Robert Vanwey on whom to boycott

It’s hard to find fault with Robert Vanwey’s ‘Who to Boycott’, subtitled ‘There are some in business who treat workers like property’. Note: for those who don’t like Substack, you might not wish to click through. But I gave my word to Rob I would link it because I was impressed by his thinking and research.

Rob gives a good low-down on the US oligarch class and why he thinks they pose ‘the greatest threat to the well-being of people.’ He analyses how much tax they pay (none or very little) and how even the US Supreme Court favours the rich. The silver lining here is that MacKenzie Scott (who was once MacKenzie Bezos) is giving away her milliards (from her 4 per cent Amazon stake) ‘until the safe is empty,’ with US$586 million donated in 2020. Between 2019 and the end of 2022, she had given away US$14 milliard. The rest, however, are greedy tax avoiders. In fact, one could be even more specific, as Sarah Brown was yesterday:

Imagine being Elon Musk, or Donald Trump, or Boris Johnson. You have more money than you know what to do with. You could literally afford to go to whatever paradise you want and spend the days of your one life doing whatever you please.

They came so tantalisingly close to having more fulfilling and carefree lives than 99.99% of humans who have ever lived, but instead they want the masses to fear and adore them.

And they are utterly miserable, because nothing will fill the void, and the more they try, the more they debase themselves in front of billions, and the people they most need to respect them probably think they’re losers.

Still those requests for guest posts come despite a very clear statement on my contact page that this blog won’t carry them.

First, I’ve no wish to contribute to messing up the web with SEO junk. Secondly, I’ve no wish to debase the mana of this blog and the trust you’ve put in me.

When they approach Lucire, I had been sending them a standard rejection but I doubt they even read it. More often than not, we now block their email address at server level. (Not that this always works: one SEO spammer, Nasir Khan, just changes his Gmail address and posts again, even after turning him down and blocking his address.) With a commercial enterprise comes a third reason: hosting SEO junk puts our ranking at risk, and the search engines could classify us as a splog. Flushing away 26 years’ goodwill for US$50? No thanks.
But does ranking even work the way it should? I notice that on Google, my work site, online at its current domain since 1995, still has not recovered its positioning after it went from HTTP to HTTPS in 2022. Once first or second for a search for my name, it now ranks at 31st. This is at odds with all those claims that Google would eventually fix the rankings and put things back to where they should be. I had the impression this would happen within weeks but so far it’s two years. But then, I’m used to Google making claims and getting the time units wrong.

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