Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ebay "Community Values"...

Have you ever wandered around the eBay site, and stumbled upon their five Community Values? Here they are...

1. We believe people are basically good.
2. We believe everyone has something to contribute.
3. We believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people.
4. We recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual.
5. We encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.

Golly, sure sounds nice! Obviously, some idealism here, which has it's place, but the eBay of today really sings a different tune. In fact, their tune today might have been used as continuous background noise for the sci-fi movie "1984", about that dystopian world of the future, where everything seems to be the opposite of the way it's supposed to be. The famous line from the book that was made into a movie was, "Freedom is Slavery". There is also a "Ministry of Truth", that pumps out the propaganda instead, etc.

So why another dark comparison when looking at eBay's oh-so-special, and super-nice-sounding Community Values? Well, because it's all pure, unadulterated horse-shit, that's why! Sure, it may serve in some way as propaganda, even fooling some of the more naive among us, but their "Values" so-called stand in such sharp contrast to the reality, they only serve to nauseate the thinking person. How so? Let's take a look in more detail, in case you haven't thought about these "Values" much before.

First one says people are basically good. OK, I realize this is a popular notion today, especially among the more candy-ass and privileged within this matrix, but for those of you who feel that people are basically good, consider stepping outside of your box (or your pod) for a moment. Where would we have come to believe such a wild notion? As we look back into history, a long list of evils, almost exclusively done by people, to other people, confront us. Ugly names like Stalin, Hitler and Mao stare us in the face. Tales of millions perishing at the hands of dictators, or because of war, or greed, etc. No doubt if we wait long enough, our history books will be rewritten, but for today, perhaps we should consider the very real possibility that people are NOT basically good. Seems like a no-brainer really.

But are we saying that people are basically evil instead? Well, this would be a predictable conclusion, since we started off with the notion of "goodness" after all. But we need to take a step back before trying to simplistically label people one way or the other. Let's see what we can agree upon. People most often appear to act in their best interests, at least short-term. Yes, it's true there are smokers, and drinkers, etc., and they seem to take regular actions that could eventually cut their lives short, but that's another matter. Most people would probably agree that people tend to act according to what they believe is in their interests. Anything inherently "evil" about that? Maybe, maybe not. Looking back again at history, we do find a traditional explanation for the darker side of human nature known as The Fall. Religionists will be quick to recognize the term, but for the rest, there is a very old idea, passed down through the generations of humankind, that Man was originally created "good", but soon went wrong by making a bad choice, and now is not as he was. Tradition tells us about a Garden, the original pair (Adam and Eve), and a snake or serpent as well. That's the Fall, with the result being that people "should be" better, but today are not, and may actually have a "tendency" to do "bad" things, or at least selfish things. There's more to it, but that's the gist, and does appeal to an intuition that we may have as we evaluate our own behaviors. No, people are NOT "good", and while not automatically "evil", we would be fools to ignore the fact that people do bad things, sometimes very bad things!

And so, Community Value number one, put it in the toilet where it belongs. Let's replace it with something more real, and more useful. People are, what they have ever been. Not necessarily good, nor bad, but given the right circumstances, things can go wrong in a hurry. In applying this to the marketplace, let us recall the ancient Roman dictum, "caveat emptor", let the buyer beware. Yes, that's the way it was, is, and will be, no matter how big a company, or a government gets, that's supposed to "protect" you, and no matter how many centuries go by. Same goes with other situations. Ladies and gentlemen, wake up, when you need that cop, he will not be there. You're going to either be prepared to defend yourself, as best you can, or you will suffer the consequences. And later, don't expect to feel so great when some moron recites some silly shit about "good" people, along with a sorry-ass little smile to go with it. Yeah, tell that to the girl who got raped. Good? Give me a break.

Back to the marketplace. When you buy that medicine for your child, have you done your homework first? Did you merely trust your doctor? Shame on you! You get to join the ranks of the thousands of people who did the same, who felt they had little or no responsibility. And even if your child escaped this time, what about the next? Same goes with anything you buy. Take responsibility! And when you think about what actually goes on in every normal business transaction, you will know that you can't just relax, and hope Big Brother will take care of you. Because your job as the buyer is to get what you want for as little as you can get away with. And the guy you're buying from has the opposite job, he wants to get the absolute most money out of you, and give you the least he can get away with. In between these poles, a deal can be struck. But as in the days of old, when no one was yet so foolish as they are today, you do not let your guard down! And shame on eBay for pandering to the stupid idea of "good" people, which can only set sellers up for more insanity, with unrealistic buyer expectations, based on propaganda.

On to number two. Everyone has something to contribute. So? So fucking what! The better thing to ask here of eBay: Are you letting people make their contributions? Or are you meddling to the point where many just turn away in disgust? Yes, many people have lots to contribute, and I personally don't care about "everyone" (?), that's irrelevant. But the issue here is to go beyond mere recognition that people have something to contribute. Let them DO it too, for crying out loud! The eBay of today isn't letting that happen, but more on that below.

Number three. How about the idea that an honest and open environment can bring out the best in people? Sounds rather nice (again). Sheesh, wake up dummies! This kind of statement smacks of propaganda on it's face! First of all, anyone who actually deals with eBay knows that they are far, far from promoting an honest and open environment. Instead, they willingly promote fraud on their site, through the use of "hidden" identities, facilitating shill-bidding, etc. It takes considerable chutzpah for such a criminal outfit to try and wrap themselves in this moral flag. Second, how is an "honest and open" environment even conceivable? Yes, there is a legitimate notion of "transparency" out there, (look it up eBay!), but the minute we appeal to moralistic terms, such as "honest", we step into the propaganda game. Fuck that. Third, assuming we could have such a wondrous environment, would it really bring out the "best" in people? Exactly how would that work?

You want to know what brings out the "best" in everyone? CONSEQUENCES. This is literally a foreign word over at eBay, but admit it, there is nothing else quite like good, old-fashioned consequences to truly "bring out the best" in people. You don't want your employee to steal from you? Set up a camera! You'd like to make sure you don't get raped up the ass? DO NOT drop the fucking soap to begin with! It's common sense really.

But eBay doesn't do "consequences" anymore, at least not for one HALF of the transaction, since the buyers have been given carte blanche, and sellers must just "hope" they're "good" people! Hopeless more like. Get real eBay! You stupid asshole John Donahoe, you are a criminal, and are building up a shitload of bad karma. One day (soon I hope), I would love to read some news about how some (basically) "good" person car-jacked the fuck out of you, and left your sorry worthless ass for dead. Wake up you mega-prick!

Number four. This one is sweet, which almost rhymes with "unique". But the unique part is only dumb because is so obvious. Yes, we're all fucking unique! Who cares?! The problem is that they say they "respect" everyone. No, that is a lie. They have seriously disrespected their sellers, most especially their small and medium sized, shall we say even, the most unique of their sellers? You want to know what real disrespect is my friends? No, it's not just sneaking off in the morning. How about this one? How about you have your fun with the little lady, and then you KILL her? My, my, now THAT is some serious disrespect! But that is exactly what eBay is doing to their sellers! Slowly killing them off, after having taken their time, their money, in some cases, maybe even their lives, as discouragement leads to despair. Yes, real, unique lives are being broken. Through the callousness of the greedy-fuck Dickahoe and company. The true collective uniqueness is being killed off, so that one day, in the words of that Stallone movie, as enunciated by Sandra Bullock, "All restaurants are Taco Bell!" Thanks Dickahoe!

Number five. Oh how we could all wish Dumb Ass Donahoe really believed such a thing! To treat others, as we would like to be treated? What a concept. But we would be beating a now, very-dead horse to go on too much.

When we all get to Heaven, or Nirvana, or WhereEver, we shall oh-so gladly treat each other as we want to be treated! We might even treat one another with kindness, and respect! Joy would be EveryWhere, and we would finally be Happy! And then we woke up. Sorry folks, this silly utopianism isn't reality. As individuals, we can each make a personal choice to perhaps follow such a noble dictum as the Golden Rule. But as a group, or a "community" (sounds so nice!), it ain't gonna happen.

Let's get real, and replace number five with: "We believe both buyer, and seller were created Equal..." You can make up the rest, but until this basic notion is restored, forget these stupid "community values", and don't expect eBay to be a healthy marketplace.


No comments:

Post a Comment