Elon Musk has paved the way for so many things – few of them good.
Like the energy hog electric car – with its emphasis on “ludicrous” speed and “cool” technology rather than affordability or practicality, which has been emulated by practically every other company making electric cars.
Another – subtler – example comes in the form of charging customers for what they already paid for.
You buy a Tesla. You buy it with certain options, which you pay for. Later on, you sell your Tesla, which you presumably own – including the options you paid for. The person who buys your Tesla assumes he’s buying the car you paid for, along with the options you paid for. He pays, accordingly – just as in the past if you bought a car with say the upgraded stereo or some other extra-cost option, you paid a bit more for it because it was equipped with that option – which added value to the car.
Tesla’s trick – and it’s a dirty one – is to turn off options, post-purchase, if the new owner doesn’t pay to renew the subscription.
There was a quiet uproar when this was found out – by people who bought second-hand Teslas. The uproar not generally reported, for the same underlying reason that the Shill Press doesn’t report cases of adverse events, including death, resulting from the “vaccines” – while it endlessly-hysterically reported “cases” of people . . . testing positive on dodgy tests we now know were jiggered to make it appear that practically everyone who got tested was reported as being “sick.”
Including those sans any symptoms of it.
Now other car companies are emulating Musk’s pay-as-you-go (for as long as you go) business model. They will charge you serially for options and features – which will only work so long as you continue to pay for them. Instead of checking the option for heated seats, say, you agree to license the software that runs the heated seats. They work – so long as you pay. If you stop making your serial payments, the seats no longer heat.
Your car’s engine doesn’t make the same horsepower the day after your subscription to the “performance app” lapses.
That “cool” LCD digital dash goes dark. The stereo goes silent.
Anything that is controlled by programming – in a “connected” car – can be controlled by the programmers. It works exactly like your sail fawn, which you retain physical possession of but which the true owner – who isn’t you – retains virtual possession of. Your phone receives “updates” – whether you want them or not. If you do not want them, or don’t pay for them, the phone’s functions may no longer function. Your choice is to accept the updates – or accept that “your” phone may no longer work the way it did.
Eventually, even if you do keep on paying, your current phone will no longer be supported – which means it will no longer work, period. Your choice is to keep a rendered useless phone or buy a new one, probably even more “connected.”
Take note of the fact that the car companies are using precisely that word to describe what they intend to sell you in the future – as opposed to the car, itself.
You will buy transportation as a service – serially.
To be fair to Musk, it was actually Bill Gates who pioneered this mechanism of virtual enserfment. It occurred to him that it would be far more profitable to sell licenses to use his software than to sell the software, itself. Some will recall the days when you went to the store and bought the business or tax or graphic design software you wanted and – having bought it – you owned it, to use for as long as you liked. It maybe got outdated, eventually. But that was ok, in the same way that an old car is outdated – but still works as it did when you bought it.
You could even sell or give it to someone else – in exactly the same way you could sell or give someone else the car you bought. Which still worked for them as it worked for you – assuming it wasn’t broken.
And even if it was, it could be fixed.
But Gates – whose genius is evil – decided to turn the buyer into a user; someone who held a temporary and condition license to use the software. And just like that, you no longer got what you paid for – unless you paid, again.
Teslas – being software on wheels – were (and are) ideally suited to this You Will Own Nothing and Be Happy business model, which Musk seized on as a way to make money in the same general way and on the same general principle. Tesla buyers bought the right to use various features/capabilities – but did not own them.
Tesla did. The buyer licensed temporary and conditional use of them.
And now the rest of them – the other car companies – are looking to cash in. Audi is peddling LED headlights that only LED as long as you continue to pay for them. Volvo’s Polestar electric energy hog division offers over-the-air increased performance – for a fee.
BMW is reportedly considering putting heated seats on a subscription basis.
Toyota is charging “owners” a monthly $8 subscription to keep their fobs – which are no longer keys – operational.
This sort of thing is rapidly becoming another New Abnormal – enabled by turning everything we used to own into a “connected” device, with someone else on the other end of that “connection.” Someone who can assert their ownership over what we thought we bought – whenever they like.
Read your EULA.
As with the Face Speedo’ing of the population – and now the Jabbing – the only way this ends is if enough of us decide not to be enserfed by refusing to comply. Or to “buy” anything we don’t own after having paid for it.
It’s not that hard to install heated seats in an unconnected car. Or up the horsepower of a non-electric car. And after you paid for those upgrades, you control them. They are yours – to use for as long as you like – and to sell, if you like.
It’s a better business model.
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