Civic Infrastructure Is Being Monopolized

Dec. 20, 2022 [technology] [proprietary]

Civic infrastructure is rapidly coalescing around centralized disservices as towns, cities and states foolishly move away from in-person and pen & paper solutions. I have personally seen motor vehicle departments refuse the acceptance of cash or scheduling anywhere outside of their shitty web portals in the wake of the panic induced shutdowns. Grocers are now more comfortable than ever refusing cash at self checkouts (human checkouts to follow soon?). Several problems arise as the usual FAANGs eagerly gobble up the new human capital, cheif among them:

Things which are currently falling victim:

This is a multi-faceted problem.

Can one resist this inertia? Favor using protocols instead of platforms. Self host as much as possible. Prefer independent and alternative vendors where digital services are unavoidable. Don’t give your time, effort, money or vote of confidence to the beast tech by participating, further contributing to the network effect.

However, this becomes a stumbling block when garbage tech is mandated under threat of penalty or force. If a state requires all present for a court hearing connect over Zoom (zooming us all straight into the dystopian hellscape) or for extortion payers to file over a government ordained proprietary program, then that state is also mandating the usage of nonfree client software along with any of the prerequisite nonfree platforms required to run it.

If the future of avoiding proprietary trash means acts of civil disobedience as protest, then myself and others are going to be in for one hell of a ride.