GAFA and BAT – ist that all Big Data has to offer?

Big scandals – Big lies, abusing terms as sharing and gig – Big communities, allowing access, participation and common action – Big portals, opening new ways of empowerment  of citizens who move and customers who control

— Debates around BIG DATA have to span between these four poles. It would be presumptuous to discuss this field without acknowledging the diverse tensions, trying to limit the debate by focusing on one corner only. Any of those debates is prone to get caught by self-limitation, continuing the way we seemingly always walked; or dreaming of visions that overlook the limits of the realm of the seemingly borderless space of imagination.
The presentation, made on the 20th of June at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich, focuses on property and competition as core issues, emphasising that both have to be used in a substantiated way that starts from a perspective of praxis. This means to least that notions “corporate social responsibility” are critically rebuked, insisting on cooperative social responsibility as pathway that needs to be developed. it surely is an illusion to think about ways to regulate and reform matters that actually do not exist (anymore).
The recording should be listened to in connection with a document providing some definitions and references:
Annunci

ordinary madness

http: //cf.mp-cdn.net/b9/42/12f04789eaa51ed84f12d30948cd-is-hypocrisy-the-greatest-threat-to-human-societies.jpg
I am working a bit on digitisation, and with this also looking at these Silicon Valley folks, these CEOs, their strategies and a bit of the ‘academic backing’ some of them get. The wisdom is mostly much inferior tho what my grandmother said, the difference: she did not have income comparable to that of Zuckerberg, McApple or Nadella. What is equally [or more?] worrying: we believe much of this rubbish [sorry] and even admire them. The other day I read about Mr Z., now being celebrated for his outstanding benevolence. And around the same time he had been accused of supporting Anti-Refugee-Campaigs …
In Washington, during the Senate hearing, Z. stated

Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all of the good that connecting people can do. And, as Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool for staying connected to the people they love, for making their voices heard and for building communities and businesses.

BTW, a hearing that was a bit mute people asking a wall, their hearing not able to figure out that, naturally, the reply would be a kind of echo.

  • Is it worthwhile to add that nearly every senator explicitly and pronouncedly expressed gratefulness for Z’s appearance, much more than general curtesy, basic good manners would have suggested? And to ask why he meets the European Parliament’s leaders in private sessions ?
  • Is it worthwhile to ask if everybody who has to appear at Court – the small pickpocket, shoplifter or the murderer and rapist – meets the same curtesy?

It is necessary to ask for the real the reason for such ‘liberal’ case Z. – at least it is obvious that the view on liberalism and market equality deserves some qualified review, looking at the foundation and meaning of the ‘free market’.

About the real realities of the presence … and its morals

As we read in

Bernard Shaw’s Preface to Major Barbara

Now to deplore this preference as sordid, and teach children that it is sinful to desire money, is to strain towards the extreme possible limit of impudence in lying, and corruption in hypocrisy. The universal regard for money is the one hopeful fact in our civilization, the one sound spot in our social conscience. Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity and beauty as conspicuously and undeniably as the want of it represents illness, weakness, disgrace, meanness and ugliness. Not the least of its virtues is that it destroys base people as certainly as it fortifies and dignifies noble people. It is only when it is cheapened to worthlessness for some, and made impossibly dear to others, that it becomes a curse. In short, it is a curse only in such foolish social conditions that life itself is a curse. For the two things are inseparable: money is the counter that enables life to be distributed socially: it is life as truly as sovereigns and bank notes are money. The first duty of every citizen is to insist on having money on reasonable terms; and this demand is not complied with by giving four men three shillings each for ten or twelve hours’ drudgery and one man a thousand pounds for nothing. The crying need of the nation is not for better morals, cheaper bread, temperance, liberty, culture, redemption of fallen sisters and erring brothers, nor the grace, love and fellowship of the Trinity, but simply for enough money. And the evil to be attacked is not sin, suffering, greed, priestcraft, kingcraft, demagogy, monopoly, ignorance, drink, war, pestilence, nor any other of the scapegoats which reformers sacrifice, but simply poverty.

One can read as complement then from Marx, according to Harvey’s Companion to Marx’s Capital (London/New York: Veso, 2010: 257)

He is fanatically intent on the valorization of value; consequently he ruthlessly forces the human race to produce for production’s sake. In this way he spurs on the development of society’s productive forces, and the creation of those material conditions of production which alone can form the real basis of a higher form of society, a society in which the full and free development of every individual forms the ruling principle. Only as a personification of capital is the capitalist respectable. As such, he shares with the miser an absolute drive towards self-enrichment. But what appears in the miser as the mania of an individual is in the capitalist the effect of a social mechanism in which he is merely a cog. Moreover, the development of capitalist production makes it necessary constantly to increase the amount of capital laid out in a given industrial undertaking, and competition subordinates every individual capitalist to the immanent laws of capitalist production, as external and coercive laws. It compels him to keep extending his capital, so as to preserve it, and he can only extend it by means of progressive accumulation.

Indeed, no reason for wanting for the moral entrepreneur, doing good and emerging as pursuer of cooperate social responsibility … mind: the term “entrepreneur” translates nicely into undertaker … – first bringing the workers to the graves, and then preparing himself to be buried on the dust heap of history.

A long and winded road …

… but in some ways this may be a wrong impression.

It is not often that I go to the Porta di Roma, one of the main shopping centres in Rome. And though many of us don’t like them, we all have to admit at least some kind of fascination.

Not often that I enter that temple, but I had to go there today. It means starting more or less from the Porta Pia. And following the Via Nomentana to the “paradaise of consumerism”.

And in the light of it, it is so easy to think of the good old times. But wait a while. Sophokles already said:

Money! Nothing worse in our lives, so current, rampant, so corrupting. Money – you demolish cities, rot men from their homes, you train and twist good minds and set them on to the most atrocious schemes. No limit, you make them adept at every kind of outrage, every godless crime – money.’

And though Protestant Reformation wanted to break with the rule – 1517 the theses had been published by Luther – the selling of indulgence did not come to an end at the time.

And perhaps the famous “branding” of so many products is similar to the shift from seeling of indugence to absolution through good deeds.

And talking about good deeds is also today a major topic.

That may today then be shifted to what is called Corporate Social Responsibility. Good words coming from the palaces and temples of finance-, trade- and surely also production centres. But it is not new – don’t we know this pattern?

‘Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff,’ Christ had commanded his apostles. He had sternly warned, ‘it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for someone who is rich to enter into the kingdom of God.’ And he had instructed one of the faithful, who had asked what he needed to do to live the most holy sort of life, ‘if you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give your money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.’

(Bailey, Michael D., 2003: Religious Poverty, Mendicancy, and Reform in the Late Middle Ages; in: Church History; Vol 72.3; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 457-483; here: 457; with reference: Mathew 10:9-10, 19:10, 19:24, and 19:21 respectively; quotes taken from the New Revised Standard Version)

Sure, not least we know from a famous colleague of mine that what is needed is not the change of interpretating reality, but the change of the reality itself.