38 votes

What are some current examples of "the emperor's new clothes?"

For those unfamiliar with the story, "The Emperor's New Clothes" is about an emperor who parades around naked, but nobody will point out the obvious for fear of being seen as ignorant. Idiomatically, it refers to something seen as true or widely praised, simply because nobody is willing to speak out against it.

I saw a rant about "blockchains" being the new overhyped hotness for tech companies, and it made me wonder what other "new clothes" are out there right now. What's something you have a strong takedown for that everybody else seems to love/support?

50 comments

  1. [22]
    cfabbro (edited ) Link
    Venture Capital investment, "disruptive technology" and the notion that "growth" is far more important than sustainability. From a comment I made earlier today when someone asked why I despise...

    Venture Capital investment, "disruptive technology" and the notion that "growth" is far more important than sustainability. From a comment I made earlier today when someone asked why I despise Discord:

    Call me crazy, but I find it hard to trust any Corporation that has no sustainable business model, is hundreds of millions in debt to Venture Capitalists already and is relying entirely on inflated valuations based solely on "growth" and "user numbers" (but no profitability) to continue to get them even more VC money so they can stay in business. At some point the Pied Pipers of Venture Capitalism are going to demand their due and when the VC indebted company can't pay (which they can only do by either being acquired or successfully launching an IPO), then the users are the ones who ultimately will be the ones to pay, whether they realize they are paying or not. IMO this is exactly what is happening to reddit right now and it will happen to Discord eventually too.

    However the biggest problem I see with these "disruptive technology" type companies is that they are absolutely destroying the competitive ecosystem around them by utilizing predatory pricing which they are only able to sustain by continually taking on huge amounts of additional debt. This is entirely unsustainable and incredibly unhealthy for the markets in which they are dominating since all their competitors, who actually did have sustainable business models up until the point they started getting undercut by these companies, are going out of business left and right... and eventually the only companies left will be the ones using that unsustainable model. This is a recipe for absolute economic disaster, IMO.

    Historian, New Yorker staff writer and Harvard Professor of American History, Jill Lepore, did a brief video for Big Think a few days ago that covered some of the issue as well called "The cult of disruptive innovation: Where America went wrong."

    56 votes
    1. [7]
      SlowRiot Link Parent
      Amen to all of this. "Disruptive technology" is a buzzword I have heard so many times and it drives me nuts. Most technology is "disruptive" as it changes the way we approach problems. But I think...

      Amen to all of this. "Disruptive technology" is a buzzword I have heard so many times and it drives me nuts. Most technology is "disruptive" as it changes the way we approach problems. But I think it's more of a marketing term, and people who aren't necessarily technology-savvy are trying to adopt new practices that don't make sense for their business simply because it's "disruptive" and will set them apart from the rest of the pack. I think it's a flawed mindset to change just for change's sake, and it often frustrates users.

      13 votes
      1. [5]
        KernelPanic Link Parent
        I think "change for change's sake" is pervasive among start-ups at the moment. Whilst larger companies will have a diverse range of products or services, these entrepreneurs often have an idea for...

        I think "change for change's sake" is pervasive among start-ups at the moment. Whilst larger companies will have a diverse range of products or services, these entrepreneurs often have an idea for one thing. Once that thing is made, the companies often stagnate, pushing pointless UI overhauls (see Snapchat) or removing features to "streamline the user experience" (see Skype). I really think these companies need to work on a more diverse set of products rather than staking it all on one platform that will inevitably fall out of favour some day.

        10 votes
        1. [4]
          Nitta Link Parent
          Google. Just Google. They change things constantly. Android users can experience that especially well. Not only design language changes, but also every other update "improves battery life" while...

          Google. Just Google. They change things constantly. Android users can experience that especially well. Not only design language changes, but also every other update "improves battery life" while the rest of updates mess battery life up according to user reviews.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            cadadr Link Parent
            I am so sad Ubuntu Phone didn't become a thing... Not only what you say is totally correct, but also, every different android phone is totally unlike the next one. The only thing thats common...

            I am so sad Ubuntu Phone didn't become a thing... Not only what you say is totally correct, but also, every different android phone is totally unlike the next one. The only thing thats common among two android phones is that they can run, more or less, the same set of apps. But apart from that everything is different. The keyboard, the UI, the settings, the default set of apps, almost everything is different. Every time I change phones, it's like switching to a new operating system. Maybe, the new Fuchsia OS will be better, or hopefully a new completely of Open Source operating system will be introduced and will become successful. I'm not really conservative when it comes to software but I think the interface needs be rather stable.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              Nitta Link Parent
              Mobile Ubuntu UI usability was controversial. Of course everyone makes first steps and they could improve, but still building a new ecosystem from ground and making developers port apps is hard...

              Mobile Ubuntu UI usability was controversial. Of course everyone makes first steps and they could improve, but still building a new ecosystem from ground and making developers port apps is hard these days. Even Microsoft failed to accomplish that with their mobile OS. Google could have more power with Fuchsia though: they control Android and can organise smooth transition.

              3 votes
              1. cadadr Link Parent
                My belief is that if Ubuntu could get a port of WhatsApp and Facebook going, they could have become a major thing. Google will probably do a better job with their new operating system, but I'd dig...

                My belief is that if Ubuntu could get a port of WhatsApp and Facebook going, they could have become a major thing. Google will probably do a better job with their new operating system, but I'd dig something that didn't have the privacy problems of a Google product.

      2. mrbig (edited ) Link Parent
        I agree. I fucking hate the use of the word "disruptive" in IT. Thinking that I can actually plan on being "disruptive" would be extremely arrogant. Selling "disruptiveness" to first semester IT...

        I agree. I fucking hate the use of the word "disruptive" in IT. Thinking that I can actually plan on being "disruptive" would be extremely arrogant. Selling "disruptiveness" to first semester IT students is like telling art students they will eventually paint like Monet. No, we won't. It doesn't work like that. We're regular people, we're gonna do some cool shit, but we won't "disrupt" the entire world with our creations. There's nothing wrong with that. And another thing, dear professor: you work making systems for grocery stores. Settle down.

        7 votes
    2. [14]
      Eva Link Parent
      Worth noting that Discord's business model is fairly sustainable. There are so many Nitro subscriptions, and their recent addition of a games store is going to do wonderful for them.

      Worth noting that Discord's business model is fairly sustainable. There are so many Nitro subscriptions, and their recent addition of a games store is going to do wonderful for them.

      3 votes
      1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
        They are at least $152M in VC debt and while AFAIK they haven't released any Nitro sub numbers, IMO they can't possibly come close to even covering their basic infrastructure costs on the free...

        They are at least $152M in VC debt and while AFAIK they haven't released any Nitro sub numbers, IMO they can't possibly come close to even covering their basic infrastructure costs on the free services they offer for their 90M+ users, let alone the salaries of their 100+ employees. Their game store plans are likely to help them move towards actually being sustainable, but even with that I have my doubts since between Steam, GOG, Battlenet, Origin, Amazon/Twitch, Humble, etc... the market is already pretty saturated with well established and reputable players.

        18 votes
      2. [12]
        Deimos Link Parent
        Have you seen numbers for Nitro subscribers somewhere? My general impression was that almost nobody has it, because the benefits are pretty weak for $5/month. Everyone I know that has it got it...

        Have you seen numbers for Nitro subscribers somewhere? My general impression was that almost nobody has it, because the benefits are pretty weak for $5/month. Everyone I know that has it got it for free through the "partners" program by starting a popular server (mostly attached to various subreddits).

        14 votes
        1. [10]
          meghan Link Parent
          I know tons of people through various servers that do not have it through partnership and I pay for it myself as well

          I know tons of people through various servers that do not have it through partnership and I pay for it myself as well

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            clerical_terrors Link Parent
            Honestly any argument about whether or not Nitro is sustaining Discord just runs into the fact that anecdotal evidence is all we have. Unless we somehow get some insight into Discord's finances we...

            My general impression was that almost nobody has it...

            I know tons of people through various servers...

            Honestly any argument about whether or not Nitro is sustaining Discord just runs into the fact that anecdotal evidence is all we have. Unless we somehow get some insight into Discord's finances we don't really know how sustainable they are as a company.

            16 votes
            1. [2]
              meghan Link Parent
              This is true, and they're not making it easy to find out, trying to make sure no one realizes the king is sick. [1] shows $30 million raised from 6 VC companies but no stats on investor relations...

              This is true, and they're not making it easy to find out, trying to make sure no one realizes the king is sick. [1] shows $30 million raised from 6 VC companies but no stats on investor relations or reports. Only stats on user and message counts. [2] and [3] do not have Discord listed, Tencent doesn't seem to list their companies any where [4], and [5], [6], and [7] also no list any financial information, once again only pushing the userbase as the leading stat.
              [1] https://discordapp.com/company
              [2] https://www.accel.com/companies
              [3] https://twitter.com/benchmark/lists/current-venture-portfolio/members
              [4] https://www.tencent.com/en-us/sitemap.html
              [5] https://www.greylock.com/greylock-companies/
              [6] https://www.warnermediagroup.com/company/warnermedia-investments
              [7] https://www.youwebinc.com/

              12 votes
              1. clerical_terrors (edited ) Link Parent
                This is one of the reasons I mistrust them as well. They are such a classical Sillicon Valley Venture Capital startup, it's hard not to assume they will go down the same road as Reddit and...

                This is one of the reasons I mistrust them as well. They are such a classical Sillicon Valley Venture Capital startup, it's hard not to assume they will go down the same road as Reddit and Facebook and start being less and less charitable with their users in an effort to balance the books and keep growing.

                11 votes
          2. [5]
            Deimos Link Parent
            Are you subscribing for the benefits, or more to support Discord?

            Are you subscribing for the benefits, or more to support Discord?

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              meghan Link Parent
              Both. I wanted to change my tag and use global/animated emojis. And I wanted to support a company that I though was pretty cool. Though that's starting to change with [1] and [2]... [1]...

              Both. I wanted to change my tag and use global/animated emojis. And I wanted to support a company that I though was pretty cool. Though that's starting to change with [1] and [2]...
              [1] https://tildes.net/~talk/7lz/#comment-22ni
              [2] https://tildes.net/~tech/7m5/

              8 votes
              1. [3]
                cfabbro Link Parent
                A forced arbitration clause now, too?... Oh yay, another item to add to my list of reasons why I hate them! :P

                A forced arbitration clause now, too?... Oh yay, another item to add to my list of reasons why I hate them! :P

                10 votes
                1. [2]
                  Octofox Link Parent
                  All the FOSS users are resisting saying we told you so. Its just so painfully obvious. A large company is burning shitloads of money to make a high quality product with no feasible plans to make...

                  All the FOSS users are resisting saying we told you so. Its just so painfully obvious. A large company is burning shitloads of money to make a high quality product with no feasible plans to make any of the money back. There are only 2 options, they shut down when the VC money is gone or they turn really nasty while trying to claw the money back like skype did and reddit is doing.

                  6 votes
                  1. StellarV Link Parent
                    Yeah there's been multiple threads on here trying to get a Tildes Discord server which aside from being redundant is kind of the antithesis of what Tildes stands for.

                    Yeah there's been multiple threads on here trying to get a Tildes Discord server which aside from being redundant is kind of the antithesis of what Tildes stands for.

                    4 votes
          3. meghan Link Parent
            though I do agree, I doubt $5, unless paid by the vast majority of the user base will cover the costs of their debt.

            though I do agree, I doubt $5, unless paid by the vast majority of the user base will cover the costs of their debt.

            1 vote
        2. Eva Link Parent
          I haven't, but I can back @meghan's comment here. As far as I can tell, again anecdotally, the ratio is about 1:7 on people who have it. Maybe a bit closer to 1:5 given their recent addition of...

          I haven't, but I can back @meghan's comment here.

          As far as I can tell, again anecdotally, the ratio is about 1:7 on people who have it. Maybe a bit closer to 1:5 given their recent addition of the 'free games' benefits, though I can't say how long the new subscribers are going to keep it for.

          4 votes
  2. [5]
    clerical_terrors Link
    AI technology is exciting and offers a lot of new applications, but it is NOT the skeleton key which unlocks all answers we've ever been looking for. I keep seeing large companies trying to...

    AI technology is exciting and offers a lot of new applications, but it is NOT the skeleton key which unlocks all answers we've ever been looking for. I keep seeing large companies trying to offload huge, complex tasks to AI/Machine learning algorithms. I'm pretty dead sure Facebook and Twitter are trying to train machines to take over moderation tasks so they don't have to hire actual humans to moderate their platforms, but in it's current form it is far to narrow to properly understand the abstract evolution of language, not to mention of people explicitly trying to subvert rules.

    AI is perfect for tasks that treat with huge data sets in a narrow, well-defined manner. It is far from being a valid replacement for the human mind.

    30 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      That's a good one - tons of companies are definitely touting solutions based on handwave-y "AI" or "machine learning" techniques. But it's not magic, and like you said, there are a lot of tasks...

      That's a good one - tons of companies are definitely touting solutions based on handwave-y "AI" or "machine learning" techniques. But it's not magic, and like you said, there are a lot of tasks that it's not suitable for.

      I can't remember where I saw it, but someone compared it to trying to train an army of 5-year-olds to do the job. If that seems like it could be feasible, AI will probably work well. But if the problem involves nuance or other complexity that would make it difficult, AI will probably be hard to apply too.

      It's certainly not a perfect analogy, but I think it's a pretty good starting point for explaining it. Need to sort a bunch of photos into piles for which number they have written in them? Sure, a bunch of 5-year-olds could probably handle that. Need to read comments and decide which of them need to be moderated? Maybe not.

      17 votes
      1. deciduous Link Parent
        Except there are some instances where ai can do things that no human could realistically do, even ignoring scale. A recent example I saw is a neural net that can detect a certain medical condition...

        Except there are some instances where ai can do things that no human could realistically do, even ignoring scale. A recent example I saw is a neural net that can detect a certain medical condition through slight changes in eye pigmentation. Most doctors wouldn't be able to do the task at all.

        Really, it's less of "can an army of 5 year olds do this" and more about understanding what kinds of tasks are within the capabilities of ai/ml and which ones aren't and adjusting expectations appropriately.

        5 votes
    2. Octofox Link Parent
      At least AI and machine learning are used a lot for real stuff. At work we use it for identifying plant growth from satellite images. Works really well when you give it weather data and stuff....

      At least AI and machine learning are used a lot for real stuff. At work we use it for identifying plant growth from satellite images. Works really well when you give it weather data and stuff.

      There is other stuff like blockchains that I feel are 90% hype machines and hardly ever used for what they are good at.

      5 votes
    3. deciduous Link Parent
      I listened to a podcast, I think Radiolab, that talked about facebook's content moderation. It's actually a horrible job and one that offloading to an algorithm would be very useful. The problem...

      I listened to a podcast, I think Radiolab, that talked about facebook's content moderation. It's actually a horrible job and one that offloading to an algorithm would be very useful. The problem is that the majority of moderation tasks that humans need to be involved with are the very tasks that are so hard to handle. Many times now facebook has had to completely update their moderation manual do to changing circumstances and as Facebook's priorities change, what they choose to moderate changes as well.

      A good example is photos from the Boston bombing. They clearly broke the rules of facebook, but due to the company's desire to really push themselves as a news and current events site, they were allowed to stay up. How would an ml algorithm ever handle this case? Are you expecting to retrain the algo every time a new exception or change pops up?

      3 votes
  3. [3]
    nacho Link
    Cryptocurrencies. Blockchains might prove to have real-life applications that actually pan out. That's when the heavy financial hitters will be better suited to running that technology than...

    Cryptocurrencies.

    Blockchains might prove to have real-life applications that actually pan out. That's when the heavy financial hitters will be better suited to running that technology than whoever's backing today's cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-related programs.

    Here's the take-down:

    • suppose one of the myriad of cryptocurrencies/tokens that exist today is set to become a working highly adopted currency.
    • why wouldn't a big player, say a large tech firm, large clearing house (NYSE, Nasdaq?), large international retailer, or large trade body, say the shipping industry, be better suited and positioned to run a better, less volatile actually functioning currency?
    • If an international clearing house isn't better off than whatever crypto-company today, how could a private company possibly compete with a large country (India, China?) running their own digital currency? What about consortiums of nations, say OPEC, NATO, the EU, TPP11 or whatever?

    Today's cryptocurrencies are one gigantic bubble. Their value is literally nothing; emperor's new clothes. IF crypto were ever to be the main way we we transfer digital wealth, it certainly won't be one of the ones people are gambling their money on today.

    22 votes
    1. [2]
      TheInvaderZim Link Parent
      The lack of regulation/oversight for transferring in a secure format thats extremely difficult to steal is where the value in crypto actually is, imo - which is a huge part of why theyve stuck...

      The lack of regulation/oversight for transferring in a secure format thats extremely difficult to steal is where the value in crypto actually is, imo - which is a huge part of why theyve stuck around.

      Also any type of private organization being able to basically print their own money into the economy is a huge no-no. Even if its functionally impossible, you can bet someone would try to figure out how to design around it, and that by itself is enough reason for it to remain decentralized and wild.

      Additionally, as soon as corporate gets involved, one way or another it will be all about the things that blockchain was designed to guard against, mark my words - accountability, tracking, and overall manipulation.

      But beyond all that, whether or not crypto ends up with legitimate backing and sponsors, the equivelent of bitcoin, I think, will probably be around for the next hundred years. The reason is simple: there is as yet no conceivably easier way to dodge taxes, purchase basically any illegal product on the planet, and do so without it ever being tracked back to you.

      Its still totally overhyped right now though. Kinda disappointed that fad of those pump-and-dump coind on reddit died before I had a chance to make a bunch of money off all the idiotic "investors"

      4 votes
      1. deciduous Link Parent
        Agreed on the bit about cryptocurrencies not going away. I do think the speculation (as in investing for profit) with them will probably start to die-down, but as long as people want to buy...

        Agreed on the bit about cryptocurrencies not going away. I do think the speculation (as in investing for profit) with them will probably start to die-down, but as long as people want to buy illegal things, there will be a use case for cryptocurrencies.

        1 vote
  4. [9]
    rickdg Link
    Capitalism is the king of kings and it has been prancing around naked for a while.

    Capitalism is the king of kings and it has been prancing around naked for a while.

    17 votes
    1. [6]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      We're still waiting for your strong takedown... Laissez-faire, unregulated, privatization-focused Capitalism may be pretty unequivocally naked at this point (see: the late 18th to early 20th...

      you have a strong takedown for

      We're still waiting for your strong takedown... Laissez-faire, unregulated, privatization-focused Capitalism may be pretty unequivocally naked at this point (see: the late 18th to early 20th Century with its land/robber barons, indentured servitude, company stores and scrips, corporate private armies, union busting, child labor, factory fires, etc), but well regulated Capitalism is hardly naked, especially compared to the alternatives (see: Soviet-Bloc Communism with its gulags, central planning failures, famines and food shortages, secret police, mass imprisonment and oppression, runaway inflation, etc).

      11 votes
      1. [5]
        cadadr Link Parent
        SSCB communism, that is. Communism is just another way to realise socialism, and is not the only alternative to capitalism. Today the best places to be on Earth are social democracies.

        SSCB communism, that is. Communism is just another way to realise socialism, and is not the only alternative to capitalism. Today the best places to be on Earth are social democracies.

        10 votes
        1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          That is indeed what I meant, so I should have been more specific... thanks. Fixed. However I would not consider Social Democracies as "alternatives" to Capitalism though since they are not...

          That is indeed what I meant, so I should have been more specific... thanks. Fixed. However I would not consider Social Democracies as "alternatives" to Capitalism though since they are not mutually exclusive and in fact are the "well regulated Capitalism" I was referring to. Whereas Soviet-Bloc Communism and Capitalism are absolutely mutually exclusive. However not all forms of Socialism or Communism are even necessarily mutually exclusive with Capitalism, e.g. China's Mixed Economy with a still distinctly Communist political power structure.

          So, basically... it's complicated, and OPs comment is pretty ignorant of that, IMO.

          8 votes
        2. [3]
          papasquat Link Parent
          By social democracies, I assume you're talking about nordic model countries. Those countries are still absolutely capitalist. Their economies run on private ownership of capital. Having a high tax...

          By social democracies, I assume you're talking about nordic model countries.

          Those countries are still absolutely capitalist. Their economies run on private ownership of capital. Having a high tax rate and social services don't mean you're not a capitalist country. If you think there's a fundamental flaw with capitalism, then nordic model countries will have those flaws as well.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            cadadr Link Parent
            Not really. The fundamental flaw in capitalism is the belief that market dynamics will lead to consumers' benefit, which is totally not the case except if the only metric is the price. Social...

            Not really. The fundamental flaw in capitalism is the belief that market dynamics will lead to consumers' benefit, which is totally not the case except if the only metric is the price. Social democracies, which include the nordic model countries, have regulations in place, and also government operated businesses and welfare systems which guarantee many liberties. The system incorporates capitalism, whereas full-on capitalist countries like the US incorporate politics into capitalism. Something like a huge student debt is characteristic of such a country.

            4 votes
            1. papasquat Link Parent
              Not sure what you mean by "full on capitalism", but if you mean absolute laissez-faire, the US doesn't have that. We still have taxes, public police forces, public healthcare programs, public...

              Not sure what you mean by "full on capitalism", but if you mean absolute laissez-faire, the US doesn't have that. We still have taxes, public police forces, public healthcare programs, public roads, regulations, minimum wage laws, etc. There's nothing fundamentally different about the US's economic system and the nordic model's. They just have a different amount of social programs and regulation. If you have an issue with capitalism as a concept, you should have an issue with those countries too, because they're absolutely capitalist. Just because you put sprinkles on an ice cream cone doesn't change the fact that you're eating dairy.

              3 votes
    2. Nmg Link Parent
      Capitalism is the worst type of economy, except for all the others

      Capitalism is the worst type of economy, except for all the others

      2 votes
    3. spctrvl Link Parent
      As a subset of capitalism, another example is the economic ideology of infinite growth on a finite world. Markets are literally incapable of dealing with the limits to growth without outside action.

      As a subset of capitalism, another example is the economic ideology of infinite growth on a finite world. Markets are literally incapable of dealing with the limits to growth without outside action.

      2 votes
  5. [6]
    grahamiam Link
    In a similar vein to what others have already posted, an example of the emperor having no clothes being revealed is the recent discovery that Facebook vastly inflated its video view numbers. For...

    In a similar vein to what others have already posted, an example of the emperor having no clothes being revealed is the recent discovery that Facebook vastly inflated its video view numbers. For those who haven't been paying attention, many media companies invested very heavily in video in the last few years, oftentimes firing a lot of their writers to make it happen ("pivot to video" is a punchline among media people). MTV is one of many examples.

    https://twitter.com/mattdpearce/status/1052580866755518465 - Twitter thread that lays it out.

    15 votes
    1. [5]
      TheInvaderZim Link Parent
      online advertising/promotion in general is fucking insanely shady under the best of circumstances (I say this as a digital marketer). If youre working with anyone who says they know what theyre...

      online advertising/promotion in general is fucking insanely shady under the best of circumstances (I say this as a digital marketer).

      If youre working with anyone who says they know what theyre doing, and they also say they can guarantee anything, you can immediately know that theyre a liar. Just to run down the list, here:

      • theres no way to verify views in any capacity once youre working through a third party. You dont know where those views actually came from, what specifically counts as a view, or even if your thing was actually shown that many times. Not unless you yourself accounted for every single view.

      • bid prices for advertisements in particular are artificially aet to whatever-the-fuck the company thinks theyre worth, and the actual competition for the ad space only matters second to this. There's no way to tell, as the advertiser, what the "real" cost of the ad is, and youre basically just funnelling money into a black bag and hoping that the company is being honest about it with you.

      • adblockers are both increasingly necessary and the scourge of online advertising because there's basically no wy to account for them, or, if there is, you have no way of knowing theyre being accounted for while big tech fights their secret war against them. So if your ad only has a 1% click rate, that might not even have anything to do with you - it might just be because 90% of the people who arw shown the ad never see it.

      Thats off the top of my head. The fact that facebook inflated their video views is not at all surprising. What is surprising is that we're still not auditing or regulating google's services.

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        grahamiam Link Parent
        Do you feel like this is significantly different from radio/television advertising? I'm genuinely curious - I'm not sure how any of what you say doesn't also apply to them.

        Do you feel like this is significantly different from radio/television advertising? I'm genuinely curious - I'm not sure how any of what you say doesn't also apply to them.

        1 vote
        1. StellarV Link Parent
          One major difference is that radio and television advertising is regulated by the FCC in the United States and other countries generally have equivalent regulation. Political advertising in the US...

          One major difference is that radio and television advertising is regulated by the FCC in the United States and other countries generally have equivalent regulation. Political advertising in the US in particular needs to follow a strict set of guidelines to adhere to equal opportunity for political candidates. Online advertising on the other hand still hasn't had much regulation yet.

          3 votes
        2. TheInvaderZim Link Parent
          TV and radio are less deceptive about it. Facebook and google, for all we know, could be deliberately lying to us. TV and radio dont keep up so many pretenses. Nobody is under the illusion that...

          TV and radio are less deceptive about it. Facebook and google, for all we know, could be deliberately lying to us. TV and radio dont keep up so many pretenses. Nobody is under the illusion that everyone who watches television is glued to their TV screen for the commercials.

          2 votes
        3. Octofox Link Parent
          Radio ads don't cost per view so you aren't paying for the 1000 bots and scrapers that load the ad

          Radio ads don't cost per view so you aren't paying for the 1000 bots and scrapers that load the ad

          2 votes
  6. StellarTabi (edited ) Link
    Free market extremism is a dangerous utopian ideology. Free market extremism is common amongst and/or central to conservatives, right libertarians, and ancaps. While people agree that regulation...

    Free market extremism is a dangerous utopian ideology. Free market extremism is common amongst and/or central to conservatives, right libertarians, and ancaps. While people agree that regulation can have negative effects on an economy, not enough people are speaking out against markets that are under regulated or misregulated. Free market extremism is essentially "anarchy for the wealthy" and will lead to further widespread systemic poverty. Free market extremism is often used to "stand in the way" of correcting injustices and also values property rights over human rights. It attempts to paint the reversal of theft as theft itself. E.g. a billionaire will call taxes theft when the taxes are used to feed his own employees who can't afford to eat. A landlord will decry income taxes over rental properties from which a paper trail that does not lead to native American genocide cannot be formed.

    Decades ago people were saying if you moved to the USSR, you would be forced to share your home and your car. Now there are people who lived in the USSR, prefer it over modern Russia, and there are Americans who need to use Uber/Lyft/Airbnb just to make rent.

    13 votes
  7. [3]
    TheInvaderZim Link
    The united states as a whole is well beyond reform at this point, and will continue to rush towards/teeter on extreme collapse until the next world power (probably china?) Rises up to topple it....

    The united states as a whole is well beyond reform at this point, and will continue to rush towards/teeter on extreme collapse until the next world power (probably china?) Rises up to topple it. Nothing short of a great depression/new-deal level of change will be adequate to close our pandora's box of military spending and political lobbying, and yet, we are probably further from being able to have that discussion than any other point SINCE the new deal.

    Extremism and terrorism are not fringe issues and will continue to become more and more prevelant as we continue to destroy our world and attack our neighbors.

    Our economy is on stilts at the moment and when it collapses it may take the US treasury with it due to our incredible national debt. The next recession may well also be the next great depression.

    Basically ever corner and facet of our western society needs to be radically uprooted and realigned, at this point, to avoid environmental, social, and eocnomic devestation within the next 25 years.

    For every corrupt or ignorant republican, there are 10 democrats who are too complacent or cowardly to stand up for whats right.

    The freedom of speech does not equate to the right to obstruct informed discussion.

    The idea of allowing anyone with any knowledge to vote on anythi,g they want is absurd and does not work. A professor of economics at harvard has as much of a voice as a schoolteacher on whats best for schools; the schoolteacher's voice bears just as much weight for issues of macroeconomics. This is wrong and is destroying our world.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Octofox Link Parent
      I'd say both of these people have no say on either of these things. The American voting system seems to be based more picking a personality you find less repulsive out of 2 options. There is no...

      A professor of economics at harvard has as much of a voice as a schoolteacher on whats best for schools; the schoolteacher's voice bears just as much weight for issues of macroeconomics.

      I'd say both of these people have no say on either of these things. The American voting system seems to be based more picking a personality you find less repulsive out of 2 options. There is no room in this choice to select what you think is best for schools. Yes most countries have a similar problem but its a fair bit better in places with preferential voting where you can send a message by voting for a small party that mirrors your views and still have your real vote go to the least bad main party.

      4 votes
      1. TheInvaderZim Link Parent
        Thats fair, and also true. I come from california where the proposition system determines stuff like that in a lot of cases, but recently moved out and its shocking how little control over...

        Thats fair, and also true. I come from california where the proposition system determines stuff like that in a lot of cases, but recently moved out and its shocking how little control over legislation most people have.

        1 vote
  8. BlackLedger Link
    The U.S. Presidency and American politics in general. Saudi Arabia. Chinese financial markets. The post-secondary education system. Cryptocurrencies. GDP growth.

    The U.S. Presidency and American politics in general.
    Saudi Arabia.
    Chinese financial markets.
    The post-secondary education system.
    Cryptocurrencies.
    GDP growth.

    5 votes