Facebook can’t replace socialization and face-to-face communication. Soylent can’t replace food. Porn can’t replace sex. Tinder can’t replace dating. It’s tempting to try to technologize everything in our lives, but it won’t work for these more old-school processes, and we should stop believing that four guys in their Harvard dorm room can really make a better social network than the one we have IRL.
That’s meant to be reassuring: they’re not listening to you because they don’t have to. But if anything, that should be even scarier. Facebook knows so much about you they can make you believe they’re listening to your personal conversations. They have so much data about you they can send you ads that have an uncanny relevance to what is going on in the real world.
Against Germany, French squadrons could have hunted raiders, driving the Germans to the Arctic even before the entry of the United States. And when war came to the Pacific, the Fleet could have deployed in defense of French Indochina and other French possessions, as well as giving critical support to the Royal Navy.