No Minister

Subscribing to immunity

with 5 comments

When I moved from the academic world of computers to the business world I began to learn about the business aspects of software.

Chief among those lessons was finding that the software used on mini and mainframe computers was not purchased but rented from the companies, with subscriptions based on time (typically annual), the number of users, or other factors.

The world of so-called “micro” computers was different. You bought MS-Windows and that was it. You even got a bunch of applications as part of the whole system and of course the system was typically pre-installed when you bought the hardware.

But even in that world, the model has been shifting for years now. Some software applications (apps) that used to come packaged with the OS (Operating System) have been pulled and must be purchased separately.

But the bigger shift has seen apps sold as the software on larger machines has been, with a subscription service. This has been the case for some years now with things like Adobe software (that produces the well known “.pdf” documents), but also photo editing and animation apps. Rather than buying music that sits on your computer’s disk drive, as with Apple’s iTunes system, people are paying a monthly subscription to Cloud-based services like Spotify. Same with photos, where a certain capacity is provided for “free” but more space requires a payment of a few dollars per month.

In the future it could move into the world of computer hardware as well, where you’ll rent a virtual machine in the Cloud. The software subscription model has shifted into areas you wouldn’t normally think of it applying. The latest Tesla cars have a feature where you can pay them to “unlock” high performance, but on a subscriber basis.

While I was working for an agricultural contractor I saw that the big John Deere “choppers” had two thick, heavy plastic “wands” mounted to the central prow of the header and that these could be used to drive the machines through maize fields on automatic pilot. However, when I asked one of the drivers about this feature he scoffed and said they didn’t use it because it meant paying some $US 1500 per year to JD for the related software in the computer system and “It’s not worth it”.

All this raises the issue of ownership. There used to be no question about computers, cars and such. You bought them and could then do what you wanted with them. But increasingly that’s not the case. In the USA a bit of a black market has developed with Eastern Europe where hacked tractor software has been obtained by American farmers to get their tractors going after a breakdown (shutdown might be more accurate), rather than waiting for the official JD mechanic. Tesla cars have been hacked in order to get features that require a subscription. Who owns your downloaded iTunes music after you die? What happens to all those photos you backed up for security to the Cloud service if you stop paying the monthly subscription?

All of which has had me wondering, as I watch the Big Pharma companies like Pfizer and Moderna gleefully make serious coin from their Covid-19 vaccine shots and now talk of booster shots every few months to maintain immunity, whether the drug industry has moved to the subscription model as well?

In a sense the illegal drug industry has long been doing that, hooking its “customers” on the drugs they sell, and getting regular payments guaranteed until the addiction is broken, sometimes only by death.

But with talk of vaccine passports and papers required to operate in society the legal drug companies have certainly hit the gold mine beloved of every big business by having the State on their side with regulations. Could this then become a standard feature of life, with us paying Pfizer (either directly or via government taxes) an annual subscription for the drugs needed to keep us alive or at least, “certified and legal”?

Written by Tom Hunter

October 29, 2021 at 6:31 am

5 Responses

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  1. This is Klaus Schwab’s “great reset” playing out where politically favored corporations and big government get into bed and crush the competition. The whole system is corrupt, and it is abundantly clear now why the entire DC establishment decided that the Donald had to go.

    Lets look at Big Pharma:

    Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, now sits on the board of Pfizer.
    Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, now sits on the board of Moderna.
    Former CEO of Reuters James Smith, now sits on the board of Pfizer.

    And these are just the most egregious examples. So its just like the military-industrial complex where the top brass at the Pentagon end up with a sinecure on the boards of defense contractors and a reward for feeding the beast.

    Porky Roebuck

    October 29, 2021 at 8:23 am

  2. Would not want anything relating to the eight (sic) and sick amigos to become news, right, could be downright embarrassing if any of them had a scruple to share that is.


    October 29, 2021 at 9:26 am

  3. Remind one of the Groucho Marx quote “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others”


    October 29, 2021 at 9:29 am

  4. “You will own nothing, and be happy.” Part two of that quote is “We will own everything, and it will still not be enough”. Conspiracy or not, our government and many others, are facilitating this dangerous combination of big government with big business, and too many people are prepared to accept their approach, as if there was never any other alternatives. and just to make sure, make the discussion of alternatives verbotten.


    October 29, 2021 at 12:07 pm

  5. Yes, I’ve not looked too closely into The Great Reset claims and had not thought about it as I posted this but certainly the subscription approach could be applied across everything. After all we rent houses don’t we? Why not rent everything.

    A capitalist version of the anarchist world portrayed in The Dispossessed, which title I always wondered was some cryptic piece of humour by Le Guin.

    BTW, you seem to be having the same problem commenting here as Lucia and it may be connected with your Google usage? Despite having been approved to post, after which that should not be needed again, your comments continue to land in the “Pending” queue, requiring approval.

    I’ve had a similar problem over at NotPC, where some of my comments on some posts appear immediately, whereas on one post for one comment it simply vanishes such that even PC can’t see it, and this despite “test” comments getting through on that post.

    Tom Hunter

    October 29, 2021 at 12:47 pm

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