I’m sat here eating my toast with jam and butter and thinking about the nature of competition. What got me thinking about this was reading about old Zuck getting blasted again on Twitter. He was taking flak for doing something good. Facebook and Google have decided that they will take down any content that attempts to reveal the name of Trump’s whistleblower.

@sivavaid blasted back:

And @slpng giants chimed in with:

Damned if you do; damned if you don’t. It made me think, why doesn’t Zuck just take his marbles and go home? The guy has enough money to say, “I don’t need this shit,” and hop on a plane and disappear to the jungles or mountains somewhere and walk away from the madness. I don’t think there’s a law that says he has to do it in a responsible. The man could just leave it all behind.

Why put up with the agro?

Because he wants to accumulate power and influence and win the game. Think of the power Zuckerberg has. You could say he has more power than most of the world’s governments. You’ve read the headlines, they all want a piece of him, to bring him down a few notches because right now he has more power than any president or king. He may not have armies, but he has money and he has people. With the number of people on Facebook (1.5 billion active users), if Facebook was a country, it would be the 5th largest country in the world. By comparison, the U.S. only has 327.2 million people (as 2018).

With Zuck’s data, he can manipulate what people see, what they believe, how they should vote etc. No wonder governments are afraid of Zuck and want to take him down.

When I think about Zuckerberg and he’s accomplished so far, How does a guy like that rise to the top?

He’s smart. He knows how to play the game, and he plays it for keeps!

My light bulb moment was this: all life is competition. We compete for everything – food, and shelter, and sex. Even families compete with each internally, they compete for attention, for who gets to watch what.

Even if you belong to a community and work in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, you still lose if you don’t know how play the game with your community. The politics of it all means people will still be competing for attention, for influence, for leadership and power within the organisation, regardless of the size. Even the holiest of the holy compete for people’s souls, for their dollars, for their minds!

In any organisation there will be jockeying for position and influence, however benign the group may seem.

Competition. Competition. Competition. It’s the foundation of all life – people, plants, and animals competing for resources be it land or food or survival (as in who’s going to eat whom).

Knowing that competition is a fundamental force in the universe.

And the game is rigged in favour of the house. Money itself is the greatest con job ever. We literally kill ourselves competing against each other to collect what amounts to nothing but paper.

If you want to eat, have some clothes on your back, and have a place to sleep that’s warm, then you can’t opt-out. You have to work for this paper if you want to survive.

Now the ones amongst who really get this, who know that this is all just a game, have freedom. They play the game hard, collect up all the paper and buy big houses, and fancy cars and live in mansions.

And like Zuckerberg, they keep playing the game until the end.

How do you play the game?

There’s something sinister about a company that wants to take over the world. And what’s even more sinister to me is how slowly and inconspicuously the take over happens. FB with its to “connect the world” mantra and Google with its to “organize the world’s information” mantra are examples of these companies’ intent to take over the world disguised as inspirational company vision posters.

When you consider quotes like this from Mark Zuckerberg when he told investors that the company makes decisions:

“…not optimizing for what’s going to happen in the next year, but to set us up to really be in this world where every product experience you have is social, and that’s all powered by Facebook.”

You realise there’s something greater at stake.

Think about about how much data Facebook has on you. Your passwords, your pictures, your connections, your buying habits, your surfing habits.

Through the power of algorithms Facebook knows more about you then you do and can accurately predict what you’ll do in the future.

And it’s not just Facebook…there’s also Google, Amazon, Netflix to name a few.

But how do you fight against it without looking like a Luddite? Or maybe like me, you suffer from FOMO – fear of missing out – so you comply with the slow take over of your life even though you can sense the impending doom.

And then there’s this thing with fake news. Although it’s not a new phenomenon ( you can read about the long and brutal history of fake news ) what’s got me questioning myself now is this:

That the “fake news” problem and its proposed solutions have been defined by Facebook as link issues — as a web issue — aligns nicely with a longer-term future in which Facebook’s interface with the web is diminished. Indeed, it heralds the coming moment when posts from outside are suspect by default: out of place, inefficient, little better than spam.

Is all of the attention on fake news part of Facebook’s plan to complete it’s self-contained eco-system in which all of us are trapped in it like The Matrix?