one-eyed among the... one-eyed
308 stories

CIA secretly owned world's top encryption supplier, read enemy and ally messages for decades

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For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. That company was secretly run by the CIA, which had the ability to read all those communications for decades.

Greg Miller at the Washington Post:

The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.

The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project.

Read more:

‘The intelligence coup of the century’

[, Greg Miller Feb. 11, 2020, via techmeme, image modified from a photograph by theglobalpanorama CC BY-SA 2.0 ]

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6 days ago
Brno, CZ
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The cum-ex scam stole $60b from European tax authorities: it's monumentally boring, complicated, and very, very important

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Cum-ex (previously) is a technical, boring financial engineering technique that lets fraudsters file multiple tax-refund claims for the same stock transactions (they called it "dividend arbitrage"); from 2006-2011, the EU's largest, most respectable banks, law firms, and investors used the scam to steal $60,000,000,000.

Cum-ex is the kind of scam that the finance sector excels at: a socially useless financial engineering marvel that makes staggeringly rich people much richer, protected by a thicket of dull, deliberately complexified terminology and tactics that exist solely to obfuscate the obvious fraud underway.

A few bankers have gone on trial for criminal fraud for their role in cum-ex, but so far most of the perpetrators have gotten away with it, keeping the money (one trader, Sanjay Shah, relocated from London to Dubai and bought a $1.3m yacht he calls the Cum-Ex).

But German prosecutors have embarked on an aggressive program of prosecutions for everyone who profited from cum-ex, including the prominent lawyers who wrote legal opinions arguing that cum-ex was legal. They are launching 400 prosecutions stemming from 56 investigations. Among those is Hanno Berger, a former German state tax auditor who switched sides and became a key player in the theft.

Berger is a revered European finance law scholar, and his work was key to conferring a halo of lawfulness to the otherwise obvious scam. In private, Berger was more frank. One of the lawyers who worked with him says that he told the lawyers he supervised that they should quit if they didn't have the stomach for raiding the German state's coffers: "Whoever has a problem with the fact that because of our work there are fewer kindergartens being built, here’s the door."

The masterminds of the scam have roots in New York finance, but their perpetrated their crimes in the EU, where they believed that regulators would be less diligent and also less vengeful, should they get caught out.

The worst of the cum-ex raids took place immediately after the 2008 crash, when the same institutions that were stealing billions from national treasuries were also relying on those treasuries for massive bailouts that kept them from going bankrupt.

The lawyers who backed these firms threatened tax-inspectors who flagged their transactions: one clerk in the Bonn Federal Tax Office was threatened with "criminal, disciplinary and liability law" if she pursued her complaint.

Many of the banks that participated are now out of business, others are cooperating with authorities.

“Anyone who stood in the way of this trade was swept aside, and those who enabled it were promoted,” the whistle-blower said in a follow-up phone call. “But it was widely regarded as insanity inside the bank for it to be extracting money from sovereign treasuries, particularly after the entire sector had been supported by the public purse.”

American banks conducted their cum-ex trades overseas, rather than at home, out of fear, the whistle-blower said. Specifically, he mentioned a 2008 Senate investigation into “dividend tax abuse” that found it was depriving the Treasury of $100 billion every year. The report led to a ban on dividend arbitrage tied to stock in United States corporations.

But nothing prevented American bankers from conducting such trades with foreign companies on foreign soil.

It May Be the Biggest Tax Heist Ever. And Europe Wants Justice. [David Segal/New York Times]

(Image: Adam Smith, CC BY-SA)

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21 days ago
Brno, CZ
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In serving big company interests, copyright is in crisis


Copyright rules are made with the needs of the entertainment industry in mind, designed to provide the legal framework for creators, investors, distributors, production houses, and other parts of the industry to navigate their disputes and assert their interests.

A good copyright policy would be one that encouraged diverse forms of expression from diverse creators who were fairly compensated for their role in a profitable industry. But copyright has signally failed to accomplish this end, largely because of the role it plays in the monopolization of the entertainment industry (and, in the digital era, every industry where copyrighted software plays a role). Copyright's primary approach is to give creators monopolies over their works, in the hopes that they can use these as leverage in overmatched battles with corporate interests. But monopolies have a tendency to accumulate, piling up in the vaults of big companies, who use these government-backed exclusive rights to dominate the industry so that anyone hoping to enter it must first surrender their little monopolies to the hoards of the big gatekeepers.

Creators get a raw deal in a concentrated marketplace, selling their work into a buyer's market. Giving them more monopolies – longer copyright terms, copyright over the "feel" of music, copyright over samples – just gives the industry more monopolies to confiscate in one-sided negotiations and add to their arsenals. Expecting more copyright to help artists beat a concentrated industry is like expecting more lunch money to help your kid defeat the bullies who beat him up on the playground every day. No matter how much lunch money you give that kid, all you'll ever do is make the bullies richer.

One of the biggest problems with copyright in the digital era is that we expect people who aren't in the entertainment industry to understand and abide by its rules: it's no more realistic to expect a casual reader to understand and abide by a long, technical copyright license in order to enjoy a novel than it is to expect a parent to understand securities law before they pay their kid's allowance. Copyright law can either be technical and nuanced enough to serve as a rulebook for a vast, complex industry...or it can be simple and intuitive enough for that industry's customers to grasp and follow without years of specialized training. Decades of trying to make copyright into a system for both industrial actors and their audiences has demonstrated that the result is always a system that serves the former while bewildering and confounding the latter.

But even considered as a rulebook for the entertainment industry, copyright is in crisis. A system that is often promoted as protecting the interests of artists has increasingly sidelined creators' interests even as big media companies merge with one another, and with other kinds of companies (like ISPs) to form vertical monopolies that lock up the production, distribution and commercialization of creative work, leaving creators selling their work into a buyer's market locked up by a handful of companies.

2019 was not a good year for competition in the entertainment sector. Mergers like the $71.3B Disney-Fox deal reduced the number of big movie studios from five (already a farcical number) to four (impossibly, even worse). The Hollywood screenwriters have been locked in a record-breaking strike with the talent agencies—there are only three major agencies, all dominated by private equity investors, and the lack of competition means that they increasingly are negotiating deals on behalf of writers in which they agree to accept less money for writers in exchange for large fees for themselves.

On top of that, the big entertainment companies are increasingly diversifying and becoming distribution channels. The Trump administration approved the AT&T/Time-Warner merger just as the Obama administration approved the Universal/Comcast merger a decade earlier. Meanwhile, Disney has launched a streaming service and is pulling the catalogs of all its subsidiaries from rival services. That means that the creators behind those works will no longer receive residual payments from Disney for the licensing fees it receives from the likes of Netflix—instead, their work will stream exclusively on Disney Plus, and Disney will no longer have to pay the creators any more money for the use of their work.

To top it all off, the DOJ is working to end the antitrust rule that bans movie studios from owning movie theater chains, 70 years after it was put in place to end a suite of nakedly anti-competitive tactics that had especially grave consequences for actors and other creative people in the film industry. Right on cue, the already massively concentrated movie theater industry got even more concentrated.

The most visible impact of the steady concentration of the entertainment industry is on big stars: think of Taylor Swift's battle to perform her own music at an awards show where she was being named "Artist of the Decade" shortly after rights to her back catalog were sold to a "tycoon" whom she has a longstanding feud with.

But perhaps the most important impact is on independent creators, those who either cannot or will not join forces with the entertainment giants. These artists, more than any other, depend on a free, fair and open Internet to connect with audiences, promoted and distribute their works and receive payments. The tech sector has undergone market concentration that makes it every bit as troubled as the entertainment industry: as the New Zealand technologist Tom Eastman wrote in 2018, "I'm old enough to remember when the Internet wasn't a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four."

The monopolization of the online world means that all artists are vulnerable to changes in Big Tech policy, which can see their livings confiscated, their artistic works disappeared, and their online presences erased due to error, caprice, or as collateral damage in other fights. Here, too, independent artists are especially vulnerable: when YouTube's Content ID copyright filter incorrectly blocks a video from a major studio or label, executives at the company can get prompt action from Google -- but when an independent artist is incorrectly labeled a pirate, their only hope of getting their work sprung from content jail is to make a huge public stink and hope it's enough to shame a tech giant into action.

As online platforms become ever-more-central to our employment, family, culture, education, romance and personal lives, the tech giants are increasingly wielding the censor's pen to strike out our words and images and sounds and videos in the name of public safety, copyright enforcement, and a host of other rubrics. Even considering that it's impossible to do a good job of this at massive scale, the tech companies do a particularly bad job.

This is about to get much worse. In March 2019, the European Union passed the most controversial copyright rules in its history by a razor-thin margin of only five votes—and later, ten Members of the European Parliament stated that they were confused and had pressed the wrong button, though the damage had already been done.

One of the most controversial parts of the new European Copyright Directive was Article 17 (formerly Article 13), which will require all online platforms to implement copyright filters similar to Google's Content ID. The Directive does not contain punishments for those who falsely claim copyright over works that don't belong to them (this is a major problem today, with fraudsters using fake copyright claims to threaten the livelihoods of creators in order to extort money from working artists).

Article 17 represents a bonanza for crooks who victimize creators by claiming copyright over their works—without offering any protections for the artists targeted by scammers. Artists who are under the protective wing of big entertainment companies can probably shield themselves from harm, meaning that the heavily concentrated entertainment sector will have even more leverage to use in its dealings with creators.

But that's not all: Article 17 may have snuffed out any possibility of launching a competing platform to discipline the Big Tech firms, at least in Europe. Startups might be able to offer a better product and lure customers to it (especially with the help of Adversarial Interoperability) but they won't be able to afford the massive capital expenditures needed to develop and operate the filters required by Article 17 until they've grown to giant size—something they won't get a chance to do because, without filters, they won't be able to operate at all.

That means that the Big Tech giants will likely get bigger, and, where possible, they will use their control over access to markets and customers to force both independent creators and big media companies to sell on terms that benefit them, at the expense of creators and entertainment companies.

To see what this looks like, just consider Amazon, especially its Audible division, which controls virtually the entire audiobook market. Once a minor sideline for publishing, audiobooks are now a major component of any author's living, generating nearly as much revenue as hardcovers and growing much faster.

Amazon has abused its near-total dominance over the audiobook market to force creators and publishers to consent to its terms, which include an absolute requirement that all audiobooks sold on Audible be wrapped in Amazon's proprietary "Digital Rights Management" code. This code nominally protects Audible products from unauthorized duplication, but this is a mere pretense.

It's pretty straightforward to remove this DRM, but providing tools to do so is a potential felony under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, carrying a penalty of a five-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine for a first offense (EFF is suing the US government to overturn this law). This means that potential Audible rivals can't offer tools to import Audible purchases to run on their systems or to permit access to all your audiobooks from a single menu.

As Amazon grows in scale and ambition, it can, at its discretion, terminate authors' or publishers' access to the audience it controls (something the company has done before). Audiences that object to this will be left with a difficult choice: abandon the purchases they've made to follow the artists they love to smaller, peripheral platforms, or fragment their expensive audiobook libraries across a confusion of apps and screens. 

Copyright was historically called "the author's monopoly," but increasingly those small-scale monopolies are being expropriated by giant corporations—some tech, some entertainment, some a weird chimera of both—and wielded to corner entire markets or sectors. In 2017, EFF lost a long, bitter fight to ensure that a poorly considered project to add DRM to the standards for Web browsers didn't result in further monopolization of the browser market. Two years later, our worst fears have been realized and it is effectively impossible to launch a competitive browser without permission from Google or Microsoft or Apple (Apple won't answer licensing queries, Microsoft wants $10,000 just to consider a licensing application, and Google has turned down all requests to license for new free/open-source browsers).

Copyright has also become a key weapon in the anticompetitive arsenal wielded against the independent repair sector. More than 20 state-level Right to Repair bills have been killed by industry coalitions who cite a self-serving, incoherent mix of concerns over their copyrights and "cybersecurity" as reasons why you shouldn't be able to get your phone or car fixed in the shop of your choice.

All this is why EFF expanded its competition-related projects in 2019 and will do even more in 2020. We, too, are old enough to remember when the Internet wasn't a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four. We know that, in 2020, it's foolish to expect tech companies to have their users' back unless there's a meaningful chance those users will go somewhere else (and not just to another division of the same tech company).

(Crossposted from EFF Deeplinks)

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26 days ago
Brno, CZ
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AI generates old-fashioned zoological illustrations of beetles

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These beetles do not exist: Confusing Coleopterists is an AI trained on illustrations from zoological textbooks. The extreme formality of this art genre, and its placement within the public domain, makes it uniquely apt to the medium of generative adversarial networks: "Results were interesting and mesmerising."

I set up a machine at PaperSpace with 1 GPU (According to NVIDIA’s repository, running StyleGan on 256px images takes over 14 days with 1 Tesla GPU) 😅

I trained it with 128px images and ran it for > 3 days, costing > €125.

Results were nice! but tiny. ... I loaded the beetle dataset and trained it at full 1024px, [on top of the FlickrHD model] and after 3000 steps the results were very nice.

No-one below Ph.D. level should ever trust an illustration of a beetle again!

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46 days ago
Brno, CZ
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Doctors who take pharma industry freebies prescribe more of their benefactors' drugs

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Doctors who accept pharma industry gifts (which can range from free coffees to lavish dinners to six-figure speaking fees) claim that they're not influenced by these bribes/gifts, which is possibly why doctors are taking more pharma bribes than ever.

Now, an empirical study by Propublica draws on mandatory disclosure data on pharma gifts as well as prescribing data to show that "Doctors who receive money from drugmakers related to a specific drug prescribe that drug more heavily than doctors without such financial ties."

The sample size is large. The effect size is large. The effects are consistent across multiple drugs. The size of the gift needed to change prescribing behavior is bewilderingly small.

It's not the first such study, but it's an important, empirical addition to our understanding of the problems with this practice. Obviously, the pharma industry wouldn't spend all that money if they didn't think it made a good return on their investment, but industries often spend lavishly on useless things for long periods (for example, think of all the firms that entrust hedge funds with large sums of money, despite the fact that hedge funds generally underperform relative to a simple index-tracker). It's nice to have some outside validation.

For some drugs that are household names, it was more common for prescribers to receive a payment than not to. More than half of doctors who prescribed Breo, an expensive asthma drug, to Medicare patients received payments involving the drug in 2016. This was also true for Invokana and Victoza, both of which are diabetes medications. For Linzess, nearly half of doctors who prescribed the drug had interactions with its maker.

More than one in five doctors who prescribed OxyContin under Medicare in 2016 had a promotional interaction with the drug’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

“If there are physicians out there that deny that there is a relationship, they are starting to look more and more like climate deniers in the face of the growing evidence,” said Aaron Kesselheim, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert in pharmaceutical costs and regulation. “The association is consistent across the different types of payments. It’s also consistent across numerous drug specialties and drug types, across multiple different fields of medicine. And for small and large payments. It’s a remarkably durable effect. No specialty is immune from this phenomenon.”

Doctors Prescribe More of a Drug If They Receive Money from a Pharma Company Tied to It [Hannah Fresques/Propublica]

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58 days ago
Brno, CZ
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'Civilization' and Strategy Games' Progress Delusion

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How strategy games have held on to one of colonialism's most toxic narratives, and how they might finally be letting it go.

So here’s a question: what author springs to mind when you read the word “evolution”?

Chances are, you thought of Charles Darwin. Problem is, the word evolution was never used in the first edition of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Darwin only began employing the term in the sixth edition, published thirteen years after the original (in 1859), precisely because it was already commonly known. And the person most responsible for the popularity of the term was a British philosopher named Herbert Spencer.

Spencer believed that progress was a cosmic phenomenon where all things advanced from simplicity to complexity. From geology to society, the entire universe was on a single trajectory of ever greater differentiation. And so evolution emerged as two different concepts under the same name: for Darwin it was adaptation, how species changed to suit their environment through the process of natural selection. For Spencer it was progress.

“Evolution as progress” became the bedrock of early social anthropology. The eighteenth century “savage” became the nineteenth century “primitive”, no longer something altogether different but instead just backward. “We” (whoever that is) were once like them, but “we” had evolved, whereas “they” had not. Or to put it another way, social evolutionism transformed a spatial difference (people who live in different parts of the globe do things differently) into a temporal difference (“they” do as “we” once did, but “we” have progressed and they have not).

'Crusader Kings 2' screenshot courtesy of Paradox Interactive

But let’s talk about videogames.

Now you don’t need me to tell you that the 4X genre is problematic (the four Xs stand for explore, expand, exploit, exterminate, after all). And I’d hazard to guess that most 4X developers take a systemic approach to game design which treats theme as a largely secondary issue (Sid Meier has repeated Bruce Shelley’s joke that they do their research in the kid’s section of the library [48 minutes into the linked recording]). But games are an artifact produced within a given social context and as such reproduce aspects of their worldview, particularly those aspects that are seen as being natural.

And what do we find in most historical 4X games? A largely uniform tech tree that all factions will progress through in a unilateral direction. Even non-historical 4X games feature uniform tech trees, they just use the present as a starting point and not an endpoint. But what is progress in an historical 4X game? To be blunt, it’s the elimination of difference. The closer you are to “us”, the more you have progressed. All Civ games begin with a settler unit, and your first choice is where to settle, to become sedentary. The first city being built you start transforming the surrounding environment, researching technologies and expanding until, by the end, you achieve hegemony over the world. Or rather, until you quit the game because you’re bored.

As Civ 5 dev Jon Shafer has noted, nobody finishes Civ games. Now I don’t believe there is one single reason for this, but I would argue that this evolutionary worldview is a reason. Games are supposedly a series of interesting decisions, but one of the dirty tricks of social evolution is to obfuscate political decisions under the guise of progress. Effectively your only decisions are how to advance through a predetermined trajectory culminating with “us”, "the US”. This is easier to perceive in tech trees, but it’s also true of those two other Xs: expand, exterminate. Make the world homogenous, make the world boring. Those early turns players like put them into contact with difference. The rest of the game sees them destroy it.

So hopefully it’s clear why it’s so heinously offensive to present day indigenous populations such as the Poundmaker Cree to be featured in games like Civilization. The implicit argument, even if unintentional, is that “we” are all playing the same game, you just sucked at it. Or look at Crusader Kings II that had a whole expansion (Sunset invasion) premised on the notion of the Aztec Empire invading and colonizing Europe.

But, you might argue, even if social evolutionism is offensive it might nonetheless be right, a harsh truth we need to come to terms with about “human nature”. After all wasn’t anthropology founded in accordance with this idea? But therein lies the problem, the idea of a single evolutionary ladder was the founding assumption of the discipline, an assumption that quickly ran into all sorts of problems. Here are some examples: horses are a new addition to the Americas, having arrived with European settlers and then gradually permeated throughout the continent. Before this, what are now known as the Indigenous people of the Great Plains seem to have been largely sedentary, becoming increasingly nomadic as they gradually developed an incredibly intricate and intense relationship with these animals. Similarly, there is significant archaeological evidence that many densely populated and interconnected centers began emerging in the Amazon (particularly in the Black and Xingu river valleys) from about 0 AD until roughly the thirteenth century, where the trend begins to reverse and habitation becomes increasingly decentralized and nomadic (needless to say, the arrival of Europeans greatly accelerated this process). This illustrates one of the problems with evolutionary views: They create rigid typologies (the rungs of the ladder) that break down very quickly given the incredible diversity of human populations. Even in Europe this should already have been clear: one of the oldest sites of sedentary habitation on the continent is the Iron Gates region of the Danube, where the Lepenski Vir I and II archaeological sites are located. Problem is, those populations don’t seem to have ever developed agriculture, which is what is “supposed” to happen.

But even if the idea of a single evolutionary ladder is discarded, there are still many problems with these conceptions of progress. If we go back to Spencer, we clearly see the idea that more advanced societies are more complex societies. This actually was one of the justifications that was given for studying Australian aboriginal religion by French sociologist Emile Durkheim: Since they supposedly had the simplest religion, it would be easier to derive the Elementary Forms of Religious Life (the title of his book) by observing them. Problem is, if you’re going to grade different peoples on their relative simplicity like some kind of Olympic judge, you first need to decide what the sport is. Nobody disputes that Indo-Europeans are great at making products, matter of fact “providers of merchandise” or “people of merchandise” is one of the most common names for the “white man” among Amazonian peoples. But what about everything else?

Because those very same Australian aboriginal populations who have been so continuously discriminated against by generations of academics have also developed the most complex kinship systems on the planet. There is, of course, much diversity between different populations, but many defy the limits of what can be modelled, and almost all require at least a three-dimensional diagram. Here, for example, is an attempt to model Murngin/Yolngu patricycles/matricyles using a five-dimensional hypercube:

Barbara Glowcezewski's kinship hypercube (Mankind, December 1989, vol. 19, no. 3)

By comparison most current day European kinship systems are among the simplest ever observed, and that’s the point: complexity and simplicity is very much in the eye of the beholder. Unsurprisingly, strategy games tend to only engage with complexity when it can be converted into a military or economic trait, the rest is treated as irrelevant or merely aesthetic. The tendency, when looking at different populations, is to fixate on familiarities, either because something appears similar or because something supposedly essential is missing. Much of anthropology up until the midpoint of the last century could be crassly summarized in the question “how come all these people don’t have a State?”

There are some signs of change (dare I say progress? Delete this stupid joke) in the genre though. The upcoming Humankind by Amplitude is aggressively signaling a break with 4x conventions, the stated goal being to write, not “win”, history. Among its most interesting ideas is that every age will afford the player an opportunity to play as a new culture, so one may select Babylonians during the Bronze Age and then Germans in the Iron Age. While the idea that societies progressed along set technological ages has by and large been discredited, the notion of changing cultures (rather than a continual atemporal people) is an important break with tradition.

Humankind screenshot courtesy of Sega

For now, strategy games by and large continue to reproduce notions of progress (particularly technological progress) in an uncritical fashion. Take efficiency, for example: It is common for new technologies in games to increase efficiency, which is almost always presented as unambiguously good. But while increased efficiency tends to either increase production or require less work, the practical downside is rarely modelled in games: the former increases the consumption of resources, the latter depresses wages. Being more advanced doesn’t make either inherently beneficial, or as famed science-fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin wrote “it seems fairly clear to me that to count upon technological advance for anything but technological advance is a mistake”.

These vague notions of progress perform a sort of magic trick, hiding political choices under a curtain of assumptions which continue to linger. Eventually anthropology moved on from social evolutionism, but the ideas stayed. Most people have never heard of Spencer, or the early anthropologists like Morgan, Tylor and Frazer, but their theories permeate the "common sense" that is reproduced in games, television, books etc. One explanation would be to credit these authors with having shaped the public consciousness, and that’s probably true to some extent, after all they got Darwin to start using the term "evolution". But we can also look at evolutionism another way: Not as some tenacious intellectual weed, but as a story people like to hear. “The west” played the universal game better than anyone else, “we” are the apex, “our” way is the only way. There will always be a market for reconfirming peoples’ beliefs, and games, being a product that is sold in a capitalist context, are particularly susceptible to this. Ideas never really die, they just find a new way to express themselves. While current anthropologists no longer entertain notions of human progress, games sure do .

The original Civilization was released September 1991, Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the triumph of liberal democracy in “The end of history and the last man” in 1992. Now, in 2019, it’s hard to find such a narrative outside of games. It is certainly possible that upcoming releases like Humankind and Ten Crowns may herald the end of this era for grand-strategy. Arguably Paradox saw much of its success by making games that are enjoyable as a collection of partial experiences rather than systems to be mastered in pursuit of victory. And while this can be interpreted exclusively as a question of game design, it contains an inherently political decision. Because if the 4x genre abandons the idea that history has (or will have) a victor, it also abandons a view of history that sees it as a competition between nations and/or races. And that would be no great loss.

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61 days ago
Brno, CZ
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