Nailing (or blutacking) 95 theses to the door of the tech giants


A clever idea from the tech commentator John Naughton. It's the month of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther, hammering his theses to the door of a church in Germany, and triggering the Reformation - where the theological power of the elites of the Catholic Church was challenged. 

Naughton looks around at the "popes" of current digital technology - and their vast overarching catherdrals of Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter - and wonders what theses could be nailed (or at least blu-tacked) to their shiny corporate doors. The voice of the people demanding that they not be subject to surveillance, data mining, egregious copyright controls... The parallel is fun to make and instructive. 

He's set up a separate site, 95 Theses, and is working on putting an explanatory page behind each of his terms. Here's the first 26:

1: Digital technology is significantly different from other technologies

2: Kranzberg’s First Law of technology rules OK

3: Technological progress is not linear, but exponential. That’s why we find it hard to cope with it

4: The Internet is an architecture for ‘permissionless innovation’

5: Facebook is not the Internet. Nor is Google. Nor is the World Wide Web.

6: June 2007 was a pivotal moment in the evolution of the networked world

7: Free software is what keeps the networked world going

8: Cloud computing is heating the planet

9: Winners take all in digital markets

10: Surveillance is the business model of the Internet

11: Think of Google and Facebook as if they were ExxonMobil and Glencore

12: If the service is free then you are the product

13: Cui Bono? (Who benefits?) is the first question you should ask before signing up for a ‘free’ online service

14: Surveillance capitalism is not sustainable in the long run

15: Your smartphone is a slot-machine in your pocket

16: The Internet dissolves value chains

17: In an age of digital abundance, attention is the really scarce resource

18: The free market was always an illusion. In Cyberspace it’s a fraud

19: The technical is political

20: Facebook is not a public space. Nor is it Speaker’s Corner

21: Surveillance capitalism is undermining democracy

22: Digital technology fuels economic inequality

23: The gig economy is creating a new class — the precariat

24: Robots that replace human workers should be taxed

25: The only three regimes that really understand the Internet are the Russian, the Chinese — and the North Korean

26: The Internet could become a new kind of failed state

 More here