Why I’m done with Chrome

This post has gone on more than long enough, but before I finish I want to address two common counterarguments I’ve heard from people I generally respect in this area.

One argument is that Google already spies on you via cookies and its pervasive advertising network and partnerships, so what’s the big deal if they force your browser into a logged-in state? One individual I respect described the Chrome change as “making you wear two name tags instead of one”. I think this objection is silly both on moral grounds — just because you’re violating my privacy doesn’t make it ok to add a massive new violation — but also because it’s objectively silly. Google has spent millions of dollars adding additional tracking features to both Chrome and Android. They aren’t doing this for fun; they’re doing this because it clearly produces data they want.

The other counterargument (if you want to call it that) goes like this: I’m a n00b for using Google products at all, and of course they were always going to do this. The extreme version holds that I ought to be using lynx+Tor and DJB’s custom search engine, and if I’m not I pretty much deserve what’s coming to me.

I reject this argument. I think It’s entirely possible for a company like Google to make good, usable open source software that doesn’t massively violate user privacy. For ten years I believe Google Chrome did just this.

Why they’ve decided to change, I don’t know. It makes me sad.

Matthew Green

The nature of the self in the digital age

… we don’t need to concoct a new Internet Bill of Rights or a Magna Carta for the Web or any such nonsense: all we need to do is to apply the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the human rights we already have – to the digital era. There isn’t a digital world and a real world. There isn’t human rights and “digital rights”. The things that we are talking about are one and the same.

Aral Balkan

One out of every 11,600 people in San Francisco is a billionaire

Statistics like that throw into sharp relief the challenge for Silicon Valley and its leaders in 2019: They are stereotyped, and perhaps not unfairly, as out of touch with the people whose lives they affect around the world. If you’re a billionaire who dines with other billionaires, skis with other billionaires, and raises your family alongside other billionaires, then maybe your work decisions are based on a narrow understanding of the world outside of San Francisco.

Vox, 9 May 2019

I do find that many products coming from USA are too much connected with a certain kind of culture, ignoring peoples’ needs in their aseptic form; ie. a apparel covers the need of body protection, while many “apps” – but I should say business models like Uber of that of food delivery — covers needs for a certain model of economics that only with time spreads elsewhere generating nightmares.

Nightmares like really poor people running all over the city I live in, for Glovo or other firms, with stolen bikes, dirty food bags and without any form of ‘social care’ for their being workers.

Working remotely on an island: a day in the life of a company of one

I’ve always wanted a business that supports my life, and not a life that solely supports and exists to serve my business. This is why I work for myself, from home, as a company of one: I not only have the freedom to choose what I work on, but I also have the freedom to choose how the work is done.

Paul Jarvis

While I really enjoy the first sentence, I do realize that the remaining part of it is an unreachable goal for many, many people.