Mark Zuckerberg's waste-of-life testimony in front of the Establishment was just one of those silly acts of sanctioned insanity we do to make us feel as if something is being done. He did not have to take an oath. Most of those politicians mugging for the camera have no idea how this whole Internet thing works, and if they had real questions that required hard data, they could have merely subpoenaed them. Like so much journalists cover, it is mere theatre to placate the middle class, nothing more.
This little production number wasn't actual news, and hence, should have been skipped entirely.
But reporters made it sound oh so important.
The Toronto Star decided to sound all huffy and serious about a canned event, making it sound very scary:
They could’ve ended it there and gone off to draft legislation. That’s all anyone really needs to know. The guy who invented Facebook was not safe from Facebook.
If he is cavalier with his personal information, that should be a big clue how worthless personal data actually is. But the headline was a tizzy, wondering about this "We" will be "fixing Facebook."
Who is this "we"? Facebook is a publicly traded company, there is no "we".
Users cannot fix it, and neither can journalists, who managed to mess up their own profession beyond repair, and now you are referring to some nebulous we? Are you serious?
But the journalistic jealousy translate into a lot of melodramatic propaganda:
In the end, to watch Zuckerberg testify for two days was to worry about how America will cope with the future. This was a 21st-century tech giant facing 20th-century oversight. If lawmakers don’t know what to make of Facebook 14 years after it was invented, how will they deal with the social-tech issues of tomorrow?
How will they legislate space travel or artificial intelligence? What will the government do when private companies have the ability to read minds and robots are demanding voting rights? How will the government become proactive when it’s now struggling to be reactive, when it can barely get anything done with an atmosphere of partisan rancour?
You can’t serve citizens if you’re too busy bickering with one another.
And you can’t fix something if you don’t know how it’s broken.
If lawmakers are clueless, then that is a big clue that they are antiquated to reality, and perhaps it is about time we question whether or not their meddling would do any good.
Why is every solution somehow involve an authority figure making decrees and nannying the populace?
Can we perhaps expand our repertoire to involve doing something real, and not some meaningless and ineffective slacktivist symbolism that is meant to morally masturbate in public just to get a little fleeting attention?
But what fear-mongering from people who also don't know how it is broken and have yet to fix their own messes.
It seems the robber barons of Big Tech are going down the exact same route, arrogantly assuming their medium will give them power just because they are superior and special.
No AI or mind-reading technology will prevent them from destruction.
They are playing by the journalist's own handbook -- and those once all-mighty twits were powerful.
And now they are inert, despite all of the tools and rigs they had.
So there is no worrying about Facebook.
They have merely managed to devalue personal information to the point of becoming dirt cheap.
There are real things to worry about and need our fixing -- but this little game isn't one of them...