News & Analysis
The Social Networking Buzz
The SEC is reportedly investigating trading on secondary markets like SecondMarket and SharesPost in the stock of social media companies Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Zynga. The SEC is said to be focusing on whether the secondary market trading has brought the number of shareholders in a company like Facebook above 500. Reaching that threshold triggers requirements for more public financial disclosures, a requirement that in the past has driven companies like Google and Microsoft to pursue IPOs. – Forbes
Dominant Social Theme: Social networking is the next stock market wave.
Free-Market Analysis: Social networking as epitomized by Facebook is "hot." Mark Zuckerberg, the ludicrously young inventor of the Facebook is on the cover of Time Magazine as the Person of the Year. There is even a huge, hit movie out about him. Now we learn the ever-vigilant US Securities and Exchange Commission has cast its eye on private equities trading of "social network" trading companies like Facebook. Leaving aside the larger issue of whether the SEC should be involved at all, the lingering implication is that these companies are a kind of "catnip" for investors currently.
We think we can tell a sub dominant social theme when we see one. Social network companies get a lot of press and attention because they represent the controllable side of the Internet, in our view. Social networking is the "softer side" of the Internet from a power elite standpoint. A small intergenerational, familial elite has seen its secrecy ripped asunder by the Internet. But these sites, especially Facebook with some 500 million users, are far less challenging to elite plans for global centralization. If anything, one could argue that such networks offer the kind of naïve openness and frivolity that the elite is pleased to take advantage of.
Social networking is perhaps a preferable Internet construct. It is an Internet full of self-revelations about social events, parties, drinking and music and movie "favs." It is self-revelatory in the most basic way and often mundane in terms of what is discussed among friends and electronic social circles. For these reasons, we believe this sort of activity is actively encouraged. It seemingly undercuts the Internet as a tool of serious research and historical revisionism. It also provides a far more controllable template for manipulating public use of electronic communications.
Basically social networking seems to provide people with prefabricated and tightly constricted personal websites. Is it by design? It is open knowledge within the Internet community that such fast-growing companies attract the attention of the American intel community – and often attract funding as well.
The two companies that are whispered about the most within this context are Google, which apparently has set up an insider network for US intelligence agencies, and Facebook which allows US intel officials to set up numerous information-tracking facilities of social network users. Here's an article excerpt from Global Research back in 2009 describing the growth of Facebook:
Facebook's first round of venture capital funding ($US 500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome 'The Diversity Myth', he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC. The second round of funding into Facebook ($US 12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company's key areas of expertise are in "data mining technologies".
Breyer also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Technologies, which was one of those companies responsible for the rise of the Internet. Dr. Anita Jones joined the firm, which included Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel's board, and had been director of Defence Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defence. She was also an adviser to the Secretary of Defence and overseeing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for high-tech, high-end development.
It was when a journalist lifted the lid on the DARPA's Information Awareness Office that the public began to show concern at its information mining projects. Wikipedia's IAO page says: "the IAO has the stated mission to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralised location, for easy perusal by the United States government, including (though not limited to) internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver's licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data."
The Facebook saga has all the hallmarks of a controlled promotion. Promising companies are discovered at Harvard, which funnels brilliant young individuals into a controlled environment where they can be noticed and noted by intelligence authorities. The backstory regarding these companies is that they are in fact the inspiration of these agencies; but they are not.
Outfits like the CIA never create such ventures, it seems; but they do apparently encourage the growth of the ones that they deem most useful. In the process, they can cultivate the founders and ensure that the entity remains complaisant with the values and goals of the larger military-industrial complex and the Anglo-American power-elite itself.
Conclusion: The explosion of social networking websites, especially Facebook, may be a welcome event for the powers-that-be. But as ubiquitous as these social networking sites are becoming, they are still by design fairly rigid in their formats and restrictive in terms of content. Thus the larger Internet with its flexible, customized websites, remains a formidable alternative. Facebook-style sites may offer an Internet experience, but not one in our view that at any point will be able to fully co-opt the larger truth-telling of the Internet.
Posted by TCF on 01/03/11 02:56 PM
What about my ability to post this article on my facebook wall with my comments and insights to my 500 friends who can then share it with their friends?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Sundaymorning on 01/03/11 09:57 AM
Social networking sites are perfect for the average person. most people could care less about the truth-telling aspect of the Web. Most people ARE going to treat it as another source of mostly entertainment. As for privacy, well, that is long gone. New computer software can watch you and glean information from your subtlest expression change.
You underestimate the value of these sites, i believe. These are the connective tissue of the future society. This is the way families will keep in touch with far-flung memebers. This is the way you make new friends but keep the old. Social networking will be the salvation of baby boomers in their old age. it will change nursing homes from sad places no one visits to hubs of connectivity.
Posted by John Edwards on 01/02/11 01:42 PM
Times online reports that China intends to sterilize nearly 10,000 parents in Puning County who have violated the one-child rule. Puning County, with a population of 2.2 million, is the most populated county in the country. Jane Macartney of The Times claims that the sterilization campaign was launched on April 7 and is expected to last 20 days.
A Daba village doctor reported that he and his team would be in charge of completing the sterilizations, beginning at 8 am every morning and lasting until approximately 4 a.m. the next day.
Under current regulations, families in Puning County who break the one-child rule are already punished in a variety of ways. They are not permitted to buy homes, and the "illegal" children are not permitted to receive residency registration, which in turn denies them healthcare and education as well. Macartney writes, "Authorities have discovered, however, that those methods have less success than rounding up relatives."
-snip- Click to view link
I feel the desire by the elites for population control is building quickly. I believe the Internet connected age has developed/been infected by a plausible belief in the (massive and growing) online community (not in me, though!) that a perfect life, in a perfect world, is possible. In THEIR time. To whit, I have noticed a divisive attitude developing in a large portion of Australia that has the underlying belief that their plans for a perfect future world be realised faster if only they weren't continually disrupted/sabotaged by all these 'unruly' people within society who insist on being wilfully contrary to the aims of this 'project'. (varies of course, but the kernel of 'blame the other' for not joining in resonates from this set of values and beliefs.) As if it was a choice so easily understood, made and consummated. I see a use by TPTB of Social networking sites
to push forward this 'project'. Getting the undecided on board, so to speak.
Some People, of course will disagree with me, as they feel they have benefited magnificently from all these new developments in communications and computing power and see no down side to it all. The young are now tech smart, and connected in ways that I could only dream about when I was young, which IMO has also given them a set of expectations about the world that are not necessarily obtainable. (Just like I thought when video cameras/recorders/players came of age in the 80's. The 'cool' popularising utility of computers had yet to be developed.) However, the 'hyper-connectivity' of the Internet is supercharging those expectations, IMO.
I believe that, just like I was once, these expectant youth are being brainwashed into becoming the proselytisers for various government scams. We are still being FLOGGED endlessly with the 'man-made global climate change/warming' meme, and how a price on carbon/ETS will fix it all. I ask, will a price on carbon or an ETS turn our city river back from the poisonous death trap it has become because of leaking landfill contaminated with heavy metals and Pcb's from old electrical transformers, etc ? No. Will it clear the seas of discarded plastic and fishing net/lines ? No. It is just a scheme to get more revenue to pay for more government. When you realise how many Australians receive part/all their income directly or indirectly from the government, you start to get an idea of how easy it is to intimidate the population into going along with the government's agenda. eg. The flawed climate science keeps pouring out of the government and our slavish MSM keeps uncritically reporting it.
For the population size, our government is massive and getting bigger all the time. Thus the manipulations by it, and other vested interests, to justify this continual expansion beggar belief in sheer audacity and scope. The National Broardband Network is another example. The government maintains it will pay for itself because it is going to have monopoly powers. Healthy economy ?
An indication of how snookered by our leadership, I feel, I'm reduced to formulating questions like; How many of us could last more than 48 hours without money to buy what we need to survive ? I can't help but conclude we are hopelessly dependent on the 'system' for our survival, at least here in Australia, and that our future is a narrow one, indeed, because of that one unavoidable limitation on my (and many, many, others) ability to survive without government legal tender.
It's just the way I see it from the 'Lucky Country', Hahahahahahaha. Sob.
Posted by Gavin on 01/02/11 07:39 AM
TDB wrote in a previous article: "The "Li" family in China is commonly held to be the most powerful, with the Lis (or Lees) also seen as controlling Hong Kong and prominent in Korea and perhaps even Singapore.
There are questions as to whether these disparate familial groups are linked or not and even how much clout the Li family exercises within China. The Lis are said to operate within the communist party as well as outside of it and were also close to Mao."
Haven't seen this mentioned before but I was wondering whether Robin Li, the co-founder of Baidu, is closely related to the famous Li family in China?
/snip/ -- Before Christmas, Mr Zuckerberg visited Beijing and Shanghai and met with Robin Li, the co-founder of Baidu, the Chinese search engine, Wang Jianzhou, the chief executive of China Mobile, and Charles Chao, the head of Sina, one of the country's largest portals. Analysts said they expected Facebook to "do a deal" with the Chinese government in order to regain access to Chinese web users. /snip/
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for this. Fascinating.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/02/11 07:12 AM
"Methinks they may just try to buy enough of the Internet to ensure that they have a high probability of being able to drown/financially cripple competing ideological input." ..... Posted by John Edwards on 1/1/2011 10:04:36 PM
To offer them just the wherewithall/algorithms needed for control of cloud services, and they will be masters of all that they can share and freely imagine, John. And the West will just have to do as they are told rather than think that they can lead all as presently, into ruin and organised, dysfunctional chaos. That old trick is no longer a valid control of power option.
Posted by John Edwards on 01/01/11 10:04 PM
A Powerful Meme indeed, AmanfromMars. Control must be applied effectively, and in the absence of acceptance, outright supremacy must be shared and balanced.
The generalist factions (in China) are wide-ranging, both horizontally and vertically. These factions are sustained by the most numerous members, they are often characterized by provincial concentration, and their leaders strive for ultimate power. Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping or Teng Hsiao-p'ing (both: dung` shou`ping`), 1904‒97, Chinese revolutionary and government leader, b. Sichuan prov. , Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao Hu Jintao (h` jin`tou`), 1942‒, Chinese political leader, b. Jixi, Anhui prov. A hydroelectric engineering graduate (1965) of Qinghua Univ. were/are all leaders of a generalist faction. Because of their large base, which needs to be constantly rewarded, these factions tend to prefer decentralization.
However, specialist factions are vertically concentrated within a xitong (bureaucratic system). In his book, Shih concentrates on the specialist faction led by senior economic officials--which he labels the technocratic faction--in charge of monetary and investment policies. Chen Yun. (born Oct. 23, 1928, Changsha, Hunan province, China) Premier of the State Council of China (1998‒2003). In the 1950s he was denounced as a rightist, and he was purged again in the 1970s, but, once his Communist Party , and Wen Jiabao were/are all leaders of a technocratic faction. These factions favor centralization policies because they do not have a large enough base to strive for ultimate power; they therefore seek to maximize their influence by concentrating the decision making levers in their hands.
(this is the bit I like because it shows the same old Hegelian construct hiding the real power relationship.)
A cyclical dynamic ensues. Whichever faction has the upper hand enforces its preferred policy--decentralization for the generalists (inflationary) and centralization for the specialists (deflationary).
From "Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation." By Victor C. Shih.
I have to say that the Chinese elite may be the authoritarian actors par excellence, and letting them loose on the world stage with all our monopoly money has given them unprecedented ability to shape the future course of our history. They have discovered the power of Communist Government International corporations, cashed up and ready to buy the world on pennies to the pound.
Methinks they may just try to buy enough of the Internet to ensure that they have a high probability of being able to drown/financially cripple competing ideological input. Social networking sites may look and feel vastly different in a fully corporatist environment when the need to conform to survive is of paramount importance. Social networks will then be fully operational social control sites, monitored by your employers for 'deviant' behaviour. What may have been once a landscape jumbled with various types of feedback sites, (everything from dating sites to TDB) will have to be streamlined by the dictates of corporate power.
It's just the way corporations like to play, expand until the weaker are exposed to too much debt (leverage), then call in the margins.
Authoritarianism may be a mental disease that is contagious by proximity out of self preservation. After all, when your in a prison your either staff or an inmate. Who would you rather be if confronted with such a choice ?
Posted by AmanfromMars on 12/31/10 11:07 PM
Chairman Hu, John? Now that is a powerful meme for a man who knows of AIdDivine Intervention.
Posted by John Edwards on 12/31/10 07:20 PM
A thought ...
Social Networking is a little like Central Banking. You create some bits that constitute information on a computer(s), (at a basic level) then those digits multiply because of the interconnectedness of computer networks and before you know it your considered popular.
I think I can successfully map the Central Bankers strategy for domination onto Facebook's strategy to create a popularity contest mediated by itself.
Because that is what I consider Facebook constitutes at arms length.
I see both operating with the same underlying principle of creating an abstract value out of thin air (profile/Central Bank money, then manipulating real wealth for the uses of the few (Real friendships made and maintained off the net/Gold/Silver).
Central Bank operators (Facebook users) get mandated by government (Facebook) to create those bits BUT their bits get to form very powerful information which the rest of the users, who are mandated to use the same system, (Government/Facebook) can never hope to match from scratch.
Central Bankers then use 'pie in the sky' methods (Cloud computing/derivative algorithms hiding/exposing information at will/targeted attacks/takeover bids/gossip about 'friends') to manipulate those bits of information (privileged by government/facebook who privilege information all the time-censorship-) into multiplying into forms that make those banks dominant (Central Bankers term which is their equivalent of being most popular).
Yes, I can see the Central Bankers being enthralled by the plethora of modes and methods of further manipulation and control being offered by this development. Centralise thought through Facebook ! Chairman Who ?
Posted by AmanfromMars on 12/31/10 07:24 AM
"Click to view link
No-one can stop us now . . . " ..... Posted by Weeble on 12/30/2010 10:45:04 PM
Err ...... gremlin attack, Weeble? ..... "This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
Sorry about that."
Posted by Weeble on 12/30/10 10:45 PM
Wazap, I noe this mae sound random, but unoe, like, FB is my ultra BFF, so what if my profile pic changes every few minits and all my real BFFs noe my moods and what I'm thinking all the time, so really, when you stop and think about it, these creepy peepies that want to check me out must be fillin lotsa hard drives on my ever changing moods for noe reason. They should post a question to my wall, rather than sneak around like that.
I've been tagged so many times it seems obvious that my driver's license is the tag of all tags (but Cheech says it is on the front of the car, right?) Why would they want to gather information on a moving target?
Thanks to AmanfromMars for this video link:
Click to view link
BTW, if Moby can see the real me, even for just a few moments, then there is still hope.
Click to view link
No-one can stop us now . . .
Posted by AmanfromMars on 12/30/10 08:04 PM
"@Don The RkyMtn Gnome;
I apply the same rule to internet as I do to telephone:
"Never say anything you don't want to hear someone read out loud in a court of law."" ..... Posted by John Danforth on 12/30/2010 2:15:30 PM
That allows one to trail and trial some addictively irresistibly tempestuously tempting bait especially phormed for general phishing and virtual product placement into court evidence.
Catch 22 Turing BetaTest from Station XSSXXXX CyberIntelAIgent Command with Virtual Venerable and Virtuous Viral Control of Information Display of Manna from Heaven/Novel Intellectual Property.
Magical Resolution of that Enigma Code delivers Super HyperRadioProActive Environments with Definite Vision and Guaranteed Prime Actions.
Posted by Brown Rutabaga on 12/30/10 05:18 PM
Facebook, like much of the internet, may not be easy to control either. And many things that it contains may work directly against any elite or government plans. Clearly, transparency can be seen as a promotion but like all things promotions can work against the elite as well.
A very libertarian state legislator in Michigan, Justin Amash, used facebook to become famous after only one 2 year term and completely upend the establishment Republicans in a Congressional primary.
He used facebook to explain each of his votes (often no votes) and promises to do the same when he takes office in January in Congress. It is most interesting to see how the local media continually work against him because they see his way of reporting directly to constituents as a threat to their industry/jobs/relevance. I look forward to how the Washington media will go crazy as he scoops them on story after story in Washington.
You can see his facebook page here at
Click to view link!/justinamash
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the interesting comment and link ...
Posted by John Danforth on 12/30/10 02:48 PM
The simplest, easiest way to solve the issue is to use Firefox and get the Lazarus add-on. If you lose your text, a couple keystrokes and you've got it back again. Because it happens everywhere, not just here.
Posted by Frustrated on 12/30/10 02:37 PM
I was about 1200 characters into a feedback post on this timely subject when the entire text just disappeared. I used to feedback occasionally, but have also experienced multiple instances a post being sent but not apparently registered on your end, DB. I wish you would address the issue to see if there are others who have experienced the same problem and offer some suggestions for how to communicate feedback successfully for those who are afflicted by this problem.
Posted by John Danforth on 12/30/10 02:15 PM
@Don The RkyMtn Gnome;
I apply the same rule to internet as I do to telephone:
"Never say anything you don't want to hear someone read out loud in a court of law."
Posted by John Danforth on 12/30/10 02:12 PM
Ah, yes, following that link revealed a page with a prognostication by the Russian tycoon. At the bottom were tantalizing ads for Russian Brides, channeled my way by Google.
The tracking algorithms need more work. I can't afford one, they should know that!
Posted by Scarlett on 12/30/10 11:27 AM
Artificial intelligence to transform web: Russian tycoon.
Click to view link
All is not what will or will not be. New power to be applied to the web.
Posted by Adam on 12/30/10 11:17 AM
Every screen a telescreen:
Anti-War -- Citing Facebook Posts, Fox News Turns in Indiana Grandmother for 'Terror Link': Fox Insists Woman Made 'Anti-American Comments' in Emails
Click to view link
Posted by AmanfromMars on 12/30/10 11:15 AM
"Unless the statists can package sex and status, and sell it through the social networks somehow, they can do little to affect the direction and effects of social networking. " ..... Posted by John Danforth on 12/30/2010 9:20:32 AM
Dedicated AIMissionary work, John, for Virtual Revisionists into Great Game Plays with Insatiable Wanton Passion.
Package that XSSXXXXual Program and what cannot one do at one's Leisure for the other's Pleasure. In Mother Russia is the Personal Treasure Trove a Prized Natural and InterNetional Asset.:-)