Sub Horror


Okay, what kind of set me off is the
story about a guy named Brandon Jackson.

It set me down a
rabbit hole of the horror

that is going to be the
capitalist landscape we live in.

He’s a software engineer
and his whole house

is rigged up to Alexa, Siri,
Amazon, all these services.

So he can lock his doors, he turns on his
heat, he can control his lights, everything

you can do, and being
a software engineer,

being someone who’s
interested in this, he’s

gone way further than the
average person would go.

Then Amazon decided to just
block him out of all his services.

And so now his
devices don’t work, which

means he can’t change
the heat in his house,

he can’t open and close
his door, he can’t turn

on and turn off the lights, because everything
has been rigged up to be a smart home.

What he realizes in that
moment is he doesn’t

actually own any of
the things any of the

services he’s paid for, he
doesn’t actually own any of them.

The reason this happened
was that an Amazon driver

came to his house, claimed
he was racist and then left.

And the claim from the
driver was enough for

Amazon to react and
say, okay, well, if this

is a racist person, we
don’t agree with that

philosophically, we’re going
to shut off all his services.

Now of note is that Brandon
Jackson is a black man.

And that’s not to say
he can’t be racist, but

it is honestly less
likely in this situation.

But really the proof is he
wasn’t present during the event.

So he has an automatic
doorbell, everything’s automated.

So when the delivery
driver rang the doorbell,

the doorbell responded,
now it wasn’t program

to say anything racist,
but we actually have

seen AI and chat and
stuff go racist real quick.

So that’s actually maybe a
question that could be asked.

But his point was if you bought
something, you should own it.

So he’s paid for these devices.

Has made it so that
they have control over it.

They can take it away
from you whenever they

want anything that is
connected to the cloud,

you do not own Alexis
terms of service says

that Amazon can terminate
access without notice.

So basically for any reason Amazon
wants, they can shut off your Alexa.

Now I don’t use smart
devices in my house very

much and people were
like being accusatory

towards him like, well,
this is what happens.

If you rely on the cloud for everything,
it can be taken away from you.

But he’s living in the future.

Like it’s not really right to say he sort
of got what he deserved when all he did was

employ all the tools available
to him as effectively as possible.

Thing that bugged me was
it’s Amazon deciding your fate.

So Jackson had to hand over
video to prove his innocence

that he wasn’t being
racist to this delivery driver.

The issue right there is
that Amazon is not a judiciary.

It’s not the police.

It’s not an authority.

It’s a company.

Should you have to
prove your innocence to a

company to maintain the
service that you’ve paid for?

And this goes also to write to repair.

So there’s a lot of companies
are fighting this right now.

Apple, John Deere at the forefront.

There’s an interesting note about
Scientology that will come up in a minute.

Amazon, Amazon sells
you a lot of products, but

they don’t have control
over those products.

Let’s say, but Amazon has
cracked down on right to

repair video channels and
remove their affiliate status.

Apple quite famously
has forced obsolescence.

They’ve been proven that they
slowed down their older phones

that they’ve messed up the
battery so they don’t last as long.

They’ve done this stuff on purpose to
make sure that people will buy a new phone.

If I pay $1,000 for a phone
and I want to use it for the next

decade, that should be my
choice as the owner of the phone.

If it breaks, I should
be able to repair it.

That’s sort of a philosophical divide
between most people and Apple.

Apple wants you to spend
more money with Apple.

That’s why almost
every problem with an

Apple device can’t be repaired
in its cheaper to buy a new one.

Since we’re shitting on Amazon,
I actually have another note.

They had an algorithm
and they called it Nessie.

I don’t know if that’s cute or not.

Nessie would automatically raise
the prices of certain products,

maybe products sold at other
competing companies, like Target.

If Target then raised
their prices in response

to Amazon raising their prices,
Nessie would leave those alone.

If Target did not
respond, did not raise their

prices to Matt Amazon’s, then Nessie would
put the price back where it was before

because there would
be no competitive value.

It was way too artificially
inflated the prices

of things to see where
the upper limit was to

be able to see how much you can
squeeze out of every purchase made.

If Nessie was let
loose on the entirety of

Amazon, you know you would be
paying the maximum price possible.

It actually would make
more sense to not shop

in Amazon because you
know they’re charging

you the maximum, whereas
maybe you can get a

better deal elsewhere,
but Nessie was checking

those other websites
to try to get the price

at its upper limit without
losing a competitive advantage.

It was stopped in 2019
and was under investigation,

but you have actually agreed that this is
okay if you sign their terms and services.

So if you join Amazon,
you automatically agree

to their terms and services and them using
Nessie on you is perfectly acceptable.

The FTC is calling
Amazon an illegal monopoly

at the moment, but I
have a self published

book on there called The
Not Very Scary Monster.

So she buy that book and
then never use Amazon again.

You should actually
probably buy multiple

copies in case you
destroy one of the original

ones, The Not Very Scary Monster
by Peter Martin, Art by Christine Hall.

The other big players in this
are Apple and John Deere.

Now John Deere is
always a surprise because

you think of people who create farm equipment
as you know, farmer friendly operators.

They understand the
necessity for the farmer.

They understand how
hard a farmer has to live.

They didn’t want farmers going
in and fixing their own tractors.

They wanted that extra
money if you having

to bring it in to a
dealership and have like

an official dealer fix it and
nobody else touched the insides.

They only want trained texts
to repair their own machines.

The bit I found
interesting about this is

the same line that the Church of Scientology
has taken when talking about e-meters.

The electro-psycho meter
is like this joystick thing.

You hold two hands
and it shoots electricity

through it and it’s
supposed to check your

thetons, basically to
see how clear you are.

If you’re very clear, I guess
you’re a happier person.

If you’re not very clear, well you
have to do more Scientology stuff.

I don’t know enough about
the rituals of Scientology.

I did read the Dianetics
book when I was in high school.

I did do one of their personality
tests when I was drunk once.

I did not join.

They actually took the wrong tack
with me which I found very interesting.

I said I wanted to be an author and then
the guy who was doing the interview with me

says, “Oh, you know, Elron Hubbard
published hundreds of books.”

My first thought was
like a really, really good

author publishes
about 10 in their lifetime

because they spend years working
on a book before it comes out.

You saying that he
published hundreds of

books, my first thought was,
“Are any of them any good?”

I had seen that movie Battlefield Earth so
I was pretty sure they were not very good.

The license, if you buy
an e-meter, the license

agreement is void if it’s opened software
updates so it does connect to the Internet.

You have to log into a website.

You have to be a
member of the Church of

Scientology to even
update the software on your

e-meter to make sure that you’re
getting Max value for your thetons.

It’s going into
everything is now a paid

service and these
companies are trying really

hard to just squeeze every
bit of money out of you.

We’re now in a new
age of paid social media.

This started with Elon
Musk wanted companies,

Elon Musk wanted
certain countries, and it’s

eventually everybody, but he’s testing the
waters, to pay a small fee to use Twitter.

That doesn’t mean that’s
not your $8 blue checkmark.

The $8 a month blue checkmark,
that was to get your premium account.

The base one would be
a dollar to use Twitter.

I personally don’t engage in Twitter.

I don’t engage with Twitter very often.

I don’t really like it as a platform,
so I don’t use it very much.

I’m not very likely to play.

I probably just dumped that platform.

You would think everyone would
just feel the exact same way.

The problem is what have you grown up with?

I grew up in an age
where video games did

not have downloadable content and
they didn’t have microtransactions.

When those were
introduced, I was horrified.

I was like, “No one’s
ever going to pay for this.”

It was, “Oh, well, we’re
only going to do cosmetics.

We’re going to charge you for cosmetics.

You can make things look cool.”

The first cosmetic I ever bought was in Ace
Combat, and it made my airplane pink with

an anime grow on it, and then the
smoke from my missiles was also pink.

I really enjoyed the idea of my pink plane
flying around with all these other people

who are dead serious,
and just a plume of smoke

going through the air as I
shot down other airplanes.

So I bought that
because it was funny, but

that was, it’s a slippery
slope, and now kids

have grown up where DLC is just a
normal part of a video gaming experience.

You have to buy the
complete edition, and they

have about six or
seven different editions,

which with more stuff
in it for more money.

The base price now is $60, $70, and
the premium editions are $120, $140.

So they’re almost double, and
are you getting that much content?

Again, it’s up to you.

The user to decide if it’s valuable to you.

I am still staunchly against
paying for DLC if I can.

I try to not pay for
anything else, or I’ll

buy your base game,
and if I like that, I might

buy more, but it’s very unlikely,
because I’m opposed to it.

I feel the same way
about subscription services.

A lot of my friends are on the
PlayStation subscription service.

They keep telling me
about how many games

they’re playing on it and
how I should do it too,

and my feeling is I don’t want to pay for a
service where I don’t own the content, and

therefore they can take
the content away from me.

This has actually already happened
to me once, the first version of Destiny.

I bought it, played it, I had a really good
time, and then a later version came out,

and if you didn’t upgrade to the later
version, you couldn’t play the base version.

That’s one I basically
didn’t, like I almost

basically refused to
play Destiny ever again,

and it was something
I was looking out for.

I don’t want to get involved in a subscription
service in the video game landscape.

So they’re saying
that, like, essentially I’m

out of date and old
fashion, which is probably

true, but basically I’m saying if I purchase
something, I want to own that thing.

And then if I was capable, and that
thing broke, I’d want to be able to fix it.

I’m going so far as saying
my computer program

breaks, I’d buy a video
game in the code breaks.

I could fix it, I should be allowed to,
but this is where modifications come in.

Is that okay?

We’re getting a bit
beyond my scope of

knowledge, but I honestly
think if I buy a car or

a John Deere tractor, and I’m able to
fix it myself, I should be able to fix it.

Now I’m going to think about printers.

They basically have subscription ink now,
and you have to buy from their company, and

all the printers now,
if you put in a different

kind of ink, will refuse to
print, which seems unfair.

But I was actually talking about
social media and paid social media.

So I think it’s the Philippines
and one other country.

Elon Musk is already
running an experiment to see

if people are willing to
pay $1 to use Twitter.

Now Twitter has gotten
significantly worse since Elon

Musk took over, but people
are willing to pay for it.

Your first thought, of course,
is everyone will quit, but

then people didn’t quit when
we introduced microtransactions.

People didn’t quit when they paid DLC.

Meta in Europe wants to charge
$17 a month for an ad-free experience.

So they’re going to have different tiers.

This includes Instagram and Facebook.

This means they will
have a tiered experience.

So the base tier is going to be garbage.

You’re going to have full of ads, so you’ll
have like, on article 10 ads, an article,

like article, you know, a
post from one of your friends.

I mean, basically the
post from your friends,

you can’t even find
them anymore anyways.

And then they’ll have tiers, just like
Netflix does, and all these other services.

And I honestly, I’m not a massive fan
of Netflix or other streaming services.

Because now there are so many, I can’t
afford to get all the ones so that I can see

the things I want to
see, which has led me

to a certain lifestyle
choice, which I’m not

actually a big fan of,
but I’m doing it because

I can only afford to
pay for so many services

at a time because I’m a normal
person with a normal salary.

TikTok is experimenting
with four 99 a month.

It’s interesting to see
where these companies

are valuing their own
experience to see how

much people are willing to pay to get, I
assume, a premium version of this service.

You can see Twitter or X wants
$8 a month for your blue checkmark.

Fewer ads, but not no ads at all.

YouTube already has $14 a
month for an ad free version.

Snapchat is working on a $4 a
month and you get custom features.

So you can see what
they’re doing is saying,

let’s have these extra
things available, but

if you actually want to use
them, you have to pay for them.

This is the mobile game
version of teasing you.

So like, hey, you’re playing this game.

You have to stop every two minutes to watch
a video to be able to continue the game.

If you pay money, we’ll stop that.

Oh, hey, if you pay a
little more money, you’ll

get a more premium experience
with more options or things like that.

That is what these social media
companies are doing right now.

It used to be said that if
it’s free, you are the product,

but now you literally have to
pay to be the product they want.

I’m thinking this is
going to lead to some

kind of pushback and
that’s going to happen.

I think because the last example I have
is the pushback I would expect to see.

It’s a live commercial.

So there was a weezer
concert and I actually

didn’t think about this
as an even possibility.

That shows where I am.

Weezer put on a concert and two
thirds, so like 60% through the set.

The singer stops and he says, I like to
read, but I don’t have time to read anymore.

I have really busy life because
I’m the front man of weezer.

And then he starts
talking about how much he

because he’s able to listen

to books while he does other things
because he’s such a big weezer, busy body.

Then they sang a song about

You have this crowd of people, weezer fans.

I assume because
they’re fans, they all lost

their minds about how great
this song was.

You really think they
paid to go to a concert

where they got a live
commercial song at them.

Maybe it was a really good commercial.

Maybe it was a really good song.

I actually was trying
to find a clip of the song.

I wasn’t able to do it because maybe it’s
only done in live concerts to try to keep

this secret because people like
me would be relatively disgusted.

I honestly would never
go to weezer concert now.

I’m that kind of person
who if I know you’re

going to sing and add
to me, you’re going

to have this fake testimonial about
how much you love

Then you’ve written a song.

I assume they got paid to write the song.

You’ve written the song and now you
perform this song to me.

I would be really grossed out by that and I
don’t want to go to your concert anymore.

People are rocking
out to this commercial,

which is not sort of
the rock and roll rebel

lifestyle that I think weezer was trying
to encapsulate when they became a band.

I’m pretty sure when they were young men
and wanted to become rock and roll gods.

They weren’t thinking wouldn’t it be awesome
if we sold out so much that we wrote a

song for a large company
and that sang that song to

people and charged them
money to watch a sing that song.

So they’re getting paid twice though.

They’re getting paid
for the concert and then had to have
paid for that song as well.

I wonder if they
actually got paid in a third

way because maybe
they got paid to write

the song got paid a
third way to put it into

their concert, which
one would be the most

expensive like which one would
you get the most money for?

I think putting it in
your concert because

that is essentially
selling your musical soul

is the is probably where I would demand the
most money to give that part of my life up.

So these subscription
services and all these

sort of paid services
and just how companies

are trying to squeeze
so much money out of us.

Now I’m seeing that there’s going to
be a point where there’s a pushback.

I have several predictions
about the Internet itself.

I think we’re going to end
up with a secondary Internet.

It’s not going to be like the dark net.

It’s not going to be evil or anything.

It’s going to be like the original Internet
where people go there for free stuff.

So you pay for this Internet.

You pay for the other Internet.

They’re the current Internet where you get
meta and TikTok and all these other things.

Those are going to get bundled
just like cable packages used to.

And so you’re going to join your
Internet company, whatever that might be.

I’m in Japan.

So let’s say it’s NTT and
they’re going to say, do you, what

subscription services do you want
included in your monthly package?

Do you want TikTok?

Do you want Facebook?

Do you want X or Twitter or
whatever you want to call it?

And I’m going to say I want none of that.

And then I’m going to
find a secondary service

in that secondary service is going to be
the Internet that I knew when I was a young

man where it was like
weird individuals posting

stuff online, websites
and stuff like that.

And that’s maybe nostalgia.

But also I know those people aren’t being
paid to make it in an instant seer way.

That’s not like I don’t want to monetize.

People like I’m not
against money, but there’s

a limit to how far services can go before
they’re just taking too much from you.

And when you take
weezers, soul away from

them so that they can,
so that they, so that

they may have to sing
about audible.home.

I think maybe at that
point we’ve gone too far.