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Posts Tagged ‘managerialism’

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?

My Thoughts on the “Google Memo” and James Damore: Aug 9, 2017

August 9, 2017 6 comments

It appears that many of you want to hear my opinions about that now infamous “Google Memo” and its author- who has now been identified as James Damore. Well.. I had considered writing about this issue a couple of days ago, but thought it was best to wait until the guy at the center of this latest culture war controversy represented himself though an interview or two and maybe a detailed blog post. As it stands today, he seems to have given interviews to two people in what many would consider the ‘alt-right’.

In my opinion, who he gives an interview to at this time is not particularly relevant- since the Mass Media and SJWs of all persuasions are going out of their way to demonize and shut him out. This is not to say that I agree with every single word in his memo. However, the right to free speech (which I strongly support) is more important than the right of SJWs and other morons to feel “safe” from speech which they might find “offensive”. As long-time readers of my blog know, I am not fond of SJWs or the underlying motivations of their behavior.

As I have said in previous posts, SJW-ism is largely driven by the desire to show moral superiority (and perhaps make a quick buck) under neoliberalism. The current “intellectual” underpinnings of the slowly imploding neoliberal order do not allow real large-scale social problems to be addressed, and therefore activists and scammers spend their energy at promoting really small-scale causes such as transgender rights and the right for muslim women to wear a hijab while simultaneously ignoring endemic poverty, joblessness and overall misery seen in western neoliberal countries- especially the USA.

To put it another way, SJWs and their boosters in Mass Media are more interested in trying to make you feel ashamed about some video game you enjoy than push for universal healthcare. They would rather spend their efforts on trying to make you say that certain women comedians are talented and “beautiful” than lead a campaign for fully tax-funded university education. It is also no secret that many supposedly “liberal” TV personalities who pretend to care about social issues are just scammers making money out of misdirected outrage that is safe for their corporate backers.

So now you know where I stand on the issue of free speech, SJWs and Corporate Mass Media. But what about the actual contents of that memo or James Damore? Well.. this is the part that some of you might not like, because what I think about both of them is a bit more nuanced than my views on SJWs and Corporate Mass Media.

Firstly, the basic idea proposed in that memo- namely that women and men’s brains are not “wired” the same way is essentially correct. Now this does not mean that there is no overlap between the “wiring” of the two groups. In fact, there is far more overlap than many would be willing to accept. Having said that, you can make the claim that women as a group will perform better at some tasks than men as a group and vice versa.

This does not however translate into differences in gross intelligence or other large-scale abilities. As many of you know, women now make up almost half of doctors, lawyers and (in many countries) engineers and they seem to do as well as their male counterparts in these vocations. You might also recall that even 50 years, it was rare for women to be admitted in these field because of their supposed lack of intellectual ability. So clearly, all the beliefs which kept women out of intellectually demanding fields in previous eras were wrong.

Furthermore, psychological studies (which is largely made up bullshit) was once used as a justification to treat non-whites as subhuman. Today we are largely accept the idea that asians (both east- and south-) are very good at math and other STEM subjects and account for a disproportionate number of employees of technology heavy corporations and institutions. However as late as the 1960s, many prominent white scientists still believed that Asians were “low IQ” without any worthwhile ability for scientific or original thinking. How the tables have turned now..

And this brings me to what I think about the most significant, but overlooked, part of that memo. Though the document has been blasted for being overtly sexist, it is more about the corporate and office culture at Google in particular and corporate america in general. The guy is complaining about how the managerial and HR types at Google has basically stopped listening to opinions which diverge ever so slightly from their fashionable and “naturally correct” consensus. He is describing an organisation where the loudest and most manipulative faddists carry the day.

In short, he is describing an organisational culture which has more in common with royal courts, politburos and other large corporations that are dominated by clever and sociopathic power seekers than those who make the system function properly. I, for one, am not surprised that a large and unwieldy corporation such as Google has now more in common with other corporations and institutions with a similar head count and complex hierarchies than what it was a decade ago.

The fact that institutional bias at Google seems to be based in one fashionable type interpretation of the social “sciences” is just a quirk of the times we live in. Some of you might recall that many large corporations of yesteryears- such as Kodak, IBM, HP, Ford, GM, Merck too used have their own and equally well-known institutional biases based in conservative values or whatever corporate bullshit was fashionable at that moment. In fact, I wrote about inevitable emergence of such dysfunction in large institutions about six years ago.

Anyway, to summarize this post- what James Damore wrote in that memo has more to do with emergent dysfunction in large impersonal institutions than sexism. I would go far as to say that there is little, if any, sexism in that document. The very fact that he is being attacked for the basically nonexistent sexism in his memo says a lot about our contemporary media culture and society. Also, it says a lot about where Google is going.. or not going.

Might write more about this story depending on comments and future developments.

What do you think? Comments?