More on timelines and rentalizing
Following on this item
about timelines in tech.
The overall pattern, true for everything from land to telephones, has three steps:
1. Feudal relationships came first. A two-way loyalty between the seller and customer, or landlord and tenant. The land or product was in the hands of the customer but owned by the landlord. Rental created a lifetime connection, with personal OBLIGATIONS on both sides.
2. The myth of private property came along with the myths of "natural rights"
and meritocracy. These myths served to DECOUPLE the aristocrat from the peasant. After paying interest for 20 or 30 years, the peasant "owned" the land or car or computer. He was then free to sell the item for much less than he had paid in interest. The landlords no longer had any obligations to keep the peasants alive, no obligation to take care of the property, and no obligation to employ local peasants. They could ship the work offshore and ignore all service calls. (See
'let the fires burn'.)
3. After deleting the two-way obligations, we've returned to renting with a one-way obligation. Now the landlord has total control of your land or computer, and has no need to take care of it or insure that you can even use it. The landlord has no vested interest in your survival or purchasing power or employability or skills.
= = = = =
I've been modeling IBM's 1957 RAMAC accounting system, a landmark in disk tech and a landmark in service. Previously IBM had made a wide range of individual machines for business, including timeclocks and intercoms as well as computers. RAMAC was a set of computing equipment plus software designed to work together for one purpose.
The timeline shows up starkly when comparing IBM 1957 (real feudal) versus Microsoft 2021 (neo-feudal).
IBM rented about 1000 of the RAMAC systems. Not a high quantity. The most basic system rented for $3200 a month, equivalent to $25k now. Extra equipment and extra usage charges brought some rentals up to $12k a month, about $100k now.
The expense meant that only middle-to-large companies could afford them. What the companies got for their rental was a full range of close-coupled services. IBM wrote a series of books showing how the RAMAC accounting system could be used and programmed by different types of business, and provided programming services as well as repair services. IBM was committed to HELPING the businesses thrive, so the customers could continue paying the high rental.
Profit maintained the relationship.
Now Microsoft rents Windows 11 for "zero" dollars, and provides NEGATIVE service. Constant updates and spying ("telemetry") keep your computer tied up so you CAN'T do your own work properly. Constant Github updates to every piece of software keep you jumping, always behind the curve, always catching up with the latest change that invalidates all of your previous work.
Memory and storage and amortizing are impossible. The "free" cost removes the profit feedback loop. MS doesn't need customers, and doesn't try to help them prosper.
Labels: 2000=1000, defensible times, From rights to duties, the broken circle