There used to be all sorts of criticisms of the old “culture industries” like Hollywood and the top 40, which entertained us with stories or songs that always ended on an upbeat note, no matter how false. But at least the culture industries went to the bother of entertaining us. Their replacements don’t even bother. They expect us to entertain each other, and pay a tax for it. Facebook or Google’s YouTube are not the culture industries so much as the vulture industries, taking an information surcharge from us while we amuse each other, and selling us to advertisers. Like do-it-yourself commercial TV.
These are all elements of what I call the “spectacle of disintegration”. The old spectacle of television and radio papered the world with images of what the lovely soul of the commodity was supposed to look like. We were at least still free to daydream while we sat idly watching.
But in the spectacle of disintegration, all that breaks apart. The big screen decays into so many little screens. Our leisure time is now to be spent producing information for the vulture industries of Google and co, in an unequal exchange of information. In exchange for the poll tax of personal data, we get to watch each other’s cat videos, while Google becomes some new version of the state, presiding over all our bitty lives, master of all our data, in aggregate.
Like any state, Google has its patriots. But there are also those who think this latest version of the spectacle offers some quirky avenues for having fun at its expense. Its time for a certain opacity, a certain glamour of obscurity. Not all the information we offer up has to be even remotely true.
Q:Disappointed to see the refund email, I really love the idea and promise of Stack. I hope all is well and you continue with future efforts to roll out the platform.
Thanks david, we’re not letting this little hiccup stand in our way for too long. We have a very large and growing list of people signing up at www.stack.fm, which motivates us to move forward even though the crowdfunding didn’t work out. People just aren’t ready to pay for it at this point. We’ll find another way and give it to them anyway!
Q:I donated 10 euros to the cause. I've had it refunded. What's happening?
Update: sorry, just realized i misread your message. We’ve decided to stop the crowdfunding due to the low financial support. There is not much point in us keeping only a few thousand bucks, so we’d rather you get your money back since we know it will take longer to get stack to beta stage now.
We’ve had an overwhelming response of people signing up for the service on www.stack.fm, but very few of them are willing to put in a buck. We’ll need to continue with our other plans to raise funding, which will most likely take longer than we promised. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know how things progress.
Old response: Don’t worry, your refund is on its way. PayPal requires me to manually process each refund, so it will take a few days to complete them all.
Q:So disappointed about the Indiegogo campaign. I'll be giving it back on paypal. You know, people get very set in their ways and resist change, and perhaps don't like the idea that Stack at this point looks in their minds like a big empty meeting hall. Or a big empty house they're being asked to buy, without being allowed in. I'm really just thinking out loud here. Do you think people are looking for something more concrete, or for some reassurance that they won't be alone once they move in?
Me too. I know that it’s hard for people to put their trust in us without much more than a promise. We’ll just have to take a little longer to get it done. Hopefully we’ll get there before facebook really screws up.
In the mean time, we’ll need to focus more on the funding than the project, which sucks, but that’s life. I now have a very good idea of how many people are interested, and even if they won’t put in a buck, we’ll still have a great start once we get stack into beta.
Keep sending people to sign up, that’ll keep us motivated.
Screw tumbloo!, fund stack and avoid the corporate takeover!
We can make better tools than tumblr, facebook, google+ and even twitter. Our system is designed to open source and decentralize over time, not sell out to the highest bidder.
Q:How do you plan on making this profitable?
Brands will exist in the system, and users can choose to follow the ones they like and want special deals from. Our overhead is much lower than facebooks, so we don’t have to force ads on people to make a profit. A lot less advertising means happier users.
Pretty funny that this is coming from Microsoft.
Well, that’s one way to destroy tumblr. No offense to Marissa Mayer, but i just don’t see yahoo! makin’ that comeback.
Edgerank dictates what shows up in your News Feed and why.
If you don’t see something wrong with how edgerank works, contact me. With enough love and attention, we can pull you back from the brink of cynically thinking of every social interaction as a PR stunt.
“In the next five to ten years, another 5 billion people will join the Internet,” said Schmidt, the company’s chief executive and one of the world’s richest men.
Most of those people will be in places like Asia, Africa and South America. And while newfound access to information will level the playing field to a degree, it will also set the table for the world’s villains as much as the up-and-comers, noted Cohen, Google’s director of ideas, who spent nearly half a decade at the State Department. This coming influx means we’ll keep seeing repressive governments censoring and stifling information and Internet access. And terrorists and hacker groups will continue to battle law enforcement in a fight that seems never ending.
Are these repressive governments somehow different than the repressive companies that justify censorship, law enforcement snooping and access limitations with a Terms of Service? There’s some serious faulty logic at work here when the leading internet communication portals (facebook, google, etc.) are pointing fingers while practicing many of the same tactics. The only difference here is that totalitarianism is apparently ok when it comes to capitalism.
I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.