Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Coinage Capitalism

Hottakes galore, call it coinage capitalism
Reification of the zeitgeist, the books proliferated
Bearing weighty tomes laden with keen, academic discourse
Along came the bright observers and the futurists

Cassandras calling, heady charges were duly leveled
Observe well the rhetoric of these social synthesizers
But scratch the gleaming surface of their mooted frameworks
And behold a fundamental misdiagnosis of the economics of networks

Such edifices they erected
   as they bemoaned the newfangled platforms
Perverse incentives touted by the lawyers among them,
   stern demands for reform
Bullet points on their charge sheets,
   not your garden variety contrarianism
A veritable rush to be the first to pinpoint the original sin

They extolled the perils of the day,
   but it was a new age of puffery
Their research probed the fatted calf
   or, at least, its dark underbelly
These pundits, badged with brows of concern and alacrity
Were minting think pieces full of shrink-wrapped profundity

Talking to themselves,
   the commentariat selling policy prescriptions
Data is the new oil, and other slogans that belied their fictions
But to take them at their word would be a crying shame
For, at the end of it all, they were merely playing a shell game

Tell us something new, there's no such thing as a free lunch
Captain Obvious, if you aren't paying, you are the product
Dark patterns applied as you skipped over the fine print
Taken hostage, the convenience of the Faustian pact in one click

Blinders on, the profit imperative,
   next they'll be fleecing you
Slouching wide awake, you customer,
   as they extract surplus value

Still, was there really anything novel
   in this dark empire of fear?
Methinks their sole invention
   was a new way of saying buyer beware


Cheap Talk, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note (spotify version)

Timing is everything
Observers are worried

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Writing log. Concept: January 29 2019. November 21 2021

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