The Global North1 has many erroneous views, but one that’s been sticking with me lately is it’s superiority view of business models. We have the false view that we are the leaders in all fields all the time and that anything not invented in the Global North, often limited entirely to the US, is not as good as what we come up with.

Let’s look at 3 places this is expressed.

Cell Phones

The Apple iPhone is often seen as the “leading” consumer smartphone, but you do have to define that word pretty tight to make Apple into a leader. Yes individual iPhone models outsell individual Andriod phones but Android carries almost 70% of world market share compared to iOS at 30%. Part of this comes down to the availability of cheaper phones on the Android side of the market, but with the rising cost of phones I see more and more people continuing to wonder if a $1000 pocket computer brings them value or simply steals their attention thus steals value.

With China being the 3rd largest market for Apple’s iPhone we also see that reviews are becoming more and more mixed with a local brand Huawei being just as viable as an iPhone for Chinese citizens. We applaud “made local” branding when it’s in our country, but view this type of brand loyalty as a bad thing when it disadvantages the companies we view as “good”.

Let’s be clear, Apple is barely a good company. It plays a lot on “not selling your data” which may be true, but it still uses any data it collects on me to sell me more of it’s services. Apple says they’ll protect you while simultaneously attacking you from the inside with more fees, more services to pay for, and less value given. We see more ads now on Apple devices than we used to and Apple will continue to ratchet up the ads to values that would make Nolan Sorrento drool2.

Nolan Sorrento taking off his VR goggles
Nolan Sorrento taking off his VR goggles

If we applaud moves by governments to stop the “bad” Chinese manufacturers like Huawei from selling their products in North American markets we can’t cry foul when other countries say the same thing about North American products being sold into their markets. They too are looking to reduce reliance on countries that don’t quite line up with their desires.

But is Apple the leader many think it is? Apple says it’s new quantum computing iMessage encryption is the first of it’s kind while ignoring the fact that Signal has had a similar key ratcheting mechanism since it’s inception now called the Double Ratchet Algorithm but previously called Axolotl Ratchet. Yup the marketing department of Apple came up with a very narrow definition that gives them the advantage in message security, which they don’t really have.

Apple also says it’s iMessage system is the leading messaging platform, while arguing that not enough people use IMessage in the EU that Apple should have to face regulation.

Apple claims that Music is the best platform for listening to Music while holding behind Tencent Music at 587 million users, and Spotify with 489 million users. Both Tencent and Spotify have more paying users than Apple has total users.

The only clear advantage I see for Apple is in their M series silicon3, with it having better performance per watt than any current competitor available for purchase. But if you’re on Apple Silicon you pretty much have to run macOS4 which has many limitations like desktop managers which would make Linux preferable for me in day to day operation.

While Apple claims it’s a leader in phones, specifically premium smartphones, it’s going to simultaneously argue that it’s not a leader with the DOJ to stop any type of regulation. Apple isn’t the leader in phones or privacy that it wants us to think it is. They’re nice phones and all, but only if you drink the Apple koolaid can you claim that they’re the leader they’d have you believe.


For at least a decade now Tesla has been seen as the leader in EV technology in North America, but the mask is coming off Elon Musk’s marketing bullshit, and Tesla is starting to falter. Tesla’s reported earning in January 2024 were not great5, as Tesla missed analyst projections and noted that they don’t expect 2024 to get any better. In light of that dismal news Tesla dangled a new model planned for production in 2025 to keep investors interested in the company and reduce the pummelling that the stock market has been providing lately.

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Not only is Tesla suffering, but it’s CEO is an asshat whose actions are turning off consumers from products associated with his name. He’s a proven liar when it comes to Tesla’s technologies that then builds out departments to gaslight customers when his products don’t live up to the promises he made. It wasn’t only the vehicle range that was exaggerated, Tesla knew about issues with its parts failing and blamed customers, sticking them with the bill.

And none of those links go to the very public content on Musk lying about the self-driving capabilities of the Tesla vehicles or his documented drug abuse problems. When we think of Musk now we need to remember Zeke Faux saying that over his years of investigative reporting he continues to find that scammers of the past with new things going rarely change their ways, you just need to dig deep enough to find the scam they’re running now6. If Elon Musk is talking, he’s probably lying and there’s probably some scam or full untruth behind what he’s saying.

While Tesla is not the only US electric vehicle market in town anymore, it still the one that has captured the most mindshare. Rivian has some nice trucks and SUVs. Lucid is all about luxury, and the legacy automakers have some decent options now but they still seemingly pale in the public’s eye to Tesla.

But Tesla’s North American mindshare doesn’t equate to sales of its vehicles. China sold over half a million electric vehicles in May of 2023 compared to US automakers selling a mere 300,000 in the entirety of Q3 2023. BYD alone sells more cars than Tesla, and overall China sold 6.8 Million electric vehicles in 2022 compared to 800,000 sold in the US.

So, how did this happen? To start the price of most of BYD’s vehicles is around $29k USD. Compare this to the entry price on a Tesla at $40k, a Lucid at $69k, and a Rivian at $45k. I did manage to find a Chevy Bolt at around $27k USD, but most other North American vehicles are bigger, have more technology and thus have a correspondingly higher price tag.

Secondly China has been offering subsidies for the electric vehicle market since the early 2000’s, which of course has the US crying foul about unfair competition and thus wanting to tax Chinese vehicles. They conveniently ignore that the money was available to any company that came calling and in fact contributed to the Tesla Gigafactory in China. China does a better job at incentivizing consumer purchases of EV’s and penalising the manufacturing of internal combustion vehicles, thus making it more attractive to purchase an EV.

It’s only recently that the US is starting to support the EV industry in a scale that’s comparable to what China has been doing for over a decade. What the US is not doing is making it harder to use a gas powered vehicle as that would bring out the “freedom” zealots and fire up support for the right wing conservatives that will tell you the government is stealing your right to freedom7.

The US and it’s preferred trade partners are not leading in EV’s by any economic metric. They have more mindshare in North America and Europe, but that is not turning into more sales in any way that will impact the decade of work that China has done to make EVs a big part of their economy.


Years ago I was on a local run and as I finished up some others starting on the same trail happened to ask what I listened to while I was running. In this case it happened to be an episode of MacBreak Weekly where they were discussing Russia enforcing the addition of Russian made apps on the iPhone. Initially they were incredulous that Russia was such a backwards place as to enforce Russian made apps. But I had a question for them:

What if Russia invented the iPhone and all apps we got on our phones were Russian based apps decided by a Russian based company? Wouldn’t we think it was a good idea to force some Canadian, maybe North American, based apps on the phone?

Yes, yes we would expect that in the reverse situation.

Today we sit in a world where in a single domain we have a single app that has gained a lot of traction and is not invented in the US. I’m talking about Tiktok, which comes out of China. The Biden Administration has threatened to ban Tiktok nation wide if the Chinese owner, Bytdance, doesn’t sell it’s stake in the company to someone that North American interests prefer. They’ve even now passed a bill that lets the President designate any non-US owned social media app as a national security threat8. If this happens the company has 6-months to find owners the US likes, and can control.

While the reason that is cited in public is the concern that Chinese interests have access to information on US citizens, which is such an absurd assertion as to be laughable. Of course the Chinese government has data on US citizens, but they don’t need Tiktok to gather it. Facebook is quite happy to sell access to the data it has on US citizens, and there is no effective way for Facebook to determine that the data is not being sent back to the CCP. Or how about the many data brokers that collect information on everyone from every possible source they can get their hands on, that are entirely willing to take money from anyone that has money to give them.

If the US really wanted the data of their citizens to not be in the hands of the CCP, or any other government, they’d pass sweeping privacy legislation that made it harder to collect the data in the first place. If there was no data collected, then there would be nothing for other governments to collect on American citizens. The problem with that tactic is that the US buys information on its own citizens so it doesn’t want the firehose of information turned off, it just wants to be in control of who is allowed to have that information.

You can see that this is all about control if you look at how the US got pissy when Canada applied its Canadian content laws to online streamers. They’re concerned it will discriminate against US content and American firms, who gives a fuck about Canada and it’s long established laws about Canadian content on platforms. US companies are being told what to do by another government, and that’s not acceptable to the government shills that are supported by those same US companies via lobbying efforts and donations.

Or how about the tax law that Canada that would put a 3% tax on online advertising and marketplaces. This isn’t some new type of tax, it’s being charged to companies in Austria, France, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK. The only reason that Canada is looking at this law is because of US foot dragging on a global tax treaty.

The US doesn’t care at all about equity, it just wants all the power in it’s own hands because it knows that whomever has more big companies involved in the internet has defacto power over the internet9. The same argument goes with Tiktok, the US only cares because the app that’s popular with the youths now is not one in US hands and xenophobia is high in the US, and increasing around the world, so it makes great political fodder to talk about banning Tiktok.

American tech companies will happily jump on board because the laws coming in don’t affect them at all, like a comprehensive privacy law would, it only affects a competitor that they can’t purchase that’s starting to eat their lunch. All the while the US will talk about how markets win, and capitalism is good and lets the market decide who wins, but it’s only really good if the markets choose a US company to win.

While the US, and the Global North, loves to tell itself a story of technological supremacy it’s not a true story. The US specifically has moved from pushing innovation all the time to protectionism. It looks to limit anyone else from effectively competing with it, as would fit a capitalist viewpoint, and instead continues to see how it can hamper any competition because the lumber dinosaur that is US innovation is faltering under it’s own weight.

  1. United States, Canada, Britain, France, and other European countries ↩︎
  2. Nolan Sorrento is the villain in Ready Player One who states that they’ll keep the ads just below the level that will cause a seizure in the fictional VR world called Oasis. ↩︎
  3. An Apple Silicon Mac Mini is the best streaming machine I know of, in particular because it does run Zwift, which is what I’d want to stream, and will get a good stream out of around $700 CDN ↩︎
  4. Yes I know about Asahi Linux, it’s just not there yet for regular users ↩︎
  5. But let’s admit that analysts are just guessing and always want growth. The stock market is stupid. ↩︎
  6. Number Go Up Pg 39 ↩︎
  7. Of course they ignore the stealing of a woman’s right to reproductive freedom because that doesn’t play well with their Christian base. ↩︎
  8. At this point it’s clearly aimed at Tiktok, but if the app was invented in any other country and got big enough don’t fool yourself into thinking that the US wouldn’t apply the same rule to something that Canada or Britain made if the US tech companies applied enough pressure on government. ↩︎
  9. The Promise of Access puts this idea forward as a key one cited in the founding of the internet by US interests ↩︎

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