Friday, August 22, 2014

The Cyclic Oligopoly Complex

     It happens over and over again, and it's a recurring problem I call the cyclic oligopoly complex.

   How it functions is, everyone jumps on board with a company, it could be any company—take a store like Walmart or a cable company like Comcast, or an internet company like Google or Facebook, it's not important. The problematic part of this cycle is when the majority of people invest their time and money into a company, making it a giant that subsequently can't be beaten. The company then starts buying other companies and it turns into a type of octopus that wants to work its tentacles into as many areas of your life as possible. Why do we keep enabling this?

     Many of you are familiar with the adage "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Meanwhile, running parallel to this, people view corporations as separate from government, when in-fact they shouldn't. Because, regardless of their label, companies are also in positions that govern what we need to lead meaningful lives.

It isn't wise to not leave yourself any alternatives, especially when putting all your eggs into the basket of an entity who survives on make money off of you.

People need to recognized their role in giving such pervasive power to one entity. I say it's wise to diversify who and what we make powerful. (since it's not like company A does an astoundingly better job than company B in most cases, in most cases they're on par with each other).
    This cycle is as evident as ever today, due to how quickly (within ten years or less) a company like Google or Facebook can go from an "edgy start-up company" with an anti-establishment image even, to a company that's so powerful and ubiquitous that we seemingly can't live without it—they become the establishment, and they establish a monopoly or oligopoly through as many channels as possible.

It's a cycle that should be obvious to us. People raise companies to lofty levels of power and influence, that it's quite easy for them to behave in oppressive ways. Let's stop doing that, can we?
     Stopping this cycle is the ultimate "voting with your wallet" against corruption in the long term.

Pssst! I have a podcast:


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

What It's Like Not Owning A TV for Ten Years

    I'm so unaccustomed to watching TV. I went without owning a television for about 10 years and now when I see busy news and show promos, loud fast-paced commercials with shaky camera shots edited by an editor that apparently has Attention Deficit Disorder, I'm kind-of insulted. I'm insulted by this way, this attempt of selling me things, as-if the producers assume that I can't focus on anything unless I'm yelled at. And, these type of sights and sounds are somewhat shocking, since I've maintained the pace of books and live music practice over the past ten years.
    Television is obviously being made for people who've been desensitized to the point where you need the sound of explosions going-off often, and swooshing sounds to go along with colorful menu animations, shot switches every few seconds, constant panning to go along with anticipatory adrenaline-pumping cliffhanger content.
   It's kind of sad. But, at the same time it's kind of hilarious.