Thoughts on “the Social Dilemma”

Ok, ok, OK! I watched “The SOCIAL DILEMMA”! How could I not after the bombardment of recommendations?
As suspected, it was hardly news to me. I had already read about the cunning of tech giants and their engorgement by manipulating individuals with social media.
Although it was indeed interesting to hear the details and concerns from the horses’ mouths, the creators of the platforms, my intuition had always told me not to give the those lil’ brainy runts more credit than deserved for their machinations. I suspected another problem, two quagmires actually, one confirmed in the documentary, the other inside of me:

1. It is laregely and simply yet another example of the deregulation and regressive taxation that has skewered capitalist-democracy, whereby such companies are allowed to run wild in an orgy, benefiting from the infrastructure of society, while also allowed not to recontribute anything. Much of this problem can be solved with the stroke of a pen.

2. The more complicated problem is an age-old human problem from which the individual shall never escape, because it is the very challenge for which you are alive: How to deal with a mind that doesn’t get what it wants? How to deal with a body that will never satisfy me completely? How to deal with others that will never act the way I want? The answer is called DISCIPLINE and there is no substitute for it– a government or a tech company cannot instill it for you. Discipline is the most difficult thing to teach (to “users”), because it is not a question of intelligence; it is one of wisdom, the ability to know oneself. (Although it is certainly easier when you had a father who would have ripped the friggin’ phone from your hand and smashed it with a hammer)

You will not escape from the challenge of giving yourself and others limits. Don’t worry about the evil geniuses: vote for people that support voting and unafraid of imposing the limits on power needed to establish the most EQUITABLE society possible.

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A native of Chicago, Ricky Toledano has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for over twenty years as a writer, translator and teacher. [a]multipicity is multi-lingual collection of reflections through the humanities.

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