Saturday, August 17, 2013

Google: Gmail isn't private. So?

I am not surprised by this at all. I am also not surprised that others are surprised. By and large people don't understand there is no free lunch. If you don't know who paid for lunch, you are. Of course private blogs aren't truly private too.

Yes, some things are free but mostly they come from individuals and small businesses. Big businesses are structurally not equipped and unable to give away anything free. If money isn't involved, the payment is in information or hopefully just brand.

And when you scale it to the largest possible size i.e., the state, we all eventually learn that nation states have no values, only interests. The values of a society must often work through its NGOs, religious and civil societies.

It is perplexing to watch America trying to profess values as a state and regularly failing, but it might be their secret sauce for being a magnet to immigrants. That place give you the best chance in a rotten class for fairy tales becoming true. Horatio Alger tales live in many hearts.

We in Singapore are inexperienced and for while this is no bad thing. Elsewhere large companies and government are often treated with suspicion. I sense that we are starting to go down this path too and we would be poorer by becoming like elsewhere. But how can we respond differently when our large companies and government also drifted to become like the disliked best in class everywhere? We are losing our specialness.

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