From marshmallows to Marshall’s shallows

From marshmallows to Marshall’s shallows

01 August 2019 from Mikael Syding

We have learned that sweet-toothed toddlers, unaware of the nature of the test, who cannot
keep themselves for fifteen minutes, despite being promised a 100 percent return, face a poor future. About a third used to fail. But today, most of the adults wade around in the most basic of mental technology areas, and fail with the shallows test hundreds of times a day, when they "just check the phone" every three minutes. Adults. Who knows about the marshmallow test. Every third minute. Who knows that their physical and mental health is undermined the more they chase the empty dopamine chicks that today's tech companies are attracted to in order to sell unnecessary gadgets to the masses.

Where is the technology and thus we ourselves heading? Already in the 1960s, the media
theorist and philosopher Marshall McLuhan described how the very properties, rather than the
content, of an information channel shape the recipients and society. For example, the Internet's
opportunities for fast and non-sequential "information browsing" (a concept McLuhan coined)
mean that we are increasingly losing the ability, and perhaps even the will, to focus on the
longer, sequential and deeper reasoning that we previously accommodated from books. Today,
Alexander Bard has taken over the baton, and in his philosophical acquisition paints a picture of
how man's inherited tendencies to organize himself socially interact with new technology. The
development creates new power structures and at the same time leaves many lost losers in
their wake.

The largest and most popular companies sell cheap gadgets online, or provide entertainment in
the form of music, movies, TV shows, gambling and computer games. Each click is recorded
and used to customize the supply and maximize sales efforts for the fastest possible feedback
and strongest possible reward feeling with the customer. Our tribal-adapted savannah brains
have just as difficult to handle the digital sandwich table as a genuine one. Twitter, Instagram
and Facebook are like ice cream, cookies and candy for someone with low blood sugar. The
AI-designed kickers are getting better in the short, but in the long run, the feeling of
meaninglessness and lack of purpose or self-will and control is constantly increasing. You who
can read my chronicles from the first to the last sentence are, in turn, out of danger.
Unfortunately, most people are worse off and many are even proud that they do not read books.

The US President has recently proposed that the US should sue Facebook and Google, and the
Justice Department has launched an investigation into the leading Internet platforms that have
harmed consumers through reduced competition and slower innovation. The regulators are still
several steps behind the technology companies and instead of catching up, they are losing
ground at an increasing rate. It can lead to sudden, desperate, measures that hit the tech sector
- especially companies in commerce and social media where user data is the big value.

An Israeli company promises that they can gather data from the largest consumer sites in the
world, and Facebook sells the mobile numbers they receive on their calls to increase security
with 2-factor login. However, the users themselves do not care about their integrity and what
today's fast kick in the future hangover. It clearly showed the recent upswing of the Russian app
FaceApp. Personally, I read books every day and use anonymous search engines and hide my
identity with VPN technology.

The most important tech companies of the future must navigate the US's increased revenue
needs (higher taxes), clumsy and misguided regulatory efforts and either benefit from people's
passive desire for entertainment and constant stimulation, or the minority, future network elite's
active pursuit of integrity and anonymity.

Like the public-smoking ban on Swedish outdoor dining and sugar tax proposals (I and many
others welcome healthier air, but would rather have seen free enterprise allowed), legislators
can first go on social media and gaming sites, and in step two, streaming entertainment. In a
true centralized dystopia, even platforms such as mobile phones, search engines and operating
systems can even experience what political risk entails.

Web developers use so-called sludge tactics for using smart design to introduce a difficulty and inertia for the customer to make decisions the company wants to avoid. It can be a travel company that makes it difficult to choose only hand luggage. The opposite, nudge, in the form of large attractive BUY buttons, is still popular with both government and private companies.
However, Sludge is also on the rise with authorities that want to make it more difficult for its
residents to do what falls into them as ever more competent algorithms hack deeper and deeper into our prehistorically founded subconscious.

Expect that much remains as it is, ie large companies become bigger and compete out or
acquire start-ups. From time to time, the consumer-oriented technology giants are penalized
and fined, and some semi-monopoly may even occur. is broken up, but in general the costs are
small in relation to their growth and market values. It is more worth owning a share of the
automation companies of the future, whether we are talking digital AI or physical robots, than
worrying about relatively weaker state powers. At the same time, there is great potential for
companies that protect users' privacy, ie niche developers of data security products and
anonymous payment solutions. A third category of potential winners consists of less exciting
infrastructure products such as business systems of various kinds.

In addition, truly useful technology companies are gathering steam, for example,
nanotechnology and biotechnology, which can enable higher standards of living for real rather
than pretend, but to punish the right company so early is impossible, and shotgun becomes too
expensive. No, focus on companies with an existing and proven business model and market,
and try to avoid simple mistakes instead of looking for rockets among already over-hoped
companies. Lean out your investment candidates among reasonably valued, slightly boring and
forgotten companies, where the regulatory risk is lower than for the large consumer-oriented
and thieves' data scrapers. For example, what about the backbone builders within 5G and
Industry 4.0?


Important legal information

Legal notice

This information is in the sole responsibility of the guest author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Bank Vontobel Europe AG or any other company of the Vontobel Group. The further development of the index or a company as well as its share price depends on a large number of company-, group- and sector-specific as well as economic factors. When forming his investment decision, each investor must take into account the risk of price losses. Please note that investing in these products will not generate ongoing income.

The products are not capitalprotected, in the worst case a total loss of the invested capital is possible. In the event of insolvency of the issuer and the guarantor, the investor bears the risk of a total loss of his investment. In any case, investors should note that past performance and / or analysts' opinions are no adequate indicator of future performance. The performance of the underlyings depends on a variety of economic, entrepreneurial and political factors that should be taken into account in the formation of a market expectation.

19/09/2019 16:50:47


Write a Comment






* Required fields need to be filled in