Usually I don't pay much attention to what Wu Ming write, that is Bui. I don't pay attention not so much because of the contents, but because of their source. I was lucky (s) to share, for all high schools, a littorina for Ferrara with the same Bui, (not the same school, luckily: he attended the Lycée of the local _elites_, also called "the cream", from which "the cremini".) and from this a certain visceral antipathy was born . The same dislike I have for anyone who is a "cremino", who then stands as a representative of the poor classes, counting on the fact that few know him really well.
I could tell you anecdotes, but the point is that I don't really care about explaining the guy: I'm just explaining why I don't read it. Essentially, I believe that only infected stuff can come out of an infected source, so I don't normally read it. Unfortunately, however, I have a news aggregator, which reacts to some words. And when Bui goes to write about what Google would do with our data, I laugh.
Do you know those who go to talk about Artificial Intelligence and all they do is quote Terminator? Here, in the case of Bui, he wants to talk about big data and all he does is talk about 1984, about George Orwell.
According to Giap, apparently google is immensely interested in what the single does . In his latest delusional article, google takes the data from your phone to find out if you quarreled with mom, if you slept well, etc. And all this would constitute a state of surveillance . And from his "valuable advice" it is clear that he has no idea what he is saying.
And I believe it. If you were born in a country of gossip like the ones we come from, you probably see Google as the neighbor who observes what time you open the windows, and if you open the windows of two rooms a short time later (maybe you wanted to give air to home), he will go on to tell everyone that "husband and wife are separated at home".
If you grow up in this context (and the high school of the cremines cannot emancipate you) you will think of Google as something that collects data for the same purpose as your neighbor gossip: to know everything about you .
But that's not the case.
So first I have to confess. Until the beginning of last year, I was in charge of a so-called "big data" infrastructure. Pipelines, storage, fabrics, nodes and everything. About 500 million people, plus their cars.
And there's one thing that of course Bui doesn't know: nobody cares about the single. Of course, your moms have told you that you are special, important, unique and rare pieces, flowers that bloom every hundred years, Michelangelo's masterpieces, that nothing is good enough for splendid people like you.
To this was added Hollywood, with its individualism, and the school with its historical schematism. Who Made the Russian Revolution? Oh, they said to you: Lenin, Trotzky, and all the nice names. And then turn on the TV, where there is the cult of the hero: the SINGLE MAN who, alone, does this and that. And kiss the blonde. And then you shoot the comics, in which only one SUPER-hero has the responsibility to save the planet once a week.
But the reality is a different coat. The Russian revolution made about 25 million people. Yes, of course, there were also Lenin & co, but without the remaining 25 million, it would have been only old men who write "Satan Troy" in the Milan Metro. The Iranian revolution did not make Khomeini. About 350,000 people made it. Otherwise Khomeini would have been just the umpteenth migrant who returned home with a lot of good stories to tell.
Thus, it is perhaps true that in the past, "electronic surveillance", in an attempt to prevent riots and insurrections, limited itself to monitoring individuals to "intercept" the birth of a Lenin or a Khomeini.
This is because the idea of supervising the 25 million who made the October revolution was not even conceivable. It was really too many.
Now imagine one thing: imagine that instead of asking us if there is a Lenin somewhere, or worrying about intercepting him, we asked ourselves if there are the 25 million Russians who made the revolution. Why should we do it? Because we know very well that without those 25 million Russians, Lenin would have been just another old man who was fucking stupid in some Moscow bar.
The first problem with this kind of investigation is not to understand if you slept well or badly. Nor to understand if you have quarreled with your mother. Because, if we ask ourselves the TRUE problem, we are not interested in knowing about the boss: for the first time in history, we have the computing power to follow ALL, in groups.
Transposing our example, the Bolsheviks would be the blue ones, while the Mensheviks would be the pinks. The tsarists would be the orange trees, and the greens would be the anarchists. At this point, we are no longer interested in knowing what the individual is doing at the center of the pattern. A single person has no power. We are concerned with whether the masses, which we can now follow and visualize, are moving in a certain direction or not.
And especially, we are concerned with how much they could alliance, and what contacts they have. The contacts between blue and green are there, but pink and green are almost interpenetrating, a sign that they are closer. It is clear that a bad winter is about to begin for the Tsarists.
But in this situation, the single Lenin or the single Trotzky make no difference. If there are 25 million people with those ideas, it is better for the Tsar to book a trip. And quickly.
But obviously removing Lenin, Trotsky and all the other "heroes" (if not super-heroes) from the story differs a lot from the vision that the Japs have. They think Che Guevara was important, and not the Cuban masses whose names are not mentioned.
But now we can compute the masses. A huge paradigm shift: we no longer need to check whether Lenin is in Russia or not. We only need to model these masses. Calculate the "average" individual within one, two sigma.
This operation has a name: "clustering". Once we have determined which clusters we can divide the company into, we can look for them and know what they are talking about. See how they are connected. And to understand what the losing cluster will be, to understand who is joining and who is fighting. At that point, we can do mass propaganda, knowing very well what to do.
We don't really care about individuals anymore, since we can stop the masses by intervening on public discourse. And we can observe them. We can observe how they react to individual news. But we don't look at individuals: what we do is build "aggregate" data.
Humanists will say that the individual will still be an individual to spy on, since the multitude is made up of individuals. This absurd vision was in vogue before methods capable of computing the masses existed.
It is not the masses that are made by individuals. It is the individuals who are made of masses.
Let's go get a single who lives, that I know, in Milan. 99% of his time is spent in a space that is within a radius of a few kilometers. If a dozen commuters. Buy what you find in the local shops, like everyone else who lives in that area. He almost always follows the schedules and habits of his group. Of course, there are differences, but they are very small: what is the difference between those who dress following an X aesthetic and one who dresses with a Y aesthetic if both fabrics are made by the same companies and imported by the same carriers, using the same containers?
If we observe it on a fairly large scale, the difference between a Roman who attends casapound and a Roman who attends the far-left social center is lost in insignificant details. They live, eat, sleep, travel, just like the rest of the local group (neighborhood, social class, etc.). Individual differences are very small, and are insignificant.
At that point, Lenin arrives for the situation. We at Lenin don't give a shred. I am interested to know which mass could accept its ideas, because it is the mass that frightens me. Lenin alone is a skinny guy. He can't do anything to the government.
I just have to prevent Lenin from being listened to by the crowd. But if I go to a mass of rebels to say "don't listen to Lenin", then that's probably what they'll do. But I can do one thing: give him Beppe Grillo.
I don't care to know who they are, but if I can determine that that mass needs a leader, who needs to laugh (and is made of depressed people) and who needs utopias, all I have to do is take something that coincides with the description of their mass needs and give it to them.
Surely when Grillo made his Vaffanculo Day in Bologna there were many who said "listen, it's true that we need to shout at these people who suck and that we have full balls, but you are sure that a comedian entered Rai at altitude DC is the best method? Why not go on a general strike? "
But Grillo was much, much, much more attractive. But moved the masses, and since individuals are made of a group, and not vice versa, then in the end everyone followed the mass. I mean Grillo.
Here social networks come into play.
The social network is bought like the amplifier that stands between the politician who makes the rally and the mass who listens to it. If someone increases the volume, those who are behind in the last rows will hear his voice. If someone decreases the volume, only the first few rows listen, those behind chat or dance, or they fuck themselves.
The social network can decide if the fuck off Day reaches millions of people or if it remains limited to the 300,000 that were there. The title would have been enough as “Grillo's record show in Bologna, never a comedian had had so many spectators with his jokes”, and the fuck off day would have been Grillo's show. It has happened before: you all know that Woodstock was a concert, but you know much less about the ideas that went around.
At that point comes the social network, which takes the words of whoever is in some group, and amplifies them. Sharing them. Of course it seems to you that a friend of yours has shared the message, but to your friend it seems that you have shared it. But you both will comment on the same message.
Mainstream social networks are full of these fake interactions, and if when you meet and talk about it you say “ ah, the message you shared with me. But no, you shared it with me! Well, who cares, that message there. " Here, that message came to both of us at the behest of Facebook, which decided to amplify it. It happened for example with the Yellow Vests: an insignificant group of people complained that the new laws on ecology would have outlawed their diesel SUVs, but for inexplicable reasons what they said ended up for tens of thousands of French people. They are all convinced that some of their friends shared the message with them, I suppose.
But if you go and see, A is convinced that it was B who shared it, B is convinced that it was C, and so on. In the end, it was a bot that wanted to bring a message to a certain "cluster".
Not to a single person. Not to a boss. Not to a political hero, or a superhero of the revolution. Nobody cares about Napoleon, the problem is if France goes after him.
Bui's mistake, which is the mistake of anyone who tries to explain 2020 with the thought of 1850, is to overestimate individuals. Such a computing power can easily deal with the masses, completely leaving out the individuals. So take it easy, google doesn't give a damn about how it sleeps. Google is interested in how Europe sleeps, at best.
But the apotheosis of incompetence Bui reaches her when she thinks that to fight google it is necessary to disconnect, or use "alternative software". It would be fun to inform him that 27% of the commits to the Linux Kernel come from Microsoft, and that Android is based on a linux kernel: instead of GNU / Linux, it is Android / Linux.
The problem is that it is not possible to disconnect.
Imagine throwing away all the electronics you have. Imagine even turning off the electricity of your home. First of all, the needs of the group you are part of would bring you back to reality. You are made of a group: if you have Whatsapp, and also Telegram and also teams, it is because you are part of groups that use these platforms, and therefore you must have all three, even if it is a waste of time and resources.
But even if it were not the group that persuaded you to postpone it, nothing would be needed. While you are in a restaurant, someone is taking a selfie behind you and framing you. While talking to a friend, meet a guy who passes by with his cell phone on, and registers.
It is not possible to disconnect: when I say that I am not on Facebook, I lie knowing that I am lying. My colleagues have just posted a photograph on the internet where we are having dinner out for the end of a project. I'm on Facebook, like it or not.
We all are. And the same goes for google. The same applies to anyone.
It doesn't matter which phone we use, it doesn't matter at all: if there is a camera and a microphone per person around us, there is no way NOT to be on the network. You can be there as a member or as a non-member, but you are there.
There is no way of not being there, it is as if an inhabitant of the GDR had said "the stasis knows nothing about me because I live in a small town and I don't talk to it". Yeah: but all their neighbors were talking to the Stasi.
Moral of the story: whatever software you use, it's not relevant. You are on Facebook, because the human cluster you are part of constantly bangs us. You are on google because if you are not the one who has an android mobile phone, the person who is with you has it. It doesn't matter what software you use.
There is a way to avoid it, but it requires a capacity to live on low self-esteem that people like Bui have never even imagined. If you have narcissism to believe you are revolutionaries and fight for good, to have important things to say and to be able to change the world, you have no escape.
To escape google, unless your government does its google (like the Chinese) you have no chance. There's no way. If you don't have the google dot, your neighbor has it and fixed it on the wall. Now put your ear on the wall and try to listen to the neighbor. OPS.
Dear Bui, you haven't changed much.
Not that I had doubts.
Whoever is born round does not die square, said a very wise person whom I knew.