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Stop being an abusive monopoly.

Stop being an abusive monopoly.

I'm writing this as I wait for 3ds to crash for the fifth time today. 

 

This is not a feature request.  Why do we enable the company who took us hostage, to also keep pretending that it will one day provide us a better set of tools?  

 

The comically slow pace of progress, the decade old bugs, the instability - there seems to be a correlation between the pace of progress, and Autodesk’s share of the market.

 

For a company to be targeted by antitrust, requires proof that dominant market share translates into higher costs for consumers. The irony here, is that though this litmus test is so antiquated as to be useless in the age of big tech, it nonetheless applies when it comes to Autodesk.  There is perhaps no more straightforward proof of abusive monopolistic behavior than 3ds max's reoccurring subscription model and the software's concomitant lack of development.

 

Autodesk isn't adding incremental features to max so that it retains market share: its market share is resilient. Autodesk isn’t adding incremental features to max so as to convince users that things are going to get better: after so many years users know better. Autodesk continues to add incremental features, and to hype them to the point of parody, so as to create a narrative for those outside the industry; wherein consumers are not paying more and more just to retain access to what is essentially a ten year old piece of software. In other words, at this point the upgrades are so meager, they’re not the bare minimum to keep users happy, they’re the bare minimum to avoid future antitrust litigation.

 

The only feature request I’ll make is antitrust action against Autodesk.  

14 Comments
Crimson_Guard
Contributor

👍
Decent rant. You try speaking to congress about it?

jfjacques
Collaborator

Sarcasm?

Not American. Can still petition with likes. 

 

There is finally some movement on the antitrust front in the US.

Someone else can call Elisabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar and make sure they don't overlook Autodesk when they look at FB, Amazon, Alphabet etc... 

 

If there's a silver lining in all this, it's that, based on their patronizing response to the Architects' Letter and the ongoing snail's pace of development, Autodesk likely underestimates the rage they currently elicit in the people that rely on their software and have the knowledge to understand the gap between what it is, and how it could actually operate. Autodesk is therefore likely underestimate how quickly things could change given the right circumstances. 

 

Another ray of hope in all this is that though it might be hard to determine along what lines to break-up a company like, say, Facebook, without causing some harm to consumers in the process, it's very straightforward to see how Autodesk should be divided up - ei software by software - to help the industry. 

Crimson_Guard
Contributor

Not sarcasm in the slightest. I don't care what a company makes, or how good it is, I hate monopolies. All of them.

 

Elisabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar are communists, and both love big tech. They won't do anything about Autodesk.

Still, I say try getting a hold of someone in congress (a republican) through email or something, and explain what's going on, and see what they say. Better if you can provide proof of it. Compile a list of competitors Autodesk has purchased and send it off. Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump all good options for American government to contact, if not, try an American antitrust attorney and see if they can help you get the ball rolling.

jfjacques
Collaborator

At this point I have to assume you're trolling me by recommending some of the most deplorable people in your congress - a man who pays for borderline underage sex and two would be seditionists...really?  But hey, just in case you're not joking, Amy Klobuchar, just wrote a book called antitrust and Warren has been focused on this issue for a over three decades.  Again, if you're not joking,  I just received an unexpected jolt of alterity by finding common cause with someone who believes Trump doesn't belong in jail.  On a more cynical note, if you're goal was to  delegitimize this thread, then you're brilliant. Nothing is more deflationary than finding yourself in agreement with someone who might very well support Q-Anon.... you're off the hook Autodesk. 

 

Politics aside for a moment, some monopolies can make an argument for their existence, just not Autodesk. 

Crimson_Guard
Contributor

Ahh... I see you subscribe to socialist big media lies. What a shame. Here I thought I had found an intellectual who saw through various deceptions. I guess you're only selectively against big, terrible companies. Monopolistic software companies who charge too much for their buggy software are bad and should be punished, but monopolistic news companies who lie to you and about you so they can usher in globalist communism are just fine and are can always be trusted.

I strongly recommend you do some actual digging and find out the truth behind who you're inadvertently defending. You're flying without my help on this antitrust thing from now on. Sorry, I'm no longer interested in getting involved with someone too blind to see reality.

Though, I do wish you luck in your petition, not that I'm convinced a company like Autodesk is going to care, let alone change, without getting their thumbs twisted.

jfjacques
Collaborator

...

jfjacques
Collaborator

No pressure here, we'll take on the establishment some other day. Honestly at this point I don't know if you're an earnest incel, or some next level Russian bot paid purchased by Autodesk to delegitimize rants like mine before they gain traction. (Though I doubt anyone from Autodesk really reads these.)  If the latter, then kudos, I never stood a chance.  You just threw my concerns into a twilight zone bonfire of conspiracy theories and alternate realities.  In my mind, Hegel just shrugged his shoulders, said "****-it, I didn't sign-up for this ****" and slammed the door on his way out. (Derrida is still in the room though, quietly trying to hide the fact that he's desperately aroused.)

 

As a rhetorical device, I would describe what I've just experienced in this thread as a kind of next-level gaslighting. You're not attempting to delegitimize my idea by proposing a counter-argument so bonkers it makes me question my reality, (traditional gaslighting) you’re delegitimizing my idea by agreeing with it, but also letting it be known that you agree with reality alternate facts at the same time, thereby making me question my own reality nonetheless. In other words, you're delegitimizing my idea, and my own grasp of reality, by delegitimizing your own grasp of the real. (There is no offense intended here. The nice thing about having two realities is that you can make the same argument, and so my discovery can also be yours.  Accusing the other side of which you are guilty of has never been more natural, nay, default, than it is today.) I'm likely overthinking this, but I am enjoying it despite it all. This is jiu-jitsu I didn't even know existed.  

 

Just to set the record straight, I do think that many big tech companies need to be looked into for anticompetitive behavior as well as their ability to erode public trust and create information silos. That list certainly includes facebook, which has dug a graveyard of small companies around itself, and likely plays a role in polarizing your nation and mine, as well as peddling conspiracy theories. 

 

Out of curiosity what exactly is meant by "globalist communism". For all I know this might be a Bizarro term for neo-liberalism or kleptocracy?  Though I feel I can relate with some of the complaints implied by the term - for instance I would agree that there is too much media consolidation and that the quality of the media that many people ingest is somewhat poor -  I get very mixed messages from the term "globalist communism".  Whether you're trolling me or not, I'm interested to understand what it means. It's such a potpourri of implications, many of them contradictory, that I want to know how it comes together in the end. It’s like the murder mystery of oxymorons.

 

Note that the market failure that allowed Autodesk to consolidate, monopolize the 3d software market and usher in an era of molasses like software progress, is couched in capitalism, not communism. Which isn't to say that a communist nation intent on developing software wouldn't have its own issues, but rather that all systems can lead to anti-competitive states when mismanaged by ideology, greed or idiots.   

 

In the end, at least we agree that Autodesk is bad and that's what's most important in this conversation. You know a company is doing something wrong, when it creates not only bipartisan, but bireality consensus.  In incel terms, I bet if superman went to Bizarro world, Autodesk would still be a monopolistic **** of a company.  

JezEmin
Collaborator

Shame your idea was so on point - you even garnered one like who you then accused of all sorts (and who sensibly bowed out) and from then, you not only went rapidly down hill (all of your own making), but are then started going all weird, making yourself look....erm, almost loopy....

 

Dang, I had high hopes for this one.

Crimson_Guard
Contributor

@jfjacquesOof. I'll answer a bit of that. Globalist communism would be a one-world communist government ruled by... probably China, maybe Russia.

As for capitalism causing this, that's not true. Socialism's core tenet is 'government controls industry', and in order to do that, there can't be any competition. So what a socialist government would do is buy, steal, destroy, or in no uncertain terms, kill, all competition leaving just one or two that they control. What Autodesk is doing is socialist, not capitalist. All it needs is the government to be in control of it, which, at this point, wouldn't really surprise me if true already. Socialism is Communism Lite.

 

The problem with the 3D market is that it used to be niche. You had to be a big studio to justify the price tag of any competent 3D software at the time. 3D Studio, at the time, was one of the only competent, user-friendly 3D programs on the market. This drew a lot of customers, customers means money. Then as competition started cropping up, Autodesk, being a greedy company with a desire to remain on top by any means, bought them. Daz, Alias Systems Corporation, Sculptris. You can thank Pixologic for that last one. Now it 's hard to break into the industry, because the industry is run by 2 companies, Autodesk and Pixologic, and they'll do everything they can to.... well Amazon.com them to death, and Google, another overinflated monopoly, would help make sure it happened.

 

In order to fix the 3D modelling industry, Google has to either willingly give up its godlike power, or it needs to be destroyed, and we have to support the next software company with competent 3D software that comes along. But maybe not Blender. It's not very good.
That, or we need to orchestrate a massive boycott of Autodesk software, a boycott which Facebook, Twitter, and Google would all silence immediately. Or, we'd have to stage a mass subscription-cancellation-protest so monumentally damaging that the bigwigs at the top of the chain feel it deep in the pit of their wallets.

 

That's it. I'm not even going to touch that other stuff.

@JezEminI'd still throw my hat into another fight against Autodesk, for sure. Maybe started by someone a little less combative... and unhinged...

jfjacques
Collaborator

I was happy to see that this kept going during my lunch break, and that you're still at it Crimson.  We both agree that Autodesk is an abusive monopoly.  We also both agree that antitrust is the solution.

 

I did feel that at some point you started to delegitimize a perfectly serviceable rant because the reasoning you suddenly started providing for the issues we both agreed upon, started to read like a fox news mad lib. You’re reasoning has since gotten a little more troubling. Intrepid incel that you are, I can now see you peeking through the hellmouth of various alternate realities.  That being said, as long as you're willing to engage with a disarming blend of ad hominems and ideas, then so am I. 

 

Let's back up. 

 

Markets can't be efficient without a third party, like, say, government and its institutions. Even the most phantasmagoric of libertarianism allows for banks, central banks, antitrust, courts, the rule of law, an agreed upon way to store value etc..  There's a great Achille Talon (Franco-Belgian comicbook) wherein he gets stranded on an island and his libertarian friend loves it, but overtime things like a common currency begin to replace the barter system, and suddenly someone invents credit and anyway you get the gist...

 

Once you understand this, you also begin to understand that the use of the term "Free market" is, at the very least, imperfect. Its connotations are somewhat overly libertarian: almost a political weaponization of the fact that markets should allow for an equilibrium that maximizes the buyer and seller’s net surplus. This what's meant by markets operating "efficiently". (Here's a great youtube video that explains what that means. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNtKXWNKGN8&ab_channel=Primer)

 

In order to do this, markets need to maximize competition. Unfortunately left to their own devices, companies within an industry tend to consolidate.  Suppliers band together so as to avoid competing with each other and thereby maximize their profits.  This often happens in highly deregulated markets, but you'll be glad to hear that it also happens in inappropriately regulated markets - admittedly too much bureaucracy can provide an unfair advantage to incumbents. As it stands, we live in an age of consolidation, which not only breeds monopolies, but also monopsolies and dominant platforms (think the AppStore or in some ways, Autodesk.) 

 

So far, we should be on the same page.  I wanted to give us a firm common ground before moving on. 

 

 As to whether or not Socialism or Capitalism is to blame for Autodesk's market dominance.  By your very own definition. Socialism is the government control of the means of production (, tbf this definition could also include the community control,)  We can see that Autodesk operates in a Capitalistic industry because the government does not own Autodesk and its competitors; private industry does. (In a way, blender could be considered somewhat of a socialist experiment, but honestly labels from the previous century become meaningless very quickly in the tech industry.)  As such, Autodesk is an example of market failure in a Capitalist industry. When you say, "all it needs is the government to be in control of it", well then, by your very own definition that's the very line which defines Capitalism and Socialism and Autodesk is firmly on one side of it. 

 

Another thing that I find jarring about your reasoning, is that you consider the government the issue, and yet you yourself have noted contacting members of congress to fix the problem. Now maybe you think, “yes but only the good guys that pay for underage sex, create fake universities, grab women by the ****, and support sedition”. Ok. That still leaves the fact that you're requesting antitrust action to fix this capitalistic market failure.  Generally, Socialism is associated with the need for greater government intervention.  (I use the word "generally" here because these definitions are used as emotive triggers more than anything else at this point.  Marx's notion of socialism, which is a bit like yours in that he considered it a transition between capitalism and communism, is different than say Trotsky's or Warren's or Fox news'.  All to say these terms should be clearly defined at the onset - which you partly did btw, so kudos – or not at all.)

 

What I find probably most difficult to understand in your case, is why the government always has to be the ultimate boogeyman?  I agree with you that many parts of the world suffer from kleptocratic governance.  But I don't know why you would gloss over the neo-liberalism which has often been the backbone of this longstanding kleptocratic trend as well as other unfortunate trends like increasing wealth disparity. For instance, Russia doesn't become a full Kleptocracy without the introduction of Western Capitalism. Neither does Khazackstan a decade later. Neo-liberalism and no-government-at-all-costs  Reaganism-on-steroids, makes it impossible to account for externalities, especially those that are lighting the planet on fire. It makes it difficult to redistribute wealth appropriately and it inevitably condenses power in the hands of a few dominant corporations and billionaire plutocrats in key sectors from tech, to food production, to the production of the caskets we end in. (There are only two Casket makers in the States.)  We both agree the system has severe issues and that it needs fixing, but the answer isn't an absence of governance. 

 

The answer is good governance. The answer is aligning the incentives in the right direction, so as to get the outcomes we actually want. To do that you have to have a more nuanced understanding of how the system is failing, as well as more complex understanding of the incentives driving media companies, not to mention the incentives driving conspiracy theorists on social networks.  If you can't trust me, or the “mainstream” media, then why would you trust Q-Anon or a documented charlatan like Trump?

 

Thankfully there is a place to actually get information you can trust. Textbooks and old books written before our particular brand of partisanship and the splintering of American reality. If you can't trust me, then go read an economics textbook, or two, or three. If you don't trust your university, then go read classic works by Adam Smith or Keynes, and then slowly work your way towards the present so that you can read authors like, say, Picketty, with an open but critical mind.  If you want to be meta about it, read about the post-modern philosophers that predicted this conversation and the many like it. Look up the Frankfurt school, or Foucault, Baudrillard, Derrida, and Deleuze. When you’ve done some reading,  come back on this forum, distill your newfound knowledge, and write a solid rant against Autodesk.

Crimson_Guard
Contributor

"I did feel that at some point you started to delegitimize a perfectly serviceable rant"
Reread everything I said. I did no such thing.

You misunderstand my willingness to respond to a couple points you had. I'm not getting into politics with you on a website about polygons and vertices.

 

You show a fundamental lack of comprehension in regard to globalism, socialism, communism, capitalism, and monopoly for any further debate to be worth the hours I'll need to pour into trying to help you understand, which you'd resist the whole way, and that video you linked me to proved you (and the dude who made it) don't understand capitalism at all.

The video fails to factor in the quality of the rockets being sold, longevity of the rockets being sold, and 'value for money'. An expensive rocket that can withstand tank blasts is going to appeal to people who want durable rockets, expensive rockets will also appeal to people who want super detailed rockets, and DIY model rockets would also get away with a high price.
Businesses that sell garbage rockets that fall apart if you sneeze too close to them, that yellow over time, and charge too much for them will be forced to close down when people who want good rockets decide it's worth it to fork over a higher price for a quality rocket instead of the junk being sold to them.

Let's take a 3 Little Pigs model. Pig A builds his rockets out of aluminum. Pig B builds his rockets out of iron. Pig C builds his rockets out of tungsten carbide. Assuming they can all somehow sell their rockets for the same price, Pig A is going to go out of business first, because his rockets are junk. Why would you buy a piece of junk for $25 when you could buy a much higher quality piece for the same price?

Now, if Pig A's were $25, Pig B's were $50, and Pig C's were $75, that would change the dynamic. People who can't afford that would settle for less, and buy from Pig A. People who find their rocket worth it, would go for the quality rocket from Pig C, because tougher rockets justify the price. They may cost more, but you can shoot them with some pretty big guns, and they'll be fine.

Now let's add Pig D. He sells his rockets for $100, but despite being made of iron and are flimsier than Pig C's, his actually fly, and come equipped with a comprehensive guide on how to repaint model rockets. He attracts people with big wallets who want to show off. That's fine. Pig A goes out of business and Pigs B and C live in harmony with Pig D. Now let's add Pig E. His rockets can fly, but cost less than Pig D's rockets, because Pig E doesn't have a massive assembly line of workers to pay for, and he knows how to get a bargain on quality materials.

Suddenly Pig E is getting all of Pig D's customers. Pig D has more money than Pig E, so he decides to buy the rights to Pig E's rockets for $1.5 million. Pig E loves money, and agrees. Pig D now owns Pig E's rockets.

One day, Pig B notices he has plenty of cash, and decides to use that to improve the quality of his rockets. Pig B now has rockets with features Pigs C and D don't have, and is now threatening to steal a good chunk of Pig D's consumers. Pig D doesn't like that, because it means his fat wallet will be less fat, and he'll actually have to work to stay on top. Pig D doesn't want to spend his sports car cash on trying (and risking failure and more money) to develop technology to stay competitive against Pig B, and Pig D has more money than Pig B, so he offers Pig B $12 million for the rights to his rockets, because it's just easier, and safer. Pig B loves money, and agrees.

Pig D now has Pig E's and Pig B's rockets. Pig C is no longer able to compete, doesn't get enough money due to most of his customers buying from Pig D instead, and closes his doors. Now there is only Pig D. Others crop up, but they pale in comparison to the absolute market dominance and name brand recognition of Pig D, and struggle to compete with the features Pig D's purchased rockets provide.

The Big Bad Government is meant to step in, but Pig D uses his massive wallet and gives lots and lots of money to grease the sweaty palms of politicians and they all keep quiet because they like having funding for their little projects and campaigns and expensive mansions. It doesn't matter that Pig D's rockets all have problems they haven't solved in 10 years, it's a win/win/who? situation. Money for Pig D, money for politicians and *cough cough, hack hack* for the *mumbles incoherently*. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, everyone is happy except those who aren't. Break out the champagne.

That's how capitizalism works. Everything's fine and dandy until Pig autoDesk moves in and ruins everything, because it's too rich and lazy to bother to compete after being on top for so long, and it has a 4th luxury car to buy and 'uggh the peasants are such a bother'.

Antitrust is a tool to reign in companies with too much lazy and too much money, who work to crush competition intentionally, a system to patch up the flaw in capitalism, but it's failed as of late because democrats and RINOs love bribes.

 

Just be aware that Elisabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar have yet to bring Google up on charges of antitrust. It's always just Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Apple, and they always seem to fail to ask any of the hard questions. Almost as if it's just a theatrical distraction tactic.

That's it. That's all I'm going to bother to say. You drew me in with the title of this thread, and I was willing to set aside some time to fight the good fight, but I have too many projects to work on, and now it's clear you're just too unhinged and mislead to be worth the wasted effort. I'm more than likely not going to respond further, unless some separate user addresses me and I deem a response worth the energy to write.

jfjacques
Collaborator

Here we are, five pages in, pretending not to be the least bit invested.
Anyway, glad to see you couldn't leave it alone.

As for the video, the takeaway of the simulation was the market reaching equilibrium and how that results in the largest net surplus possible. It's a fundamental idea that lots of students, even at the university level, don't really concern themselves with when they talk about equilibrium. I find it's an important concept because without it people brandish the free market as a reason for all kinds of policy without actually providing a clear cut definition of what this enigmatic "free-market" is. This allows pundits to provide an undefined motivation for all sorts of bad ideas.

But that doesn't matter, because though you say you disagree with me, as I read your pig story, it became clear that we're actually in agreement regarding capitalistic market failure and its relevance to Autodesk. Though I presented market failure as a case of consolidation, you noted the likelihood of collusion and monopolistic abuse. I wouldn't write it the same way, but I don't disagree with the narratives you put forward at all. Without outside intervention, capitalistic markets have a tendency to fail. Hence the need for government institutions run by smart, qualified people.

So now all that we disagree upon are who these people are. I mean, sure, you still stick to your guns with regards to global communisms and other slogans borrowed from the OAN discard pile, but at this point I feel like this could be a temporary hiccup on the road to critical thinking.

Perhaps it makes sense that the most durable layer of alternate facts has to do with the people we chose to respect and trust. Josh Hawley, apprentice insurrectionist, and Elizabeth Warren wannabe, Amy Klobuchar, have both put forth books about antitrust. Though both have overlapping takeaways Josh Hawley's is a hot whiny mess, that focuses on tech's "bigness, but only as a knee-jerk reaction to supposed censorship, all the while Klobuchar's is a solidly researched, if sometimes dry, history of antitrust. There is little comparison to be made between the caliber of thought of these two people, at least in these books.

But perhaps comparing apples to apples is just too solid and too sane an argument. The world watches in agony as it sees your country implode, and like me it doesn't know what to say to the half of America that have so deeply embedded themselves within a culture of alternate facts. I myself am frustrated by the situation, not because these people are too stupid to vote in their best interests, but because most of them are intelligent thoughtful people that should know better. You yourself may not be educated, but your intuitions as to what might be happening, when you really lay them out, as opposed to when you put together a pastiche of other people's opinions, aren't that reality adjacent. So why can't you see Trump for the incontinent, incompetent, authoritarian wannabe that he is? Why can't you see Matt Gaetz, who has the objectively most punchable face of any congress member, for the feckless sexual abuser that he is? Why do you believe people when they say Warren is a communist? Why do you undermine your own best shot at affordable health care? Why do you supposedly hate corporatists and then form a tea party with funding and aims provided by Koch think thanks? There's no answer but honest to goodness intellectual dishonesty and intellectual slothfulness. I will say it again, shut-off fox news and read an economics textbook, or just read a book.  Hell, listen to a podcast. The world needs a functional America, and flexing incels such as yourself, undermine its function, much as you did my perfectly serviceable rant.

EBowman2
Participant

To the original poster: Well said, and the same is true for Revit.

To the activists: Stick to the business at hand and leave politics to the professional criminals.

Udobyte
Community Visitor

Lots of.... interesting... takes here. Maybe just focus on the *small common ground we seem to have of hating anti consumer and monopolistic practices?

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