OT ? How The Computer Killed Capitalism

this is the first time I’ve read anything by Cory Doctorow, found the link on Barry Ritholtz site, I thought it was a very interesting read. The links inside of the article are also quite good, I think I’ll be reading off of this article for a couple of days, lol.

Doctorow discusses all of the ways that computer “innovation” is being used to extract money from customers in the auto industry, and provides multiple other links to show how companies in other industries are doing the same thing. The printer industry has drawn my ire, I’m about to dump a perfectly functional Epson printer that tells me I’m out of ink and must buy genuine Epson ink, even though it is clearly not out of ink.

Anyways, the link, and a few clips from it:

Pluralistic: Autoenshittification (24 July 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

“Forget F1: the only car race that matters now is the race to turn your car into a digital extraction machine, a high-speed inkjet printer on wheels, stealing your private data as it picks your pocket. Your car’s digital infrastructure is a costly, dangerous nightmare – but for automakers in pursuit of postcapitalist utopia, it’s a dream they can’t give up on.”

“These digital systems are a huge problem for the car companies. They are the underlying cause of a precipitous decline in car quality. From touch-based digital door-locks to networked sensors and cameras, every digital system in your car is a source of endless repair nightmares, costly recalls and cybersecurity vulnerabilities”

" Don’t drive a cab, create Uber and extract value from every driver and rider. Better still: don’t found Uber, invest in Uber options and extract value from the people who invest in Uber. Even better, invest in derivatives of Uber options and extract value from people extracting value from people investing in Uber, who extract value from drivers and riders. Go meta."


I saw a PBS show where speaker pointed out productivity gain was a major feature of the dot com boom. Businesses are investing in AI anticipating similar gains.

And of course that translates to more production of whatever with fewer manhours of input. More automation.

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