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Posts Tagged ‘demise’

Trump Hastened Inexorable Demise of American Empire by a Decade: 1

May 9, 2019 10 comments

The world is full of idiots who keep chasing every new morsel of whatever passes for news, while almost deliberately ignoring larger trends at work- especially if the later contradict their existing mental model. While this intellectual deficiency is seen in all races, countries and eras of human history- it is especially prevalent in unstable and decaying societies who still mentally live in a previous (and often mythical) era. And yes.. I am talking about USA and its vassal states. The rest of this short series is about my contention that election of Trump and his presidency has sped up the inevitable demise of American Empire by at least a decade. However, it is important to note that he was not the first president to ‘preside’ over the inevitable demise of American Empire. That dubious honor goes to Richard Milhous Nixon.

Some of you might remember a few of my previous post (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4) about why USA has not won a real war against any semi-competent army or been able to successfully occupy any place beyond a few Latin-american countries since the end of WW2. Moreover the ability of USA to pull off successful coups (outside Latin-america) had dropped pretty dramatically since early 1960s. In retrospect, these should have been the first warning signs that American Empire came with an expiry date. At that time, almost nobody cared or believed this was the case because a long post-WW2 socio-economic boom, which in some parts lasted until mid-1990s, has ensured internal stability. Then again, everyone and their dog is smart, handsome or beautiful and invincible until winds of fortune start blowing in a different direction.

The full list of reasons why things started going bad for USA is rather long and beyond the scope of this post. Let us instead focus on a subset of those reasons, specifically how many decisions and actions of successive american governments has sped up this process- increasingly in an exponential manner. As late as the beginning of 21st century it appeared that the American Empire could go on (in some form) until the 2040s. However three events and their sequelae, which occurred almost 8 years apart, have drastically shortened the remainder of its potential life. It should be mentioned that such a fast decline is not uncommon- just think of where UK was in 1938 compared to where it ended up in 1948. Or the difference between USSR of 1982 and 1992. Declining empires are rather fragile and unable to withstand otherwise small setbacks.

The first of these major acts of self-inflicted stupidity came in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The invasion and occupation of Iraq (and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan) in the immediate aftermath of that attack was one the dumbest possible moves. While there are those who want to believe that those colossally expensive mistakes were some fancy 4D chess moves, the judgement of reality is far harsher. Both those failed and expensive occupations ended up exposing something which every smart bully dreads- their lack of actual capability and hidden vulnerabilities. As some of you know, smart bullies never push hard enough to get into real fights because it is hard to maintain the image of cool dominance once you get your ass kicked hard.

To make a long story short, the failed occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan showed the rest of world that USA did not have the capability to win long and drawn-out insurgencies, even if they possessed magnitudes more military hardware and other resources than the insurgents. While it may not seem like a big deal in 2019, the idea that USA could not win against rag-tag local militia in 2004 was a massive shock to the egos of many flag-waving idiots.. I mean patriotic Americans. Countries such as Iran, Syria and DPRK took an even more important lesson from those two american debacles, namely that USA was fundamentally incapable of successful occupation or fighting insurgencies. As you will see, this had a huge impact on our present.

The next major act of self-inflicted stupidity took the form the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, or more precisely its aftermath. Prior to that crisis, a significant percentage of the world believed that the financial system of USA and its vassal states was run by smart and competent people in a reasonably safe manner. As it turns oust, GFC 2008 quickly and thoroughly destroyed global belief in the “american way” of running financial systems. While this loss of faith was less evident and slower to manifest itself in USA and west European vassal states, the rest of the world got the message loud and clear. If you don’t believe me, just look at how countries such as China accelerated internal investment and creating its own consumer class after 2008.

Of course, GFC 2008 had a major cultural impact in USA and its vassal states. There is a reason why Brexit won in 2015, Trump won in 2016 and why almost everyone born after 1970 seems to be into socialism. That is also why right-wing populist parties suddenly started winning seats in multiple European countries. All of this, however, is best left for another post. Getting back to the issue at hand, how exactly did the election of Trump speed up the inevitable demise of american empire by a decade? Some of you (especially ‘centrists’ such as MikeCA) might attribute this to Trump being a buffoon and laughing stock of anybody in the world with more than half-a-brain. Mike also likely wants to believe that ‘The West Wing’ could someday become reality.

While almost nobody denies that Trump is an amphetamine-abusing buffoon and braggart, those qualities by themselves are simply not sufficient to speed up the decline of American empire by a decade. The reason why even the first two years of his presidency has “achieved” what none of his predecessors could, has a lot to do with something that LIEbrals and establishment democrats don’t like to talk about. Indeed, the very decisions and actions which are now greasing the tracks for inevitable demise of American Empire happen to be the only things which establishment democrats like about Trump. In case you are wondering, I am referring to his tendencies to act as if the world is still stuck in the mid 1990s or perhaps 1950s. To understand what I am talking about, let me ask a question- one that very few are asking.

What is up with Trump’s neocon-on-steroids policy towards countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China etc. What sort of idiot will enter into so many different conflicts at once? This is even more peculiar given his desire to “win” or at least appear to be “winning”. Let me rephrase that question- what is going through Trump’s mind to make him believe that he can antagonize so many different nations (including one with same number of nuclear weapons of USA and another with the world’s largest economy in real terms) and appear to “win”? Or ask yourself why Obama44 or Bush43 (especially the later) decided against getting involved in the sheer number and types of conflicts that the orange buffoon has gotten himself into?

The simple answer to that question is Bush43 experienced the fundamental weakness of american imperial power in a very personal manner, after his misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan ended as incredibly expensive defeats. While the village idiot from Texas was gung-ho about american power until late 2004, the stench of failure became too strong to ignore. That is why necons lost favor in the last two years of his presidency. But by then, the damage was already done and he is the reason why people voted for a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama in 2008. Obama44 being somewhat smarter than Bush43 chose to not get involved in any big dustups around the world because he cared about his legacy, especially as it relates to lucrative lecture and book deals after his presidency. On the bright side, this ensured a relatively uneventful presidency.

Trump, as I have mentioned in previous posts is street smart, but very poor at strategic thinking. It does not help that he lacks the ability to think through problems systematically and to put it bluntly- likes to get high on his own supply of MAGA. Having assorted delusional idiots with no skin in the game such as Pompeo, Bolton etc does not help the situation. To make a long story short, it is very likely that the numerous conflicts Trump has entered into over past two years are going to backfire on his presidency in a synergistic manner. He seems unable to accept the hard limitations of an inexorably diminishing American Empire. Trump does not understand that American Empire is like an old ex-Boxer who thinks he can enter into a street brawl and win against multiple far nimbler and competent younger opponents, just because he is rich.

In the next part, I will tell you my thoughts on how this darkly comic attempt by Trump (and his flunkies) to enter into multiple brawls against nimbler and often equally powerful opponents might end- and what connection the outcomes might have with on the speed of diminution for American Empire.

What do you think? Comments?

Era of Creativity in American Music, Cinema , Television etc is Over: 1

March 31, 2019 11 comments

Regular readers might be aware of an older post in which I wrote about why the past decade of mainstream movie-making in USA has been full of sequels and reboots rather anything vaguely original. The short version is as follows: the uncritical worship of financialism is behind this and many other (and much larger) systemic problems seen in USA today, from brick-and-mortar retailers dropping like flies to Boeing making some truly atrocious design choices for its 737-Max series. And yes.. ‘late capitalism’ and ‘financialism’ are interchangeable terms- in most contexts. I also wrote another post about how the downstream effects of late capitalism explain the proliferation of ‘superhero’ movies we have seen over the past decade. But how is any of this connected to the title of this post? For starters.. the general lack of creativity we have seen in american music, movies, television, streaming services, video games etc over past ~ 15 years is just another symptom of the same underlying problem.

But before we talk about that problem, let us first spend some time to properly define the issues involved. For example- How does one define creativity and how long did the ‘golden era’ last? Do music sale numbers, box office receipts etc matter and do they affect how we define creativity? So let us begin by discussing all of this and more by using real life examples. That way, I can explain the issues involved in very clear and straightforward terms. Given my greater interest in the visual arts, I will first focus on cinema, television, specialty cable shows and streaming outlets in this part. Here is a good question to start this discussion- Was there ever a ‘golden age’ of american cinema? The answer to that question, while affirmative, is a bit complicated. See.. most people are trained to think that the ‘golden age’ of american cinema was between 1927 and the mid-1950s, when TV started to become the more widespread form of audio-visual entertainment.

I think differently. While cinema was the dominant form of audio-visual entertainment in that era- it was not the ‘golden age’ by any stretch of imagination. The quality and originality of the movies in that era left much to be desired- and that is a huge understatement. While a small part of the blame can be assigned to technology, most of it was a result of how the whole system was run. See.. Hollywood studios were the worst thing that happened to Hollywood- because they were run by losers who cared only about the bottom line and exerting their egos over creative people. That is why movies from that era are so bland, insipid, and unmemorable. Sure.. they made money- but that was largely a consequence to there being no other competing audio-visual media. Also cinema theaters were among the first public places to be air-conditioned. The true golden age of american cinema began after the studio system fell apart in the 1950s and the Hays “moral” code became increasingly irrelevant throughout the 1960s.

The golden age started sometime in the early- to mid- 1960s. And there is something else, which facilitated this era. Today, we think of Hollywood movies as being internationally popular. This was, however, not the case for many decades. Many large European countries had flourishing local film industries for many decades before and, in some case, even after WW2. The Italian, Spanish, German and Russian film industries has tons of very talented directors, producers, actors and the financial means to make and distribute their products. So why did all these other players slowly decline after the 1950s and 1960s. Well.. in the case of film industry in Russia, Germany and other East-European countries, the rise of state communism and promotion of extremely bland control-freaks into position of power resulted in complex regimes of unofficial censorship. People with non-standard worldviews were either silenced or learned to keep quiet.

Let me put it this way.. the majority of memorable and influential movies you can think of simply could not be made in those countries after the early 1960s. Do you think they would have allowed their people to make movies such as Jaws, Star Wars Trilogy, ET, Back to the Future Trilogy, first two Godfather movies, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Blade Runner, The Matrix, the first Jurassic Park, a couple of the original Indiana Jones etc? But why stop there.. what about the first two or three Police Academy movies, all those teen sex comedies from the 80s and 90s, spoofs with Leslie Nielsen or by Mel Brooks and many.. many more transgressive comedies. My point is that the quality of even mainstream Hollywood movies was pretty good (compared to rest of the world) between the late 1960s and early 2000s. But why was Hollywood able to make and market some pretty amazing movies in those three and a half decades- while the rest of the world kept making the same types of movies they had been making since the 1950s?

Some of you might invoke reasons such as american exceptionalism or Hollywood being run by a certain religio-ethic group. The reality is rather different and it all comes down to a combination of two or three factors that were unique to Hollywood. Firstly, after the late-1960s there wasn’t anywhere near the level of direct and indirect creative censorship as compared to other countries. For example- films in former east-Germany and Russia had to pass multiple rounds of scrutiny by people employed specifically to enforce ideological purity. Or take the case of India, where films that did not adhere to the standard Bollywood format had no chance of getting funded and filmed, let alone distributed. In sharp contrast to that, one could make and raise money for all sorts of crazy sounding ideas (some of which later became cultural landmarks) without the fear of being labelled as a dangerous subversive or a perma-failure in Hollywood.

Then there is the effect of 3-4 decades of post-WW2 opportunity for non-rich or non-connected people to get into the film industry. See.. one of the big differences between the american movie industry and the its equivalents in the rest of the world was that the former let people who were not rich or connected into the movie industry- especially behind the camera. Just look up the biographical details of most iconic movie director, producer, special effects guy etc between the late 1960s and early 2000s and you will see that they did not come from a family who was already established in the industry. but why does this matter? Well.. people who rise to their position by coming out the ‘right’ cunt are usually not the most competent or capable candidates for any given job. In my opinion, this was probably the most importance difference between Hollywood and its equivalents in other countries.

The third reason is linked to how success and failure was treated in Hollywood as compared to its foreign counterparts. Which is really a fancy way of saying that frequent failure was considered an unavoidable part of making movies. A few moderate failures or even a couple of nasty ones was not an automatic death sentence or cause of perpetual ostracism in Hollywood- as long as you had a decent record of success or demonstrable competence. To be clear, I am not saying that the american film industry was some great meritocracy full of fourth and fifth chances or kind altruistic people. But it was significantly better than its counterparts in other countries as long as you were white. It was this combination of factors which allowed the extraordinary three and a half decades ‘golden age’ of Hollywood- from 1968 to 2003. But why did it end at 2003? Let me put it this way, truly significant movies made after 2003 are few and widely spaced.

In the next part, I will go into some detail about why 2003 is the best cut-off point for Hollywood making truly amazing and creative movies. As you will see, it has much more to do with new business models based in financialism, managerialism and other bullshit ideas that are also destroying other industrial sectors in USA. You will also see how similar the demise in this sector is to concurrent demise of others such as pharmaceutical research, physical retail outlets and many more. I will also show you what outcomes these financial and managerial types are targeting and how that explains the demise of creativity. You will also see why these losers were in the back-seat during ‘golden age’ but are now firmly in driver’s seat of this dying car.

What do you think? Comments?

Some More Thoughts on Upcoming and Intentional Demise of Tumblr

December 16, 2018 10 comments

In the previous post on this topic, I mentioned that Tumblr had been going downhill for at least four years before the recent idiotic decision by its “credentialed” leadershit. To put it another way, the fact that Tumblr had not yet become another Friendster, MySpace or Google+ was by itself somewhat of a minor miracle. And let us be honest about something else.. Yahoo did try destroy it- mostly via benign neglect (like Flickr) but by also being actively hostile towards its users. As I mentioned in the previous post, the Tumblr of 2018 is a paraplegic wheelchair-bound shadow of its vigorous former self from 2013. In my opinion, it was nostalgia for this pre-Yahoo era Tumblr which allowed it retained enough users to be remain alive. I also said something about how this action will further worsen public perception of internet monopolies and oligopolies- and why this matters now in ways that it did not as late as 2015.

But before we go there, let us talk about some recent news that supports my theory about what caused Verizon leadershit to make that decision. It seems that Verizon critters are in the mist of another mass layoff to ostensibly ‘keep the corporation profitable’. Now this excuse might be accepted by uncritical worshipers of corporatism (perhaps MikeCA), but let us get real. A large corporation which is part of a very small and closed oligopoly in addition to “providing” something as important as telecommunications in a large country should be quite profitable under normal conditions. But in spite of considerable crapification of their level of customer service and many previous rounds of layoffs, their leadershit seems to think otherwise. Also, it turns out that their recent $ 9 billion media and internet acquisition is now officially considered to be almost worthless. So, why wasn’t it obvious when they bought Yahoo in 2017?

Did I mention that those who made these bad decisions were, and are being, paid tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. But it all “legal”.. right? Then again, slavery was legal in USA till 1865 and treating blacks as third-class humans was law of the land till 1965. As I have also mentioned in many previous posts, this level of poor judgment and decision-making by CEO and leadershit of corporations in USA is normal- and they are always richly rewarded for making bad decisions. And this is not surprising in a country where leadershit of political parties don’t face any consequences for their failures, fuckups and incompetence. Let me remind you that a person who lost as many elections as Nancy Pelosi will still be speaker of house come January 2019. I could go on about others such as Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden and others- but you get the point.

Let us now get back to the topic of Tumblr and its imminent demise. As I hinted in the previous post, public opinion about internet monopolies and oligopolies has changed a lot within the past 3-4 years. Barely two years ago expressing your doubts about the intent of IT corporations or their business model would have got you severely down-voted and banned from forums such as ycombinator. But within the last year, you can see a ton of such alleged negativity on that forum- which is even more peculiar once you know that it largely populated by losers who will grovel and kiss corporate ass at every single opportunity. The very fact that so many people on the official forum of enthusiastic pederasts for Silly Valley corporations are expressing serious doubts about the system tells you how far public perception of that sector has fallen.

And the general public image and perception of IT and Tech monopolies has worsened far more outside the Bay Area. Whether it is the spyware like nature of Windoze 10, propensity to delete user files while “updating” or the tendency of its “cloud-based” Office365 to lock out users for hours– it clear that a rapidly increasing number of people have unfavorable opinions about IT monopolies and oligopolies. But.. you might say.. MicroSoft’s fuckups and predatory behavior should not be used as a benchmark for other IT corporations such as Apple or Google. Well.. let us talk about them. As many of you might have heard, Apple (nowadays) seems unable to design and make decent keyboards for their laptops. Nor does it care about putting proper vent filters in their desktops and laptops. Did I mention the generally decreasing quality of their devices or their attempts to extract the maximum repair fees from their users?

I could write a few more posts about the other fuckups made Apple since Steve Jobs died in 2011, but let us move on to Google and other IT companies which are more service based- starting with ‘do no evil’ Google. Since there is a lot of material to cover, we have to begin with something familiar- gmail. As many of you its web and app interfaces has been a ever-changing shit-show for the past 3-4 years. For example, their most recent Android version of Gmail has some serious design issues. Did I mention that complaint was about the Android version of their Gmail app? Moving on, they have recently managed to make the web interface of gmail even crappier and slower than it was- which is quite an achievement, if you think about it. They have also made almost every new version of Google Maps suck harder than the last since 2013.

Their flagship search engine is now a shadow of what it was as recently as 2012. And I am not even talking about all the issues related to deranking articles which express non-mainstream views. Did I also mention that Google news has gotten progressively worse and corporate echo-chambery in past three years? Then there is issue of Google demonetizing YouTube videos based on the political views of its leadershit who live in the Bay Area. And that is just a sampling of the many more self-inflicted problems of YouTube. At this stage, I am experiencing Google fuckup fatigue so let us move on to the FakeBook.. I mean FaceBook ecosystem. To say that its ecosystem of social media (remember FB also owns Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp etc) is criminally abusive to its users would be an understatement. Here is a very short list and here is another. If you wait a couple of weeks more, there will likely be a couple more new scandals.

And all of this adds up in public perception. In fact one of the most poorly covered issue concerning the IT industry concerns how many people have started to hate that industry and those who work in it. Then again, covering such negative news is bad for the career of emerging as well as established presstitutes. And don’t even get me started about all the security issues and dangers that come with more people using the Internet of Shit.. I mean Internet of Things. To make a long story short, the general public increasingly sees tech companies and their employees as unaccountable tyrants and their flunkies respectively. Sure.. not all Nazis were truly despicable people and more than a few joined the party to further their careers- but the association stuck when the tides turned against them.

The upcoming and intentional demise of Tumblr is therefore another (and pretty large) nail in the coffin of the image of IT corporations. As I mentioned in some previous posts, the change of public opinion for or against an idea (or cause) does not proceed linearly. Instead, it appears to first have little traction and then things start accelerating suddenly. Think about how fast the sexual revolution occurred, how quickly laws changed to allow gay marriage or how marijuana legalization went from a pipe dream to what appears to be an inevitability. Alternatively let me remind you how quickly Trump’s bid for presidency went from a joke to a sad reality. A lot of the heavy users of Tumblr, who also posted NSFW content, are also far more willing to defend what they consider to be their rights than what many normies imagine.

To summarize, the short-sighted idiocy of Verizon’s leadershit has just sped up the process of open public disenchantment with unaccountable, centralized and oligopolic internet platforms. The real question now is what form this increasing public disenchantment with IT companies will take, specifically collective actions within bounds of current setup or beyond it. Who knows..

What do you think? Comments?

More Thoughts on the Upcoming and Intentional Demise of Tumblr

December 8, 2018 8 comments

In the previous post about this topic, I wrote that the apparently suicidal behavior by current leadershit of Tumblr is actually the default as far as corporations in USA (and the few other decaying anglo-saxon countries) are concerned. This type of behavior also has a lot to do with the culture in those countries as well as a number of changes (such as laws and regulations rewarding financialization and oligoppolization) that have occurred since the late 1970s. To be clear, I am not implying that other countries are free of parasites, conmen and sociopaths in suits. It is just that the general and corporate cultures in those countries does a far better job of keeping these creatures under check. But now let us get back to the ongoing implosion of Tumblr.

As I hinted in the previous post, all those “changes” which Tumblr’s “credentialed” leadershit wanted were guaranteed to drive away its most heavy users as well as piss off many others who would not have cared otherwise. Turns out, that is exactly what is happening. For starters, it’s “AI” filters cannot tell the difference between porn and popular cartoons. I am sure that some of you have read about other examples of their “AI” filter being unable to distinguish between porn and what is clearly not porn. Consequently many people, including SJWs who might have cheered on the ban of porn, find themselves in the same situation as those they were trying to look down upon. In the near future, I plan to write a post on SJWs and other types of corporate cucks.

But perhaps the biggest hole in their “plans” was the belief that Tumblr would be viable without porn. See.. it is my opinion that they pretended to believe that only a quarter of their users were searching for porn. Except that this is another example of solipsistic bullshit pushed by allegedly “objective” data scientists. As some of you know, scientists in the west are now a more pathetic group than even meth-addicted streetwalkers who will suck your cock for a couple of twenty-dollar bills. They will concoct “data”. “experiments” and “studies” to support whatever batshit insane belief those who pay them want to hear. In this case, they conveniently overlooked two issues. First, the heaviest and most prolific users were there for porn. Secondly, many of those who logged on for other reasons also consumed a pretty significant amount of porn.

There is also something else about Tumblr that many of you might not know. You see.. the golden age and peak of Tumblr (and porn content on it) was between 2009 and 2013. That is right, Tumblr has been going downhill ever since it was purchased by Yahoo in 2013 who hilariously promised to not to screw it up. And guess what.. they started doing that within a year. Before Yahoo started screwing things up, Tumblr only removed porn that was clearly problematic- specifically if it contained sexual acts involving pre-pubescent children. You really had to try to get your Tumble account suspended or tagged as NSFW. But after Yahoo took over in 2013, they started doing that to pretty much anybody who was reported by moral busybodies. While a percentage of the heavy users kept creating new accounts and reposting, most never came back.

This is the reason that ImageFap and other similar sites (often hosted from or based on central and eastern Europe) gained such a huge amount of content between 2013 and 2015. Anyway, the result of this slow-motion porn purge was that most of the porn you could find on Tumblr after 2015 was either heavily recycled or SJW-friendly. In other words, Tumblr was slowly dying as a platform even before the greedy idiots at Verizon made their decision. In fact, most of the new porn content I have collected for the past two years comes from sites that are not Tumblr- which is huge change from the golden years of Tumblr. In my opinion, this change is good because a decentralized network of distribution is far more resilient (if a bit cumbersome) than a centralized one. But let us get back to the fate of Tumblr.

Another mistake made by the myopic “credentialed” leadershit concerns their apparent belief that enough users will stay with Tumblr because creating an alternative platform would be difficult and expensive. As it turns out, that is not the case today. To understand what I am talking about, let us rewind to the state of the internet and its infrastructure about a decade. Long story short, a decade ago it appeared as if the USA and some parts of western Europe had an apparent monopoly on the IT infrastructure necessary for reliable hosting and other services. Fast forward today and that is no longer the case. While some of the more unique arrangements for cloud services and hosting are still a bit easier to get in USA, the rest of the world has caught on and in many cases exceed what the IT infrastructure in USA can deliver.

To put it another way, the successors to Tumblr will be transnational and likely have a significant peer-to-peer networking component. Furthermore, the software design and functionality necessary to make something like Tumblr work and scale is now well understood and has been successfully reverse engineered (including in open source) for a few years. Also, unlike FaceBook most people on Tumblr were interested in connecting to others based on their shared interests and beliefs rather than family or real-life connections. But perhaps the most important reason that Tumblr is going to go down the drain is because it has broken the trust of its users- who are somewhat different from the average users of most social media platforms. In the next post on this topic, I will talk about Tumblr is just the latest example of internet and technology companies losing popular goodwill by being too greedy, too stupid or willing to satisfy ideological nutters.

what do you think? Comments?

Initial Thoughts on the Upcoming and Intentional Demise of Tumblr

December 4, 2018 18 comments

As many of you might have heard by now, Tumblr has decided to ban all “adult” content on its platform starting December 17th of this year. I am sure that all of you, on first hearing about this yesterday, must have said something along the lines of “why would anybody use Tumblr if it had no adult content”? And that is a very valid question, because most people correctly see Tumblr as a vast curated and user-updated repository of pictoral pornography. Of course, some idiots in the dying corporate media want to pretend that this will have no long-term effects on the viability of that platform or its brand. Some others see it as another example of insidious censorship (which it kinda is), Apple removing its App from their store over concerns about “child pornography” or one more unfortunate consequence of Verizon purchasing that brand some time ago.

While each of these conventional narratives about the decision contains some elements of truth, they cannot see the overall picture- much like the protagonists of that story about six blind men and an elephant. Yesterday, a couple of acquaintances on Twitter wondered if management knew that banning “adult” content from Tumblr would destroy that business and brand in very short order. After all, which sane person would like to destroy a functional business.. right? Some of you might counter this by saying that Tumblr has never made profit for its owners. But if you use that metric- neither has Gmail, Google Maps, WhatsApp, Android, Uber, Lyft, SpaceX, Tesla and most Silly Valley corporations “valued” over a billion. Over past two decades, the ability of any large american business to stay solvent has been slowly divorced from its ability to make a profit.

So how do large american corporations make any profit at all? Well.. that depends on what you define as profit, but if you use its most commonly understood definition, they do so through a number of means all of which have absolutely nothing to do with providing a good product or service. Furthermore, the only groups that all american business consistently make profit for is their upper management, lenders and financial intermediaries (often the same or related). But don’t corporations such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc make real money and profit? Sure.. they do by being either a government-favored monopoly or part of an oligopoly. And that is true for other corporations such as Ford, GM, ‘insert any large defense contractor’ right down to your local medical clinic, hospital and “health insurance provider”.

But what does any of this have to do with the apparently suicidal decision by people currently at the helm of Tumblr? As you will soon see.. a lot. Let me start by asking a somewhat rhetorical question? Why does it seem that I am running down american (and more generally, anglo-saxon) corporations? Don’t corporations in other parts of the world also make huge mistakes? Aren’t they also staffed with greedy morons? Well.. yes, USA (and the anglo-saxon world) most certainly do not have a monopoly on greedy assholes and grave-robbers. The difference lies in how the rest of system in those countries handles them. Confused? Let me explain with a simple example. Ever wondered how far a CEO who ran an OK business into the ground would be allowed to go in an east-asian country versus USA? Consider the case of somebody like Marissa Mayer.

In case you are wondering, she was the CEO of Yahoo from 2012-2017 before that brand (and its acquisitions such at Tumblr) was sold to Verizon last year. While I am not saying that she is brain-damaged, it is clear that her initial success at Google came from being at the right place at the right time. In other words, any other moderately intelligent person in her position would have also won that lottery. The rest of her “achievements” look like the type of resume-padding you see from ivy-leaguers. It also helped that she was a woman at a time when corporate boards wanted a few token women for the purposes of showing ‘diversity”. To be quite blunt, her real skills were kissing ass, being a woman in addition to acting super busy and competent. And that is how she landed her first big solo gig as the CEO of Yahoo in 2012. When she had left Yahoo in 2017 after running it (further) into the ground, she collected about 260 million.

To be fair, Yahoo had been on a steadily downward trajectory since the mid-2000s. While the simple-minded might blame the rise of Google for Yahoo’s slow implosion, the reality is vastly different. Yahoo.. you see.. was not really in competition with Google for search engine market as early as 1999. Instead, it had diversified into personalized services (such as news, sports, social media and yes.. what we today know as ‘cloud’ storage) pretty early on. But the people who ran it before her were equally incompetent and short-sighted. They did have not a unified strategy and ignored user and employee feedback about designing their platforms and services. That is why for example, they let Flickr slowly fail when they could have made into FaceBook before it even existed. I could go on about their other failures, but that would take a book.

And this is where the difference in how corporations in various countries handle incompetent leadership matters. See.. in USA (and other anglo-saxon countries) CEOs, senior board members, top management etc who make bad decisions make tons of money regardless of whether they succeed or fail in their mission- usually the later. They then go on to other still healthy corporations, do the same shit and make even more money. The rest of the system stands by (and often rewards) them as they keep on destroying more healthy corporations and tens of thousands more jobs. This is allowed to happen because the allegedly elected governments in these countries (and senior bureaucracy) are themselves on the payroll of these parasites.

In contrast to that, east-asian systems while famously tolerant of corruption and personal quirks do hold even the most senior corporate people accountable for their failures and incompetence. And while they almost never openly fire or humiliate failed corporate leaders, they do make sure that such people cannot cause more damage. That is why for example, the quality of Japanese and Korean automobiles rarely suffer more than the occasional downward hiccup. That is also why the quality and availability of many other things, from supermarkets and restaurants to medical care and affordable housing, is usually higher in East-Asian and West-European countries than USA. To reiterate- the quality of people is not better in those countries. However their governance systems are significantly better at protecting people from parasitic corporate-types.

Which brings us back to the subject of this post. Did you realize that the title contains the word ‘intentional’ in addition to upcoming. Wonder why? Well.. have you considered the possibility that the current management of Tumblr is counting on its recent “rule changes” to destroy it? But why would they do such an apparently stupid thing? Here is a hint: they can make a lot though performance bonuses if they manage to “sell” the ruins of Tumblr to some private equity firm or some other shysters for further strip-mining. Given that Tumblr is not making them a large profit right now, or in the near future, it makes more sense to destroy it such that its ruins can be later sold to another group of con-artists. There is of course the other possibility, namely that they do not care and believe in their own bullshit. Remember, these are the same self-delusional types who knew that HRC would defeat Trump in 2016. Or maybe, both possibilities are at play..

In the next post on this topic, I will talk about the effect of this decision on current Tumblr users, general availability of pictoral pornography on internet and rapidly worsening public perception of large internet monopolies and oligopolies.

What do you think? Comments?