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blog

Mexico Says Bienvenido! To Pope Francis

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La Prensa, Feb. 12, 2016

"Welcome!" reads Friday's front page of Mexico City-based daily La Prensa, greeting Pope Francis as he's set for an afternoon arrival in Mexico for his first visit as pontiff.

Ahead of his five-day trip, which includes a visit to a prison in the crime-riddled city of Ciudad Juarez, the Pope urged Mexicans to battle against corruption and drug gang violence: "The Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drug trafficking, the Mexico of cartels, is not the Mexico our Mother Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico wants," Reuters quoted the pope as saying in a video released by the Vatican last week.

Instead, La Prensa hopes the country will receive Pope Francis as the "Mexico that can sing and laugh, the land of mariachi and tequila."

The visit comes two days after 49 inmates were killed in a fight between rival groups at a prison near Monterrey, northern Mexico.

On his way to Mexico, the pontiff is scheduled to make a historic stop at Havana's airport in Cuba, where he will meet for a few hours with Patriarch Kirill the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in what AP calls "a ground-breaking step toward improving Catholic-Orthodox relations."

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Ideas

Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero

-Analysis-

The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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