taxing social media

The dictator of Uganda wants to tax citizens for using “social media”.

(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44798627).

A few days ago it got me thinking that it would be technically difficult, if not impossible, for the government of Uganda to accurately track individual users and their usage of social media to arrive at an accurate number.

A riposte by other anonymous commentators goes that technologies in recent times show that it is possible if not already applied.

To which I replied:

Including blocking federated socmed services based on Mastodon/Diaspora/GNUsocial/ActivityPub routed through encrypted DNS servers & onion routers?

I mean yea sure blocking FB/twt/G+ & other centralized socmeds would be easy, even tracking usage through blockchain etc.,etc.

Tracking & charging centralized socmed, is different from tracking & charging *all* socmed.

“Life always finds a way”, to borrow from Jurassic World…

I’m not paying cash for Twitter.

Do *you* want to pay cash for Twitter?

How many Ugandans would pay cash for Twitter..?

…And then, just under 24 hours later, public protests seem to have forced even the Ugandan dictator to reconsider his tax.

———

Now mind you governments do tax Google, Facebook, Twitter. The governments tax the corporations and the corporations happily pay a percentage (through differing mechanisms depending on country/jurisdiction) because the corporations still manage to profit despite the taxation. Obviously, because if they can’t profit (at least profit long-term, and in some manner or some way) then obviously the businesses involved would eventually collapse.

Taxing citizens/users directly for time spent on socmed might discourage socmed abuse, such as how tax on tobacco, alcohol, gambling is supposed to discourage abuse, but the difference here is that citizens/users in the case of socmed don’t feel the sting of tax because the ones being taxed are the corporations, not the users. The “nanny-state” tax on socmed doesn’t work because it isn’t the babies that are getting taxed, it’s the “candy sellers” aka. the corporations. No one is taking candies from the babies.

The Internet is the cheapest, most cost-effective telecommunications infrastructure that Humanity has ever developed in history. And on the flip-side of that benefit, the escapism afforded by the Internet has detrimental side-effects that cannot be easily dismissed either. A first instinct reaction for many, including myself to be honest, is to react “censorship internet blockade bad”. Taxing users seem like a novel idea that might just work but personally I am biased against it. On the other hand though…

Whatever. The evil dictator must be deposed yadda yadda.

———

I personally would like to give more thought on this before I publish this but naah. I’m out of energy. </hits publish>

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What we constantly yearn is rest. But what constantly pains us is to be called out for stupidity.

We will never rest. And we will always be stupid.

———

But that’s the thing isn’t it. We’re all each of us never stupid at everything all the time.

We each have our moments. Always.

worldview headview

We’re each responsible for our own worldview. Yes we can get hints from others but no one knows what mods each of us has installed, what dependencies there are, and how to tweak it without it all breaking down. Asking others to mod our code for us is just asking for trouble.

You can’t have others do your thinking for you. Not even if you really wanted to.

 


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.

Originally posted on June 28, 2018 at 02:50AM. [Tumblr direct link]

Be comfortable with being seen as ridiculous and idiotic.

Be active, no matter how society acts so insecure, cruel, and childishly fearful.

Be confident that you are a deserving human and that your pursuits are noble.

 

 


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.

Originally posted on May 18, 2018 at 07:59AM. [Tumblr direct link]

self-control and psycho-social manipulation in cyberspace

For those of you who say that people should be wise enough to have self-control when facing psycho-social manipulation through social media, I ask this: Do you need to eat?

Do you need to sleep? How many days can you go without sleeping? For those of you who still have eyesight: does sudden intense light aimed straight at your eyes make you feel pain? For those of you who still have ears: does a 15.000mHz sound wave at 50 dB make you feel physical pain?

The human hardware has specific responses to stimuli which will not change for at least give or take 60 years barring significant evolution. Your human body and nervous system has specific hardware vulnerabilities which will not be patched in a month, much less a week or a fortnight. Psycho-social manipulation is a real vulnerability and there’s no going around it. Legislation and socio-political norms-building may have at best a prefunctory effect on mitigating some of these risks but effectively the vulnerabilities will always be there.

Your mind is hackable. Know this. Plan accordingly.

 


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.

Originally posted on May 01, 2018 at 02:26PM. [Tumblr direct link]

You will always be in a state of cognitive dissonance. The only thing you can do is to choose which…

You will always be in a state of cognitive dissonance. The only thing you can do is to choose which worldview you will subscribe to and to mold it, as best you can, to match the realities you experience each day, in so far that you can still cognitively and emotionally function.

Your worldview will always, always differ from the worldviews of all humans around you. Most cases only ever so slightly, but more often than you would expect quite significantly in numerous enough cases. You cannot ever satisfy the cognitive dissonances experienced by others, nor can you possibly perfectly overcome the cognitive dissonances you yourself experience. You can, and in fact you must, choose which theories to subscribe to and which theories to reject, and you don’t have to share all with everyone, and even fulfill all demands thrusted upon you by all others around you. Keep yourself together. It’s the best you can do.

Grow. And expect that others will attempt to tear you down, maliciously or not, intentionally or not. Keep moving. Life’s a bicycle ride, kinda. You only keep upright by keeping on moving.


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.
Originally posted on April 27, 2018 at 04:00PM. [Tumblr direct link]

Is addiction really that bad? Is it bad that we need oxygen and protein and carbohydrates?…

Is addiction really that bad? Is it bad that we need oxygen and protein and carbohydrates? What’s bad is overconsumption and that goes for socmed-induced dopamine hits, too.

We will always, always be addicted to something. And yes, we can choose what we’re addicted to.

[in response to the addictive design of consumer Internet technologies]


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.
Originally posted on March 20, 2018 at 04:40PM. [Tumblr direct link]

A response to a Will Smith story-time video-blog

Just a few hours ago WIll Smith published this vlog on his YouTube channel which I very much liked and with a message I very much agree with. But after seeing the vlog I felt I had some words to add and so I wrote the following in the comments to his vlog.


Much respect Will for your lifelong dedication to uplifting & empowering words & and actions. And in no way do I want to imply that this was a wrong path for you to take or anything like that at all. And yes I do sympathize that the escalation to police action can be seen as a perhaps over-reactionary and perhaps excessive escalation.

But one thing I want to put into this forum, if I may, is that the boy’s action to knock you down with that heavy padlock, _his choice_ to take that path where he escalated his emotion towards violence, _that choice was entirely his._

It was his own personal choice to resort to violence. He didn’t have to. But he had let his emotions get the better of him. He may have been young, he may have been stupid, but that choice? That’s on him. Sure it was unlucky for him that the situation wound up putting him in prison with a permanent criminal record, but he could have chosen different. But he didn’t. And so that’s where he wound up.

I respect you Will for your dedication towards inspiring and uplifting people around you. And your gesture of apology is, in my personal opinion, quite just and honorable. These choices, Will, the paths you’ve chosen, they’ve led you to become a great person. And so in the end, with apologies for this long rant, I have nothing more to say than much respect, Will. Much respect.


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.
Originally posted on March 16, 2018 at 01:27AM. [Tumblr direct link]

Here’s the thing about accuracy: one should ideally strive for 100% accuracy yes, but make no…

Here’s the thing about accuracy: one should ideally strive for 100% accuracy yes, but make no mistake that not even the most mighty of humans ever achieve 100% accuracy on all things at all times.

Accuracy is the ideal, but do not let the thirst for the ideal, get in the way of you actually getting anything done.

Build towards the ideal, but do not be disappointed if you do not achieve the ideal instantly on first try.


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.
Originally posted on March 13, 2018 at 12:41PM. [Tumblr direct link]

The wonders of your little corner of the universe. You know them. You see them every day. You…

The wonders of your little corner of the universe.

You know them. You see them every day. You don’t have to search for them they’re all around you. So many.

Don’t let circumstances bring you down. Live.


cross-posted from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com via IFTTT.
Originally posted on March 01, 2018 at 11:44AM. [Tumblr direct link]