulk of their products are used by regular people for purposes that have more to do with spending money and enjoying experiences than with amassing capital or conquering markets.
The future they’re betting on is a smaller future.
The future the data eaters are betting on is infinitely large.
Neither cares about your dreams of a full, dignified life.
They think that’s a thing of the past.
Because they both think politics is weaker than they are.
They’re in for a rude awakening. But only if we wake up first.