Building the Digital Island, Qualified Support for Andrew Yang, Who Still Cares About Soccer, and Self-Definition

cowssitingThe Digital Island

I’ve been quietly building a digital island for a couple of years now (where socials and search have only limited access to my person and I’ve been able to control it, and I’m taking the next step by slowly burning the public access ports. In short, you’ll be able to find me on my terms, not on the Internet conglomerates telling you where I am supposed to be while profiting off of it.

I’ve talked about getting Google out of your life in the past, and now I am moving on to slowly weaning yourself and your loved ones off Facebook (Twitter is next).  One of the big problems that people notice is that they don’t realize how much these two companies control your life: with Google you might stop searching with it, but then your email is connected to it. Your YouTube account is connected to it.

It’s unfortunately the same with Facebook for things like WhatsApp and Instagram. Think you’re off Facebook because you use non-Facebook apps? Surprise! They’ve just found a new way to own you. So this is part of why in developing a digital island where my life (and as much as they choose, those with me) is under my control. This might sound terrifying, but in reality searching with DuckDuckGo now is 90-95% as good as searching with Google (even local weather appears thanks to anonymized weather reporting) and it’s my default everywhere. Two years ago friends and family said “you can’t escape Google” and now it’s barely there in my life. It’s not only possible, it’s honestly the smartest thing you can do as Google intends to own even more of your life.

Finally, if none of that scares you for some reason, perhaps deplatforming might.

That said, the new channel on YouTube is going to have to be Google-proofed, and I have a plan for that.

Yang Strengths vs. Yang Weaknesses

This leads my to my recent Yang-mania so allow me a moment to explain why I support Andrew Yang for President and what would (trust me, it’s a real easy fall) make me drop support for him immediately.

Yang’s rhetoric is basically quite simple: technology companies have made a lot of money off of building their very profitable robots (think search engines, not Skynet’s T-800) and so taxing them and giving that money back to the end users in the form of a universal basic income check (in other words, giving back all that money we gave them through EULA’s over the past two decades) seems completely fair as more and more industries get disrupted, thus offsetting the relative destruction in industrial and employment sectors. In this, I think Yang is completely on the money and has a winning message that could actually compete with President Trump (who I still support, by the way) in 2020.

And here is how I predict the Democrats will screw it up. One thing that is not clear on Yang’s website is how specifically we deal with the tech offset except for a VAT tax. But what is not clear is who the VAT applies to– because he doesn’t label who he’s going to tax except “companies who benefit from technological change.” Is it aimed at the throats of Facebook, Google, and other tech giants with massive valuations earned off monetizing identities?

If the tax is aimed at the social giants and other tech oligarchs, Yang can pretty much overcome every obstacle thrown his way: he has an instant demon he can exorcise at every campaign rally, one that is not even Trump-friendly (meaning crossover appeal) and ultimately achieve his goals. But if it’s not, and it’s basically a VAT on industry (read: what Bernie and Ocasio and all the Democrats basically love doing whenever they are in power) then it’s not going to garner any support, including mine. Tax Uber for destroying the cab industry? I can see it. Tax McDonald’s because bad minimum wage policies are forcing them to automate? If that’s the plan it will doom his campaign unless he resorts to outright lying, which might not work well against Trump.

Since outside of UBI and marijuana, Yang is basically a run-of-the-mill Dem candidate on most issues, if he gets what makes himself different wrong to sound more palatable to “everyone else” (read: the losing party) he’ll basically succumb to it. His choice is to go all in and question the role of technology in our lives while holding the oligarchs of the new technocracy responsible. If he doesn’t do that, why run to begin with?

Remember When I Was A Soccer Deacon?

Yeah, don’t talk much about soccer these days. With the NASL basically reduced to a litigant in court, it’s pretty depressing. My focus is on Cosmos stuff when they are playing, which basically means following international Cosmos clubs until 2019.

Ports of a Digital Island

At this point, outside of Groups, I plan to use Facebook and Twitter as a dumping ground to links to the main sections of my digital island. I’ve created a Minds account, which I plan to use soon in the hopes of moving active topics of discussion off Facebook, as well as an Unfollo account. I’ve had a Gab account since almost when it started, but it’s not too active. So far I am stuck using Facebook messenger for private discussions, but I am looking for easy ways to migrate off it (so far, not looking great).

For the rest, there’s always… email.