Facebook is running a commercial that says, “When this thing does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer.”.
Let’s look at the so-called FAANG companies to get to the truth.
If Facebook has its way, people will spend the most time possible on a website (its website), and will communicate with others digitally- and broadly (with network-wide postings and videos), rather than with intimate, in-person, one-to-one conversations.
If Amazon has its way and achieves all it wants to achieve, then no one will ever have to leave their houses- products will be delivered when wanted, right to the home.
If Apple has its way, people will communicate, most often, by phone and by text.
If Netflix has its way, watching movies in movie theaters, one of America’s most ingrained and communal past times, will occur no more. People will sit at home, alone, and download movies right to their couches.
If Google has its way, people will need not retain information or knowledge, and will have no stores in their neighborhoods, but, instead, will seek all information and products using Google, reading and shopping all alone.
If all the FAANGs have their ways, people will spend no time interacting face to face and in-person, but, instead, will interact, play games on, shop from, work from, and be entertained through, digital devices; and driving cars will no longer be enjoyable and a part of American life. People will not have to do anything- just sit there and wait for food, information, texts, photos to be posted, movies, emails, and drivers. Sports will be played online with eSports.
If all of the FAANGs have their ways, Robots will replace people, and artificial intelligence will replace thoughtful human analysis and productive, enjoyable employment with income growth. Everyone will build and maintain products and robots for the FAANGs, which will grow so large that they will control labor markets (already being seen by stagnant wages due to companies growing larger and larger, giving competition and labor less power). The more technology controls our lives, the more scale is needed for growth and success, leading to a nation, or world, of large super-companies that can achieve the scale, leaving no real competition, and providing all the jobs.
Of course, all of the chip companies, such as Intel and NVIDIA, would love all of this.
Education, happiness, incomes, and life spans have not expanded, society-wide, because of any of the FAANGs. In fact, there have been declines in some of these things; and opioid abuse, depression, online bullying, invasions of privacy, ID theft, and anxiety disorders have all exploded in recent years (not to mention eye and hand strains from computer use), due, in part, arguably, to the Internet.
Where is the evidence of more happiness across society? Where is the evidence that people- broadly- across societies- are living better, fuller, more satisfying lives, or are getting paid higher wages? The evidence points to the contrary, actually.
How does having something delivered to you, instead of going out to get it in the middle of June and seeing people and smiling, make life better? How does being entertained alone in your living room, rather than in a public forum around others, make life better? How does having someone whom you love text you, instead of call you, make life better? How does posting comments and pictures on the Internet make life better? How does not driving a car make life better? How does a checkout machine at CVS, rather than a person, make life better? How does people posting negativity about their local businesses and about other people on the Internet make life or society better? How do eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome make life better? How do conversations with people being constantly distracted by incoming texts make life better? How does people walking down the street staring at their phones, rather than saying hello to their neighbors, make society or communities better?
The only thing “human” not being supplanted by technology is emotions– but there could soon be an app for that, too. One has to wonder if massive companies whose business models depend on people “not” interacting or working or socializing or playing, face to face, are seeking ways to diminish people’s emotions. As bizarre or conspiratorial as that may sound, how does the dynamic of two people speaking intimately, alone, face to face, at length, help Facebook, or Apple, or Netflix to generate revenues? Non-technological human interactions leave no room for FAANGs to make money.
Technology and the Internet and the FAANGs are not bringing anyone closer- or making people, generally, happier- probably the opposite, in both instances. So, what is Silicon Valley really after? Nothing good for humanity; nothing good for society; nothing good at all. Just higher stock prices.
As for bringing people closer, making lives better, making people nicer, making people happier … it’s all just a Sili … con.
Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Learn more at: http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/
Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.
Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th
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Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:
– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer
– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal
– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm
– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving
– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/
Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono Work:
– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com
– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/
– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/
– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.
Neil Siskind’s Government Work:
– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern
Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:
Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.
Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/
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