Surveillance Capitalism, Googlenomics, AI Monopolies, Softbank, Crypto & The EU Commission.. with emojis 😬

Jamie Burke
Mar 15 · 3 min read

A little storm⚡️ about Surveillance Capitalism, Googlenomics, #AI monopolies, The Cypherpunk Manifesto, Tim Berners Lee, BATS FAANGS, Softbank, Self Sovereign Identity #SSI, The EU Commission & Elizabeth Warren, #blockchain & #crypto


Surveillance Capitalism, informed by Googlenomics, has become the dominant economic model for the Web globally 🌎 🌍 🌏

Platform monopolies have become data monopolies have become AI 🤖monopolies.

This was initially to just serve us better ads through trojan 🐴 of personalisation 🎯

However, now these technologies are becoming more invasive, moving into our 🏠 , 🚙 , and following us around with our 📱 every waking 🕰 hoovering up our digital footprints to package up and sell on as predictive products.

But this isnt by accident but design. The with hindsight naive idealism of the internet and subsequently Web’s founding father’s and their design choices left an evolutionary niche that got exploited when the Cypherpunks Manifesto 📜 got hijacked 🔫 by a capitalistic libertarian agenda.

It was felt the Internet should be free of government interference, a final frontier born from the 🇺🇸 pioneer mindset, where a social contract would bind and a free market serve its 🌎 citizenship. That just didn’t scale beyond its early adopters.

Instead, we got the increasingly antisocial platforms of Facebook, Google, and Amazon and in Asia their equivalents fittingly referred to as BATS FAANGS. 🦇

Because of sheer volume of data these co now possess & network effects they enjoy they have us hooked to their AI 🤖 prowess for an expanding universe of economic activity. The level of advantage in #ML is almost at point it would be impossible for new entrants to catch up

So we are at a critical inflection point as a society.. 🌎 👦🏾 👱🏽 👩 👴🏻 👩🏼 👳🏾something I’ve repeated pretty anytime I’ve been given a platform over the last 3 years.

🇨🇳 is all but lost as The State benefits too greatly from complete erosion of privacy enjoyed by Surveillance Capitalism which is manifesting into black mirror social innovations such as the Citizen Social Score which stopped over 12 million Chinese getting ✈️ last year

However in 🇺🇸 & 🇪🇺 its a perfect ⛈ that could challenge paradigm:

Top Down push by regulators 👇🏼 & a Bottom Up 🖕🏼 groundswell of technical innovations around decentralisation of data

#blockchains + self-sovereign identity #SSI = New Data Economy where user is center & in control 🕹

Initially out of the 🇪🇺 with warning ⚠️ shot 💥 of GDPR theres a fightback across 3 fronts:

- Privacy

- Competition

- Sovereignty of Digital Identity (and Data)

that promise to deconstruct Surveillance Capitalism & AI monopolies to better serve citizens & open web to greater competition

These new innovations fundamentally undermine & erode biz models of leading platforms & valuations 💵

When heavily indebted companies like Uber, financed by Softbank 💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰are stripped of data advantage & curtailed with social norms they look of cards 🏠

Whether its @SenWarren wanting to break up tech giants assuming user data through aggressive M&A or recent report by the 🇬🇧 Govt about extending open banking principles to platforms there is momentum building & it might be just in time

Folk that are leading:

@SenWarren @vestager @PZilgalvis @EvaKaili @jasonfurman

for all your foresight, vision and hard work.

in particular @shoshanazuboff because she has given us the lexicon to name the enemy & frame the debate

Some supporting links:

News Articles:

Why Softbank’s 300 Year Vision is already out of date

The Convergence Stack, building a New Data Economy

Tech giants should ‘open up their customer data to others’ Report commissioned by UK government

The next antitrust standoff — Big Tech’s use of data

China blacklists millions of people from booking flights as ‘social credit’ system introduced


The Age of Survelliance Capitalism 📕

Tim Berners Lee’s Weaving The Web 📘

Counter Culture to Cyber Culture 📗

Jamie Burke

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CEO & Investor at focused on the convergence thesis: where blockchain is foundational to Web 3.0 a more decentralised and automated future.