The mobile "revolution", or what consumers have come to expect

Tuesday, 02 December, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The early Internet bubble failed because it was built on a convenient fictional representation of the world. You know, like any other bubble.

For instance, in the case of the South Sea bubble, people had somehow managed to convince themselves, against the plainest, most banal evidence as well as against the plainest, most common of all senses that the royal assent of the king of Spain to one single English ship visiting a few ports in its colonial empire is going to produce not just some wealth, but practically speaking infinite wealth. Nevermind that infinite wealth is a thing of the imagination of the stupid, not of this worldi. Nevermind that it was actually fairly unlikely for a ship as described to ever be run profitably at all (and in fact they weren't, in practice). Nevermind any of that, the poor wish to be rich while staying poor, just like the old want to be young again while staying oldii, and if "the consumers have come to expect" then definitely "the consumers" are gonna get.

Or if you'd rather take a different forinstance, read up on the Darien scheme - it's even greater lolz, what with a bunch of inept Scots going to war with the windmills of the world. Never has ignorance of literature so amusingly informed the activities of a large group of idiots aka "a people". It really should be sold in one volume with el ingenioso hidalgo, here's the theory, here's the practice sort of textbook to human idiocy. But anyway, the "consumers" were "expecting", and in due time their embarazo delivered its usual fruits. Expecting consumers, now there you have a recipe for unmitigated disaster.

Similarly, the dotcom bubble worked on the fallacious construction that i) there's a large bunch of creative minds out there and ii) the Internet is definitely going to be integral to their future activities so iii) if "we" position ourselves somehow we might be able to extract taxation out of them for "reasons". And become incredibly wealthy while doing nothing useful whatsoever, ie, becoming rich while staying poor. Victory! Finally!

Obviously, it didn't work.iii Just like any other two bit scam doesn't work, but guess what : the muppets that fall for scams, the chumps that inflate bubbles do not care that it doesn't work. They don't live in a world where the alternatives are "do this or do that, pick one according to which works". They instead live in a world where the alternatives are "do this and hope it works or do nothing at all". They don't compare like things, like sane people. They compare imaginative representations of things with noise derived out of the functioning of psychological processes. Inasmuch as they're never going to run out of either representations or psychogenic noise, the machine will keep chugging right along, or as Stan puts it, "the hunchback will straighten in his grave".

~ * ~

I've read yesterday to much personal amusement some retardation in Forbes, tellingly titled "Fun Number: Apple Is Now Worth More Than The Entire Russian Stock Market". Because you know, the first victim of the state press is truth and all that. Selected glory :

However, this isn’t so much a story about how wonderfully Apple is doing (the valuation of Apple is still quite low going by the traditional numbers like EPS and so on), rather, it’s more of a story about how appallingly bad Russian public policy is.

[...]

If you owned Apple Inc. (AAPL), and sold it, you could purchase the entire stock market of Russia, and still have enough change to buy every Russian an iPhone 6 Plus.

[...]

It’s definitely a fun number but as I say it’s not really about how much we’re all valuing Apple at. Sure, the company is incredibly successful and it is the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. But given the profits it is making it’s not valued particularly highly by the normal methods we might use to judge company valuations. The p/we ratio most certainly isn’t excessive and so on.

The thing goes further on the rails of "find out why and wherefore the most overvalued company of all time is not at all overvalued, because reasons unstated ; come see how their bezzle is not nearly as good as our bezzle, a fact directly proven by the happenstance that what our numbers show should be possible is directly and observably not possible" and so on and so forth. Of course.

Meanwhile, consider the naked facts involved. So, consumers "have come to expect" convenience. What do they do with it ?

The washing machine has freed the wife from the chore of washing your socks by hand. Does she now spend that time twerking or does she spend the time sitting on reddit derping about how not fucking whales is sexist ? The various improvements of kitchen appliances have each individualy been sold on the premise of convenience, saving you work and shortening the time it takes to prepare ever more elaborate meals. Well, does she ? Seems they've shortened that time off entirely. And it doesn't stop there : the hordes of idiots that have come to expect easy entrance examinations at colleges across the world aren't putting in twice as much work after having been admitted twice as easily. No, they simply ask for... well ? Twice as easy degrees! Convenience, yo! In practice, all it seems to breed is laziness.

Mobile lusers are no different. The olden paradigm is that someone sits down in front of their computer, mouse to the right, keyboard to the left, and can think in peace, and type conveniently and click on things with ease. The mobile paradigm is that someone gets bored somewhere, like waiting for the bus, or driving, so he whips out a little device. A little device that has a tiny, inconvenient viewport, that has to be sacrificed to work as part-time keyboard and part-time mouse because obviously these don't exist separately.

Basically, it's a way to get the TV crowd "involved" with the Internet. Those people who can barely read, those people who have structurally no interest in understanding anything to any depth or follow up on any claim, statement or piece of information. They aren't bothered by the sheer uselessness, anti-usability and inergonomicity of mobile devices. He who wasn't going to try and use a computer anyway doesn't mind that the iPad is really more like a TV set than anything. He likes the TV set.

"Business" (in the bezzle sense of that term) loves the inflation, of course. What could be greater than having "twice as many users" ? Nevermind that the second half are complete fucktards that can't hardly see what you're saying, and have nothing to contribute anyway (if they do, it'll have to be a dozen words or less, because typing on their terminal is a nightmare). They're not even there deliberately, as the side effect of seeking something out. They're merely there as the direct result of being bored. To get out of the rain, as the expression goes. But hey, more users! So your site becomes more like twitter and your life becomes more like... what the consumers have come to expect.

It's coming to an end, of course. The South Sea idiocy seemed equally unstoppable to a despondent Newton as the "mobile revolution" might seem to youiv. Fashions are by their nature fleeting, and while they're exactly what the consumer idiot of all times and places has come to always expected, nevertheless they're not exactly a central point of interest to the people that matter in this (and any other) world.

What the idiots expect is the least of your concerns. Forget about them, the secular "consumer" thing is coming to an endv, you're better served looking into the new upsurge than trying to ride the dead whale on its way down towards the bottom of the sea.

———
  1. This is one of the best definitions of stupidity to date. Some people imagine things of this world. These people go on to make good works of science and good works of engineering and good works of fiction. Other people imagine things not of this world. We call these people stupid, and that name will stick notwithstanding their constant attempts to rebrand - most recently as "Earth sciences scientists", and before that as "social science scientists" and even before that as "theologians" (because now Science is fashionable so they try to pretend to that, while before Philosophy was fashionable so they tried to make a "philosophy of their own" - the stuposophy aka god-yaddayadda). []
  2. Would you wish to be 16 again if what it meant was that your spondylosis and prostatitis and Alzheimer's and entire list of degenerative blessings of old age simply continued their march to deterioration, practically having received a 30 year jump start ? So you'll be the first forty year old with senile dementia, a few decades down the road ?

    Not really, at least not if put in those terms, is it. However, you don't seem to see the "extended lifespans" claims for the statistical fraud they are, but instead paradoxically (yet quite starry-eyed-ly) misrepresent them as somehow a net gain. Notwithstanding that it's exactly equivalent to being a rebooted 16 yo with all the incipient small diseases and ailments troubling a fiftysomething. Oh, didn't those cavemen have it rough, living to be "on average thirty-something". How it sucked for them to not have to wither away trying to do "graduate studies" because they weren't fortunate enough to live in a society where somehow thirty year olds are still not adult enough to participate in commerce, thirty being the new fifteen. Nevermind that their biology is starting to fall out from under them. What, it's just a problem for women, can't manage to make enough money before they're 40 and the cycles stop to actually get impregnated once. It's not a problem for men, men have it fine, because if it's not visible it doesn't exist.

    But anyway, the sheer stupidity of it all aside, you do wish to be young again while staying old, that's the entire thing with "young again" : you don't want the brain of the retarded 16 yo that you were, that'd be pointless. No, you just want to be a lecherous old man that has a good excuse to hang out with the naive teens of tomorrow, while making detection impossible. That's what you want for, not being young again but being able to pass for one, so well that they themselves couldn't tell the difference. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but the practical approach is to put the girlies in a harem and keep them naked indoors if that's what you want, rather than whatever it is you're doing. But you don't want to do that, now do you. Nut.

    Let's not think even for a minute about how a world of tomorrow would look where any unspecified number of "naive 16 yos" were in fact preditorial 50 somethings disguised, too much like that joke where an undercover federal agent sold a bomb to a federal agent undercover, and they prosecuted each other in different courts (jurisdiction shopping, obviously you don't prosecute "selling terrorism paraphenalia" in the same jurisdiction you prosecute "buying terrorism paraphenalia", duh) each getting a raise and a commendation out of their sleepless vigilance.

    Let's instead think of the rich and the poor, and what the poor think "being rich" is, and how they imagine that'd go, and how they go play the lottery, and sometimes win, and in due course they're still poor, but now also in jail. Much like the rock imagines that the difference between it and the plane is mere impulse, and so keeps trying to talk the creatures of the forest into throwing it really hard so he may fly too. Should this somehow happen the only possible result is an animal with a bump on its head, because how's a rock going to fly for being thrown ?

    That's right, there's substantial and quite personal difference between rich people and poor people, and this is not fixable by exterior measures. Heck, most of the time it's not even fixable by interior measures. There goes all cultural production coming out of the US for the past century, they've done nothing but try to illusion away either one of these scores (something both). It works about as well as you'd expect, there's always a large crowd watching their revivals, mud wrestling and assorted carnival fare. []

  3. Turns out that the creative parts of this world aren't particularly looking for more ticks, whereas the parts that don't really mind the ticks aren't really all that productive at all. The trajectory of Myspace is the perfect example of how this entire thing worked out in practice. []
  4. And hey, Apple's not even really overvalued! Srs! P/E matters for one shot wonders, totally. Because that's how thinking works, in the Anglostupidosphere : you take a statistical measure that was devised to represent one set of realities, you apply it to an entirely different set and pretend like it's all the same and it still holds. Like you did with the users, you know, some guy on a computer, some guy on an iPhone, same thing, they're all "consumers" right ? Worked splendidly well on the subprime mortgages thing, it's failproof is what it is.

    Sarcasm aside, what exactly do you suppose allows the application of P/E ratios, relevant for companies with actual businesses to fashionable crapolade like Apple ? P/E makes sense for a power plant, because the town it serves either pays for service or builds a new one. P/E makes about as much sense when applied to marketing-driven "business" as it makes when applied to lottery winning.

    Completely unsustainable, unreplicable earnings based on nothing at all don't actually warrant a premium, they warrant a discount. To better understand this point, consider the case of a farmer and a fisherman, each running their own business. The farmer produces ten bushels of wheat worth ten units of coinage and his farm is valued at 100 units in total. The fisherman produces a hundred and fifty bushels of fish, which is worth about two hundred units of coinage, because he happens to be fishing in the middle of a spawn this year. So his... his what, his fishing pole ? Whatever, his "intellectual property" is valued at what, 2k or so right ? And it's "not even overvalued" by "traditional measures of P/E" derived from farming. Because totally, after everyone's had their fill of fish everyone's going to want even more fish, at the same per unit price! And the fish always spawn in the same spot, it's exactly like farming, you find the wheat where you planted it, you find the fish where you pl... well you didn't really do anything but nevertheless!

    Makes a whole lot of sense, doesn't it ? []

  5. What do you think the unserviceable US debt signals if not exactly this, the end of the entire "business catering to idiots given money by the government" model ? There's a reason banks don't want to credit "the real economy" anymore, preferring to lend to the government directly. That reason is that in dying systems, cycles tend to shorten, which is why for instance towards your end of your life most of your activity will be controled reflexively rather than volitively. Banks are just doing what "the real economy" is doing anyway, cycling the bezzlar. Only, they're doing it faster by taking the "consumer" out of the loop entirely. He's not needed, and if you think something that's not needed can ever survive you must be new at this entire thinking thing. []
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12 Responses

  1. Is this related somehow to King's Bounty posts? As in, you found your hands filthy with iPad and wanted to get rid off it? :D

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    2
    Mircea Popescu 
    Tuesday, 2 December 2014

    Lol. I guess that's possible.

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