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Monday, February 26, 2007

Statistical discrimination

Yes, at last another one of the World Sucks series. Here I am tackling globalisation, yet not the concept, but the buzz. People that somehow are against globalisation are the ones that have actually already accepted defeat. They see the franchise epidemic and high level political and economic games as the cause, not the symptom. They are nothing but fork and torch villagers trying to kill the beast without really understanding the cause of everything. They are especially wrong since they try to kill a beast much stronger than they will ever be.

And the cause is... not dr. Frankenstein, but statistical discrimination. It is the thing that makes shops disappear if they don't give to most of the people most of what they want, that puts people that don't behave like the majority into ignorable categories, the thing that doesn't come from high up to affect us, little people, but comes from very little people to affect the higher ups.

I am talking about statistics. Once you have enough objective data you can draw conclusions based on hard mathematics, conclusions that you know are not biased and that have true meaning. It tells shop chains which are the most financially effective customers and what exactly choose to buy, it tells media conglomerates which are the people which will be most inclined to see their shows, exactly what they would want to watch and how much they are going to be influenced by commercials in order to buy products, it tells politicians which is the biggest part of the electorate and what they could be told in order to elect them.

The effect of this is statistical discrimination, or the oppression of the minority groups that don't "fit" into the whole data schema. That's why you will not get the products you really want, you will not see the shows you want to see or the movies you crave or the books you need. That's why you will see young people asking you about every day things like some vegetables you used to find when you were a child and now nobody knows what they are. They do know about some exotic fruit you've never heard about, too, and they are willing to pay ten times the price of normal fruit for the privilege to eat it.

It starts with small business, it extends to media, then to art, then to politics. Before you know it, you can either do what everyone else does or be ignored. Does it sound like 1984? That was a naive view of the world, where the actual oppressors were a very small minority, where democracy was a dream. No, the actual oppression comes from the majority of people, the idiots watching today's TV shows, eating popcorn at European Gigolo and Scooby Doo the Movie. And it all starts from you, the little people.

Every form of discrimination in this world, either good or bad (yes, there is good discrimination), is statistical in nature, but most bad ones are determined by bad entry data, like all Gypsies are dirty or all black people are thieves. This time there is a growing mother-of-all discrimination, one that starts with perfect data, ends up with the perfect solution and leaves just about everyone that matters out of it.

The only option IS globalisation, the only possible solution for the people that want to do something different is to get together, through the Internet, through the disappearance of borders, nationalities and local law, through the dismissal of all things that separate people of the same type, because the oldest and most effective method of ruling other people is divide-and-conquer. Because no one is special for being American or Romanian, these are just stupid inventions, based on geography or past connections. Each person is special for their own reasons.

Globalisation is not the cause, it is the symptom. It is the opposite of localisation, or keeping something for yourself in a single place. Globalisation is the crucible of sense: you now get to decide what is important and what not in the whole world! And the problem is not high up, it's down with you, it's your decision.

Fight stupidity; elect common sense; choose diversity; create AND consume what others create just don't limit yourself to consumption alone; say the things you mean, not the things others want to hear; fight for your right to party, but think of the people who want to sleep; do what you like, but consider the others.

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