Google & FitBit

Hey, did you hear? Google is trying to buy FitBit. If you have one, now is a good time to smash it with a sledgehammer and bury the remains across state lines.

Not that it matters because Google will buy records of past use, too.

24 thoughts on “Google & FitBit”

  1. To be honest, fitbit and related gadgets creeped me out as soon as they appeared. I didn’t coin the term “surveillance capitalism”, but it nevertheless seemed obvious to me that the real point of these things was to condition people to the idea that having all of your activities under 24/7 monitoring is normal, cool even. What creeped me out even more was how readily people embraced this notion.


    1. What stood out to me in the story of the Mattress Girl that AcademicLurker linked to was the implied further tarnishing of the term feminism :

      \ Sulkowicz invokes something surprising. “As I became more and more feminist,” she recalls, “I think I got to a point where I was literally just straight up hating men. I just hated men, I wished all men would die.”


    2. Ah, thank you! I just recently wondered what’s she been doing.

      It’s really funny that she has to trawl after conservatives because the progressive crowd has moved on to a new flavor of the week.


  2. OT: All but the first paragraph are behind a trial/pay wall, but that first paragraph…

    “As the daughter of an immigrant, I know all too well that liberal idealism about migration is vacuous nonsense. Only those without experience of the phenomenon could regard it as metaphysically “good”. The reality is paradoxical: seeking success abroad is admitting failure in your own country; “building a new life” is cultural self-mutilation…”


    1. \ The reality is paradoxical: seeking success abroad is admitting failure in your own country

      Disagree. Sometimes it is acknowledging your own country has failed to let its school teachers and doctors lead normal lives. Or any lives at all… Had we stayed in Donbass, we may have already been murdered. No one can succeed there now.


      1. “Disagree. Sometimes ”

        Yes, sometimes. But the occasional sometimes occur against a mass canvass of unhappy and/or exploited people who migrate for no clear reason (despite a vague feeling that they’ll be missing out if they don’t).
        Most migrant parents end up alienated from the host culture and their kids are alienated from both their parents and what should be their home culture.
        Migration as a carefully concerned path is one thing, migration as a consumer good (and migrants as consumer goods) are another and that’s the dominant model today.


        1. Exactly. The human psyche reacts very negatively to emigration.

          We all have heard a million times that moving house is a trauma akin to divorce or major illness. Yet nobody ever mentions a much more serious subject of migration on the list of majorly traumatic events. Isn’t it bizarre that we have accepted moving house as a major trauma but not moving to another country or even continent? Why are we lying to ourselves? Even furniture gets dinged and nicked when shuffled about. Why wouldn’t people?

          And I also agree completely that very very often the real motivation for emigration is “everybody is doing it and I don’t want to miss out.”


          1. “everybody is doing it and I don’t want to miss out”

            Way back when I lived in a teacher dorm* I met a middle aged Romanian couple (he was a mathematician or something like that on some exchange thing at the university) and spoke to them a few times. They weren’t that interested in Poland and were here because it was… available and were treating it as a stepping stone to somewhere else. They told me they had decided to leave Romania when they realized their entire social set had moved away (to a number of different countries).

            Some degree of migration is always present but it’s always been understood that very large numbers of people moving is a sign of some kind of major catastrophe. But now that’s supposed to be the norm and huge numbers of people migrate and have no clear understanding of why or just exactly what they hope to achieve by doing so…

            *I stayed there longer than I should have partly because of the way it facilitated meeting lots of interesting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I don’t meet as many people now and part of me thinks of that as a problem…


            1. I’m looking up crime rates around the world for a lecture I’m preparing and I decided to look at rape stats. It’s very educational to see that Sweden now comes in fifth in per capita rapes after South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Bermuda and Eritrea. Who exactly was made super happy by turning Sweden into another Lesotho is a mystery.

              I found the stats on Wikipedia, and the article is pathetic in trying to explain that US rates are much lower because rape is underreported. As if it weren’t underreported elsewhere.


          2. “migration on the list of majorly traumatic events”

            More fire and brimstone from aimee:


          3. I didn’t know that moving house is such a major trauma. It may be for children but not for many of the adults without school-age children that I know. It doesn’t seem that big of a deal, especially in your 20s.


      2. Oh come on. Doctors and teachers who couldn’t make good money in post-soviet Ukraine are not people to be taken seriously.

        And by the way, Ukrainians from the war zone aren’t emigrating overseas. They move to other parts of Ukraine. Even my aunt whom we dragged over to Canada decided not to ask for citizenship and went back home.


        1. // Oh come on. Doctors and teachers who couldn’t make good money in post-soviet Ukraine are not people to be taken seriously.

          In post-Soviet Ukraine my mother and grandmother gave numerous private lessons to groups of up to 10 students at once, prepared people for university exams and so on.

          However, in our small town less and less people had money to pay for those lessons. You know that fertility rate in the 90ies went down. At least, that’s what we had seen. Maternity wards were closed, and soon after we immigrated to Israel the school in which I learnt and my mother taught was closed too.

          Had we not been Jewish, we would have experienced huge difficulties. The flats in Donbass are worthless now, so one would have to go with zero money to another town, rent there and try to earn a leaving.

          Ukraine is a poor country, so I don’t think most teachers and doctors there make ‘good money.’


          1. I honestly get covered with hives when I hear the expression “teachers and doctors.” There is no other place in the world where these professional are even grouped together because doctors don’t tend to sit there and wait for handouts. Except for the post-soviet doctors who were completely useless.

            I was in Ukraine in the 1990s, and the only people who didn’t make money were those who were profoundly against the concept. Which was 95% of people. My mother is in the teaching profession, and I’ve seen crowds of these self-pitying, wailing teachers. I still have an allergic reaction. I’m not saying anything about your family but the people I saw still make me nauseous


  3. More OT: My new ideological hobby horse is the “Anti-woke left”. My new favorite serious twitter feed is:

    I tried her podcast and pooped out (speaking is not her medium) and I don’t know if she writes longer pieces but she regularly spits fire and acid on her twitter feed:


    1. I still wear the Fit Bit, too. I really want to win the contest at my fitness that requires the damn Fitbit. But it’s only until the end of the month.


  4. “I still wear the Fit Bit, too..But it’s only until the end of the month.”

    You’re assuming that the surveilling authorities won’t come to take you away by then.


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