Victims of Extremistan

I thought this piece: “Amazon and the reintermediation of the spectacle” my Michael Smethurst was well worth reading. Here are some choice excerpts, but these are mainly for me. You should read the entire thing.

Software is what we write to extract information from data. The worse your data model is, the more software you have to write.

The fact that we will not enter a Golden Age of Reading because of corporate control, may be the greatest loss (in opportunity cost) the digitization of books will bring us.

I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to hack with that kind of data. What could you build around community reading groups, formal education, adult literacy? At the very least it would save me the chore of ticking homework diaries. But I doubt we’ll get that chance.

The following is one of the reasons that privacy is not going to be salvagable in the future.

The most important issue for user experience people to grapple with is informed consent. More and more web services are dependent on user contributed content and data. Every time you make a contribution (explicit or implicit) you’re trading convenience for privacy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s something we do everyday in real life from mobile phones to loyalty cards. But as the web moves out of the browser and into smart objects, the trade-offs we’re making need to be made explicit so people can make informed choices about when to get involved and when to back away.

Because Amazon are light years ahead of the game we think we’re playing.

With the digitization of everything and the scale required, we are becoming the victims of Extremistan or rather of its overlords: Apple, Google and Amazon.

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