In the old days, canals, roads, train tracks, etc. were almost all privately owned in many countries. Some airports too, but not many. Now, most of these elements of our infrastructure are publicly owned or so regulated that they may as well be. Same with utilities.

I wrote a while ago about how Amazon Dot Com is a public good that should not be privately controlled. A lot of people got mad at me and pointed out how wrong I was, but that is because they did not understand that the vast majority of on line commerce is actually run by Amazon even though you don’t know that while you are doing it. Imagine that Sears not only was sears, bur also owned all other appliance manufacturers, as well as Walmarts, Coscos, and Kmarts, but you didn’t know that. If I then said “Sears is about the only place you buy stuff from” you would have to understand that i mean “Sears and all that they own.”

In the case of Google, it is somewhat different. Google probably owns and/or operates stuff that does not have their name on it, but aside from that, it is quite possible to run your entire computer life off of Google and nothing else. Google is on the verge of becoming more insidious than Microsoft, but they are actually dong a pretty good job at it.

But the latest maneneo with pseudonymous has shown us that a benevolent dictator is still a dictator and must be destroyed. As a society we have to do what we’ve done before: Publicly take over and run that which was private but that has become infrastructure. And while we are at it we need to decommission all cable companies. I mean, seriously … how is that not a monopoly?

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Comments

  1. #1 Ole Phat Stu
    July 31, 2011

    What does “maneneo” mean? It is not in my dictionary.

  2. #2 Azkyroth
    July 31, 2011

    Any thoughts on what it’ll take to get them to pull their heads out of their arrogant asses and restore the broadly-demanded option to turn off auto-complete in their search function?

  3. #3 Jack Sprocket
    July 31, 2011

    Public monopolies have traditionally been controlled by taking them into communal- local or national- ownership. Which worked when the scope of a monopoly was no bigger than the state. Now the monopoly is global; there is no global organisation capable of administering Google, because there is no agreed way of running supranational bodies in a way agreeable to all the local interests. Maybe it has taken Google to show us that our nation- states are conceptually similar to the English County Councils, the French Departements, and the American States of the recent age.

    Google has immense power, and zero responsibility. At the moment it is mostly a liberating movement, freeing information and making it widely available. There is no obvious reason why it should continue to be like this, as its only reason for existence is to make a profit for its proprietors.

    Money dictates that Google will develop over time to favour the controllers of wealth. The only way those of us without globally significant wealth can counter this is to develop means of communication which bypass the monopoly, which Google will eventually naturally oppose. But we don’t need streamed gigabits- the future underground will operate through silent, ungreedy, undetected bot- networks that are too expensive to avoid.

    The class war will go on- despite most of the underlings believing they are part of the elite.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    July 31, 2011

    Maneno means trouble, problem, or argument. It’s KiSwahili.

  5. #5 Russell
    July 31, 2011

    Public monopolies work in areas where technology change is incremental and predictable. Where the good provided really has become a utility.

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