Who dares to dodge1 Google's information tax?

In exchange for giving up our personal data, we get to watch each other's cat videos, while Google becomes the new state
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McKenzie Wark guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 May 2013 19.49 BST

'Facebook or Google’s YouTube are not the culture industries so much as the vulture2 industries, taking an information surcharge from us while we amuse each other, and selling us to advertisers.' Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Of course Google doesn't want to pay its taxes to the British crown, like a loyal corporate subject. In Google's mind it secretly thinks that it is now something like a state, and we are all its subjects3. It is we who should pay tribute to it – and we do. We pay it a sort of information tax. Google is the Ministry of Information Retrieval. If you want some data, you have to give up some, about who you are, what you do, what your movements are. Like most other states, Google will then sell access to you to other interested parties. Just like any state, Google has its spies. Its Street View cars snoop4 the world's highvalue streets. All the better to help us citizens of Google-land do what we are supposed to do there – which is shop.

1 2

Dodge= a evita Vulture= A person of a rapacious, predatory, or profiteering nature. 3 Subjects= supusi 4 Snoop= To pry into the private affairs of others, especially by prowling about.

which entertained us with stories or songs that always ended on an upbeat note. They expect us to entertain each other. It acts in the interests only of its shareholders. thoughts. some checks and balances. no matter how false. and its designs7 on what to do with it might be a bit less evil. 9 The big screen decays10 into so many little screens. We are not really its citizens but its peons. feelings or discoveries and turn them into money. But in the spectacle of disintegration. in an unequal exchange of information. Some might be quite happy residing in Google-land. There is at least some transparency. there's another side.If Google succeeds in selling us its Google Glass5. Like do-it-yourself commercial TV. In exchange for the poll11 tax of personal data. Google Books might be better than your local library. no matter how much of it we have already given up. all that breaks apart. But at least the culture industries went to the bother of entertaining us. Facebook or Google's YouTube are not the culture industries so much as the vulture industries. then we all become its agents. There used to be all sorts of criticisms of the old "culture industries" like Hollywood and the top 40. But in Google-land none of this applies. These are all elements of what I call the "spectacle of disintegration". We always owe a debt of information to Google. It is entirely possible that Google has better intelligence on world affairs than MI5 or the CIA. we get to watch each other's cat videos. and selling us to advertisers. and that perhaps only notionally. As with any state. 5 That facial recognition technology will allow a Glass-wearer to walk past you and instantly know who you are and what you do? 6 Make up for = to substitute 7 Designs= scopuri 8 Idly= “in dorul lelii” 9 Break apart= a se destrama 10 11 Decay= a se destrama Poll= sondaj . Our leisure time is now to be spent producing information for the vulture industries of Google and co. We were at least still free to daydream while we sat idly8 watching. The old spectacle of television and radio papered the world with images of what the lovely soul of the commodity was supposed to look like. and pay a tax for it. Google Maps makes up for 6 all the missing street signs your council can't maintain. Their replacements don't even bother. taking an information surcharge from us while we amuse each other. The British government at least notionally acts in the interests of its citizens. We would be a sensory apparatus for a vast computer database whose mission is to take our perceptions.

Google has its patriots. protected by cryptic passwords. Like any state. neconventionale 15 Disband= a se desfiinta 16 Carve out= a crea . disbanded15. They pioneered ways of discreetly carving out 16spaces where other codes apply. gr 1. a certain glamour of obscurity. that last attempt to rock the old kind of state. master of all our data. Bitty= tiny 14 Quirky= caudate. It's 45 years since the failure of May '68. so that we might live within it. But there are also those who think this latest version of the spectacle offers some quirky14 avenues for having fun at its expense. Its time for a certain opacity. Not all the information we offer up has to be even remotely true. Afterwards the Situationists.while Google becomes some new version of the state. who gave us the concept of the spectacle. But they did not go silent. in aggregate. 12 13 Presiding =To possess or exercise authority or control. Perhaps some of their subtle arts might work within the belly of this new digital beast. but not give it our undivided attention Bazar Cristina. presiding12 over all our bitty13 lives.

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