You’re Right, This Is Terribly Stupid About Facebook And Google

We have a complaint here that Facebook and Google are profit seeking firms. Therefore they should never be allowed to do anything. That seems to be the gist of it at least. Because, you know, profit seeking is evil therefore everything should be done by public bureaucracies.

Which is to rather miss the point:

Giving tech giants the power to “solve” social problems would mean granting them an immense stake in almost everything that our society requires in order to function.

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The Scandal Of Google Advertising And Abortion Provision

A reasonable and useful logical test is to stand an argument upon its head and then consider what is being asserted. This is not to use the logical fallacy of reductio ad absurdam, rather it is to try and examine the logical linkage between the parts of the argument. It can devolve into that other logical fallacy, tu quoque, but then all logical examination is prey to one or another of the possible logical fallacies.…

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The NHS Kills 30,000 People Every Year

We’re told that Google’s Deep Mind can identify a problem before it kills people. That’s good, that’s nice. But now read the story the other way around. Currently the NHS kills 30,000 people a year through simple incompetence. Not such a good story now, is it?

Artificial intelligence designed by Google’s DeepMind can now predict deadly kidney injury two days before it happens, in a breakthrough which could save the lives of 30,000 NHS patients each year.

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Not Important If True – Big Tech Server Farms To Be 10% Of Global Emissions Soon Enough

We have a fairly fundamental inability to understand matters climate change in this complaint here. The argument is that the server farms of Big Tech are going to be contributing some 10% or so of all global climate change emissions soon enough. To which the correct response is, well, so what?

Because the point is not to have no climate change emissions, nor to have no climate change. Rather, we’re trying to have the maximal possibly utility of human beings over time.…

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Google Decides That Ethics Are Only A Left Wing Issue

Not that we should be all that surprised by this turn out. Google decided it needed to have an ethics council concerning artificial intelligence. OK. Then it decided that it should have a range of ethical views on such an AI council. That seems fair enough really. Then it abolished the AI council because someone with right wing views was on the ethics council. Which isn’t quite the point at all now, is it?

Or, of course, it is if you’d like to make sure that only one particular flavour of ethics gets discussed or represented when we’re concerned with AI.…

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Google+’s Death And The Failure Of Big Tech Monopoly Power

As we all know Big Tech just has so much power over our lives that those shrinking violets, the bureaucrats, must regulate it for our own good. The people who bring us the joys of the DMV should be detailing the rules by which we send cat pictures to Granny that is. Not a contention that really passes the smell test but then that’s true of most of politics, it stinks.

The contention is that Google, Facebook, Amazon etc, are so powerful, so monopolistic, that competition cannot arise, cannot thrive if it does, therefore government’s got to stamp on such market power.…

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Thank Donald Trump For Google’s Rising UK Tax Bill

Yes, yes, of course we know Orange Man Bad – but we should still apportion blame and credit where they’re due, as with the rise in Google’s corporation tax bill in the UK. For this has really come as a result of the changes in the American taxation system that Donald Trump brought in.

The thing being that hiding profits in the Caribbean doesn’t really work any more for an American corporation. Thus, might as well pay tax here in Britain for that can be deducted from the American tax bill anyway.…

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The Guardian Seems Conflicted On The Value Of Music

Musicians should be paid fairly for the work they do in creating the music we bop along to. Musicians are demanding too much from the people who use the music musicians make. Only The Guardian would manage to hold both views simultaneously. But that’s what they manage to do.

In the opinion pages, here’s Debbie Harry:

In 2016, I joined a campaign with the music community and other creative sectors to fight to ensure that video-streaming services, such as YouTube, pay fairly for music and other creative content that they profit from.

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Facebook, Google, Data Portability – Not Obviously Bad Nor Useful

One of the suggestions over what we do about the Big Bad Tech companies is that we insist that all our data is portable. File formats and all that are set up so that we can lift everything we’ve got on, say, Facebook, and go install it over on not-Facebook if we are so minded to change where we post our cat pictures. This would, so the thinking goes, make it easier for a new entrant to compete with Facebook.…

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Amazon’s Echo Joins The Consumer Inflation Basket

The Office For National Statistics has said that Amazon’s Echo – or at least products like it, the Google Home and so on – have joined the consumer basket we use to measure inflation. At the same time envelopes have dropped out of that basket.

Obviously enough we’re talking about the effects of technological advance. We all send email so don’t need paper envelopes – at least routinely – and these smart speakers are becoming routine.…

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