As I Predicted: Respect Our Values Or Expect Regulations

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If only Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg would have listened to my advice from five years back he would have saved billions of dollars in fines and would have avoided being confronted with impending regulation that is sure to make no sense to Facebook or the public.

False Positive Regulations

GDPR being the case in point, a piece of infantile legislation that in traditional security terms locks the front door while leaving the windows of the house open. But it sure feels like an accomplishment to click that cookie agreement button away. No wonder every technology company is eager to comply with GDPR to soothe the need for more legislation.

I wrote many moons ago how technology companies must govern themselves or be governed, and European lawmakers are now finally about to put the smackdown on Facebook (and other technology companies), according to TechCrunch. More countries will follow in Europe’s footsteps, including the U.S., as they did with GDPR.

Defiance Pays

The stubborn resistance of Facebook may be best personified by Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, never answering my pivotal question in a live forum: What makes you think a monism for the world fed by advertising dollars is good for the world? Or maybe a technocrat like Sheryl has, in the words of Ricky Gervais, no idea how the world really works.

The real reason for Facebook’s defiance is, of course, that the fines imposed are merely the cost of doing business these days, where downside pales in comparison to upside. And playing hard to get forces governments to have to describe exactly what it is that they want. A task not easy for a federal government embroiled in in-fighting leaving it unable to define what the most foundational precept of freedom means. You bet, I asked that question on The Hill, getting some pretty befuddling answers.

So, Facebook is going to continue to play hard to get, with the government caught with its legislative pants down, blaming Facebook for not pulling it up. A scenario that will not serve the public well. We have seen a few instances of that before.

Lipstick Lobby

From when I wrote the article, Facebook has dramatically stepped up its lobbying efforts in Washington where money can buy you a lot of influence in the catacombs of Congress. Apparently forming a new lobbying group and budget solely focused on giving technology a better reputation.

Facebook also snuck into the backdoor of the cable news business and struck deals with prominent broadcasters like CNN, promoting townhalls where the bobblehead of the “news” network get to pretend they are the news. No wonder I hear so little questioning of Facebook on CNN these days.

Out of the swordfight between Facebook and the government comes more clarity that the foundational precepts of our constitution do not serve modern society. It will become more clear, to the outsiders, that the improved adaptability of humanity to nature’s entropy cannot be served with constructs that merely support oligarchically controlled monisms of absolutism and vile-maxims of any kind.

Improve Human Excellence

Facebook’s behavior is proof that our government has treated the constitution like a bible, a scripture frozen in time, and no longer pertinent, sufficient, or even valid in a world that has changed much in two-hundred and fifty years. The evolutionary concept of renewal, as I have explained, relies on the periodic redefinition of upstream innovation to obliterate downstream, and nothing – absolutely nothing – is sustainable. A renewal that must also be applied to new legislation we can fit in the gaping holes of our constitution.

Until we fill the holes in our constitution, we will see the development of our country, with or without technology, continue to float downstream on a life-raft of sub-optimizations sucking us further into the abyss of mediocre and unvetted control.

Both Facebook and our government would be served well to seek our advisory to build a new and vibrant operating-system for humanity in which technology can and should play a positive role in improving human excellence.

One day, they will both find out how spot-on I was again.

Discuss

Online discussions are so old-school and ineffective. Schedule a one-on-one online conference with Georges instead.

Georges van Hoegaerden
Georges van Hoegaerdenhttps://www.method41.com/georges
Georges is the Founder and Managing Director of method41. From analyzing the workings of policy, capital, and innovation, Georges noticed how these siloed constructs are woefully incompatible with the principles nature deploys to produce regenerative performance. With humanity stuck in a fabric of its own making, Georges set out to reinvent the operating-systems of humanity to fix the theory that determines what humanity can discover, aiming to fundamentally improve human adaptability to nature's entropy.
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